My Commute Home

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by Apple Jam, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,286
    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow
    Yesterday was an awesome day in the Hood, and after getting off work about 4pm, I decided to take the loooong way home.
    The East Ridge above the Hood River Valleys, Surveyor's Ridge, had the best chances of being snowless, so off I went.
    Up the Old Columbia River Hwy 30 to Eastside Rd, then to Old Dalles Rd.
    Old Dalles Rd is an AWESOME & fast uphill old road of broken-up pavement mixed with light and predictible gravel that leads to the top of the ridge.

    The original Old Dalles Rd that heads down the other side into Mosier, was decommisioned a long time ago.
    No big loss, now we have to take (read as: WE GET TO TAKE :clap) Elder Rd the long way into Mosier.
    About halfway across the broken pavement / gravel section on the top, I pass Craig and Crash on the little bikes, heading the opposite way.
    They had just come from where I was headed. But this would not be enough riding for me, on this fine day :wink:.

    I continued along the Ridge on Huskey Rd, up to the Powerlines just off FS17 (Pinemont), East of Parkdale.
    At the Powerlines, I head East, over to Ketchum Rd. Along the way, is one of the nastiest loose and rocky uphill climbs around, just under the powerlines.
    Some of you may remember this section from the Black Dog a few years back;
    it was the spot where everyone waited with cameras at the top, hoping for good pics of the Big Bike Carnage :rofl.
    I had to stop once on the way up, to avoid the worse fate of bouncing over the edge,
    and it was pretty darn hard to get going again (thank you, Rekluse :D).
    Lemme tell you, the "Ninja Ninny Disclaimer" (thanks Katy!!) DOES most definitely apply on this nasty climb :1drink: Ride Your Own Ride. This is MY ride, and it works for me. Once on Ketchum Rd, you get a short section of decent gravel before the ugly climb down into the North Fork Mill Creek Valley on Hedges Grade.

    Ketchum Rd:

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    This decent gravel section of Ketchum offers some great views down into North Fork Mill Creek Valley, and is accessible from Chenowith Creek Rd or Vensel Rd, for those less adventerous (that means YOU, Ninja Ninny). Hedges Grade down into Mill Creek Valley makes up for this decent piece of road in Spades:

    [​IMG]

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    These ^^^ are pictures of the EASY section. I was um....busy...for the harder parts.
    Great views, difficult roads, and steep dropoffs,...THIS is Adventure Riding at it's best, for me, anyway.
    The Sun and Mt Hood get blacked out with this cheezy Android affect:

    [​IMG]

    .....Cont'd.....
    #1
  2. Ladukebob

    Ladukebob lost in hood river

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,322
    Location:
    Hood River, Or.
    Nice :clap Looks like your putting the bike back to "work"

    I got 21 miles in yesterday.........................................

    On the bicycle:cry
    #2
  3. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,286
    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow
    Once down Hedges Grade, I head up Mill Creek Rd, and pause at what we used to call, "The $30,000 Bridge".
    Nawadays, this bridge would likely cost a million, but we had always wondered why they built such a nice bridge, where no one really goes very often.

    [​IMG]

    About halfway back up the East Side of Mill Creek Valley, as you round a corner, you are blessed with views down the valley:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I grew up about 5 miles down that valley ^^^^ and while I love where I live today,....I MISS it there :nod
    Looking across the Valley, you see a glimpse of Hedges Grade, that I had just ridden down on the other side:

    [​IMG]


    Mill Creek Rd Turns into Mill Creek Lookout Rd once you reach the top of the ridge.
    This is a very little used Rd, for obvious reasons. It would SUCK in a cage. Hunters only, mainly.
    On this bike, on this day.....it was freaking killer:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Along this Ridge are some knolls that offer five mountain views.
    This knob offers only two, Hood & Adams, with St Helens out of view in the haze:

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    It's getting dark, now, but I know this old road well, so I should be OK....
    #3
  4. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,286
    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow
    OMG I need to ride the bicycle. I'm so out of condition.
    But I think there's something wrong with it.
    No matter how hard I twist the grip, It doesn't go anywhere :confused.

    I'm gonna have to get that looked at.......someday....:nod
    #4
  5. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,545
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    nice
    #5
  6. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,286
    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow
    The next knob offers only one Mt view: Hood.
    This is where the Mill Creek Lookout and old Guard Station Buildings were built, about 70 years ago.
    Someone expected to spend some time here, and built these where I consider it to be the MOST beautiful on the entire Ridge.
    I hung out here for quite a while, while the sun found it's way closer to the edge of the horizon.
    Now all of you have to put up with my pics. Some are duplicates of the same scene, but help explain my mood up here last evening:

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    You can see the foundation of the old Guard Building in the foreground of this shot:

    [​IMG]


    My bike is parked where the Lookout sat. Remnants of the chimney and other metal parts still remain, as well as the grounding cables for wind and lightening.

