Monday, September 16, 2013


Portland to Pacific Ocean...2 days

132 miles..4,185 feet climb
5,460 miles total...203,014 feet climb total

A friend, Jerry, from Portland will join me to make the last 130 miles to the Pacific Ocean. This will be the final leg of this adventure.

Week Thirteen

Columbia River to Portland...3 days

212 miles..8,034 feet climb
5,326 miles total...198,134 feet climb total

Gotta love the gentle curves of Columbia River Highway

The Columbia River impoundment is huge with broad and continuous lakes the rest of my way to Portland. Crossing over at Umitilla to Highway 14 on the Washington side, the day's ride will be long with very limited services for 85 miles out of a total of 95. I make good time with little wind and good roads. I begin to look for a shady spot to take a break and have a snack. At mile 60 I spot a grove of Cottonwoods and ride down a short side drive to a level spot. I roll my bike through some scrub brush to enter the shade of the Cottonwoods. It is a pleasant place to relax and snack.

Lake Columbia...

An hour later I begin to mobilize myself to continue on route. As is my habit I check the tires for pressure. They are both flat! There is a single goat head thorn body the size of a small peanut with several menacing spikes radiating of which is embedded in the side wall of my rear tire. Upon pulling it there is the small sound of escaping air.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week Twelve

Missoula, MT to Columbia River...5 days

399 miles..12,680 feet climb
5114 miles total...190,105 feet climb total

I will follow Highway 12 for the better part of five days from Missoula to the Columbia River. Ten days previous while on the way to Glacier NP I was cautioned about a forest fire in the Lolo area that eventually closed Highway 12. I checked with officials in Glacier and followed web-based reports about this growing fire and was prepared to alter my route because it looked like I might not be able to pass. A cool weather front and a little rain brought the needed results and the fire fighters brought the fire into containment over the Labor Day weekend when there were no forest service offices open or updates on the web for me to confirm this result. I continued riding south from Glacier to Missoula with heavy smoke shielding the nearby mountains, not entirely sure what my chances were that the road would be open. There was not a little concern as I passed my last westward option.

Fire line in Lolo National Forest

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Week Eleven

Emigrant, MT to Glacier NP to Missoula, MT...8 days riding & 3 days off

617 miles..21,807 feet climb
4715 miles total...177,424 feet climb total

Beehives to pollinate alfalfa
Very soon upon leaving Yellowstone through the north entrance the landscape opens up. The valley is edged with big mountains spreading wider as the Yellowstone River heads north to join the Missouri. The scale is impressive. To capture this in photos is difficult. This area around Emigrant, MT is not on picture post cards but I am drawn to wander further into its mountains and to know more of its people for the ones I have met intrigue me.