    [​IMG]


    You ride this Ridge, along grassy fields, with a mountain view.
    Does it get any better than this?

    [​IMG]


    Probly not. But it does get worse......


    .
    #6
  7. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,286
    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow
    I wish I had a decent camera and your skills, but good enough shots for a 'Droid, eh?
    Well worth sharing, anyway :nod
    #7
  8. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,183
    Location:
    Portland...the newer one on the left side.
    :clap Nice to see the Orange Bike at work again!
    #8
  9. dhally

    dhally Hammerhead

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,673
    Location:
    Kennewick, WA
    Pretty special to have such nice riding and scenery right out your back door!
    #9
  10. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    14,310
    Location:
    Rainville, Orygun, where moss is a road hazard.
    I can't believe you used that bridge when you had that perfectly nice ramp down to the creek.



    Ya lunatic. :D
    #10
  11. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,286
    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow
    I cross the Valley from Mill Creek Lookout Rd, across the N. Fork Mill Creek and the Headwaters of Mosier Creek,
    then up to John's Mill Rd, FS1711 (becomes Ketchum Rd at the Mt Hood National Forest border, further North).

    I see my first treefall. Damn.

    I really should have turned around here, but it was a LOT of miles back the other way, on very bad road, I was tired, it was dark,
    and I only had about 12 miles to go this direction. In THEORY....
    So, you might know where this story is leading.....

    This first log was pretty rotten, and only took 20 minutes to break up and clear off the road:

    [​IMG]

    Just enough to squeek by:

    [​IMG]



    The next treefall was recent, and still green. I had to build a ramp up and over this one.
    Fortunately, there were light & rotten log cuts along the road from previous years to help out.

    Nearside:
    [​IMG]

    Farside:
    [​IMG]


    I had not seen patches of snow the entire ride, so I figured, incorrectly, that this would not be an issue.

    Wrong.


    I aaalllllmost made it :D.....

    [​IMG]

    From here, it got worse. And darker.
    But I was kinda prepared, if I needed to spend the night out here.
    It stayed warm enough to sweat my ass off, as I dug and churned my way through snowdrift after snowdrift, after more treefall and more snowdrifts.

    Last pic. It's dark now:

    [​IMG]


    My low beam HID fails somewhere out there, after repeated restarts and forgetting to turn it off when I start the bike.
    Fortunately, the high beam is it's own bulb, with it's own ballast.....and it's 50 watts of HID, so it gets the job done.

    THe last picture was about 9pm. I made it back home before midnight: 11:45pm
    Life is Good, for this 49 year old fart. Best Adventure of the year!!!
    Have I learned my lesson?
    Probly not.

    Would I do it again???
    Unfortunately,.....probly :huh
    #11
  12. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,286
    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow

    Ida dunnit, if asrvivor woulda been there to help me out of the water....:1drink

    The definition of Lunacy is open to interpretation......
    To me, it's LIVING :clap:clap
    #12
  13. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,286
    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow
    Oh yeah!!

    and....

    OH, YEAH !!!!!!! :norton
    #13
  14. LittlePosum

    LittlePosum Scrappy Marsupial

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    441
    Location:
    Weizy, ID
    Nice RR and pix! Looked like the clouds were making an abstract mirror image of Mt. Hood. The season has begun! :D
    #14
  15. Falcon86

    Falcon86 I just work here.

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,683
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA/Slaty Fork, WV
    Jeebus.

    Sure makes my commute home look like a big ol' pile of horse poopy...
    #15
  16. Mr Dual Sport

    Mr Dual Sport Roamer

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,350
    Location:
    Waheezer Idaho
    LOL AJ:rofl

    Great to know nothing has changed you! Still loving the Pumpkin I see!:clap
    #16
  17. Mustangshelly

    Mustangshelly Adventurer...hardly

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    630
    Location:
    Mt. Hood
    And so it begins...the motorcycle ride of morons. Really? You are so proud of being stuck out in the middle of nowhere, in the snow, after dark.
    #17
  18. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,286
    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow
    I don't expect everyone to understand....
    #18
  19. Rockcat

    Rockcat LDA

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    383
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Especially your wife...:rofl
    #19
  20. Ladukebob

    Ladukebob lost in hood river

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,322
    Location:
    Hood River, Or.

    You new here? :lol3
    #20