May 12, Echo Ridge, Chelan, Wa.

New trail - Switchback Alley!  Across the street from the rope tow, there is a new climbing/descending trail that takes you up to The Shoe.  Good stuff.   Light rain all morning, before our ride, made for most excellent trail conditions.  We also checked out Dust to Glory, new last summer.  Still trying to dial in the best loop up top, but Minor Threat to The Shoe and Switchback Alley made for a great descent.  15 miles.



May 11, Stairway to Heaven, Wenatchee Canyon #2

Going Up

Going Down
Another beautiful day in Wenatchee.   Rode up Stairway to Heaven, up the road a little, down Road Rage, up the road to Waterslide, down trail, then back up road to the top of Stairway to Heaven for the rollercoaster ride home.  After the ride, we headed to Lake Chelan to stay for two nights with Pat & Larry at the Lake Chelan Shores resort.  11.77 miles.

April 30, Tumalo Ridge to Skyliner

Broken Top
Day number Five.   Swung by the bike shop to get a USFS pass to park up Skyliner Rd.  Bike shop dude, who we have probably seen every day, asked if we were taking the day off?  Nope, just getting a later and later start.  Yes, the legs are getting a little tired after over 100 miles of singletrack riding.  Today we parked at the Skyliner Parking area, up skyliner road.  Headed out Tumalo Creek trail for about a mile to the intersection with the Tumalo Ridge Trail.  Started climbing a nice, narrow singletrack.  This eventually dumped us on a double-track climb to the ridge and the junction at the Swede Ridge Shelter.  Reached the shelter at about 5 miles. Nice views of Broken Top Mt. from the shelter(primarily winter cross country shelter).  Headed towards Swampy Shelter.  After a couple of miles, started hopping logs.   After about twenty logs we turned tail and headed downhill.
Francine at Swede Ridge Shelter


Made it back to the Swede Shelter intersection, and headed toward town on Sector 16.  This trail skirts some private property, and swoops and curves thru the trees.  Did we say that the trails are super dry?  There is no snow anywhere, and we were again at the 6000 foot level.  Descended on Upper Whoops.  Long, flowy descent for a couple of miles.  We like that this was more old-school, without all the built up berms and jumps.  Went left onto Skyliner for the ride back to the car.  Trails are in great shape, but are really dry.  Bend really needs some rain.  19 miles.

More singletrack goodness.

Cogwild Shuttle - Tiddlywinks - Storm King - Deschutes River Trails

Today, we paid for the 10:30am Cogwild Shuttle to the Wanoga Sno Park.  $15 per person.  Today would be an easy day.  Only 20.5 miles, mostly downhill.  Climbed slightly on Tiddlywinks to the descent on Tiddlywinks.  Went right on Storm King to the river.   We are usually here in later June, and Storm King was in the best condition I have seen.  At the end of Storm King, went left on the road for about 100 yards to an unmarked right on an old road turned to trail.  Rode down this for about a mile to the river.  Had a snack at the boat launch near Lava Island.  Then we coasted out on Deschutes River Trail.  We usually have about 25-30 hard miles under our legs, and the little climbs on the river trail usually seem much more difficult. Then we climbed to Hwy 46 to Marvin Gardens to C.O.D. to West Campbell Street.  Rode down thru this neighborhood to the entrance to our lodging at Mt Bachelor Village Resort.

April 28, Mrazek Trail


Mrazek


We thought we were going to have a small day, but ended being out 7 hours and rode 28 miles.  We started at Shevlin Park and chose to ride the pavement up valley for 2 miles, instead of the trail(easy warm-up).  At the end of the park, we switchbacked our way out of the park up to the flatter middle-ring rip, heading to Happy Valley.  We were hoping to make it to the Farewell Trail, as reports claimed that the snow was gone.  Unfortunately, the trail still needs one more work party to clear out blown over trees.  We came to the first blowdown and kept going.  30 blown over trees, and we were still a 1/2 mile shy of the Farewell trail intersection.  At 14 miles we decided we had hopped over enough trees and made the decision to turn around.  This was an easy decision, since we had no intention of going down  the short and steep Farewell trail.  Mrazek trail was looking far too sweet not to retrace our ascent.   Once we turned around and hopped over trees for a mile we were on a 13 mile rollercoaster back to Shevelin Park.  We typically ride Bend on Father's day.  Here we are two months early and we are seeing less snow than we typically see in June.  Trails are snowfree and dry.   They could be a tad damper, but I can not complain because the trails have pretty much been in perfect condition.  Trail is still firm and traction is great!   The corners and berms were still intact, and weren't soft and blown out.  We had an amazing fast, flowy, incredible descent.

Two Bull Fire, 2014

April 27, Tyler's Traverse, Bend Or.

View of Mt. Bachelor from the bench on Dinah-Moe Humm trail

A low snow year means we can bike higher in April than in a normal year.  We have ridden out this far from town before, with the "Bob campouts" in late June, where we ride from camp, but we wanted more energy to enjoy the trails, so we drove out to the new parking area at the junction of Storm King and Cascade Lakes Highway 46, near intersection 32.  We rode out Storm King to climb Tiddlywinks to Kiwa Butte trail.  Descended Kiwa Butte trail.  At the end, we did an out-and-back on Dinah- Moe Humm trail to the viewpoint with a bench.  After lunch, we turned around and made our way back to Tyler's Traverse.  Descended both the upper and lower sections of Tyler's Traverse. This is a seriously long descent!  Awesome new addition to the Bend trail network.  It was so long had to stop multiple times to rest. At the bottom, we climbed the shady doubletrack uphill route on Tyler's to the Steve Larsen intersection.  We turned right and headed down Steve Larsen to Tiddlywinks to Storm King and back to the car.  Low miles day, considering these are "Bend miles" at 27 miles.  Nice 77 degrees today.  Fun to ride new trails to us.  Really nice loop, except for the climb up tiddlywinks(Funner might have been an easier climb, but was 4 miles longer.)  Both Tylers, and Larsen Traverse were super sweet downhills.  Ahem, can I say that again.   Long, fast, and flowy.

Francine on Tyler's traverse trail

Kevin

Still going down on Tyler's

Rocks

April 26, Phils Trails, Bend Or.

Planned to head to Whistler, but with forecasts for rain and 50 degree weather, we decided to head South to sunshine and 70 degree weather.   After driving to Bend, we biked over to Pine Mt. Sports for the latest mountain bike map.   We then headed to Phil's trailhead for a great evening loop.  Ended up doing about 16 miles.

April 25, Moto Taneum


Vic waves for the camera.  Excellent day at Taneum.   Dirt was moist and tacky.   At high elevations we got a dusting of new snow, but otherwise all the lower trails were in good shape and snow free.  

April 23, Sage Again, Wenatchee


Still good.   Worth the drive.  

April 18, Rosy Boa, Leavenworth, Wa.

Francine - Rosy Boa Trail

Finally made it to the "Ski Hill" in Leavenworth to check out what they have been doing to link the town side of the ridge to the Freund Canyon area.   New trail last year, "For the Boys", contours out of the Ski Hill cross country area up to a nice viewpoint where "Rosy Boa" finishes.   At this junction they have a rising traverse that takes you to the bottom third of the Freund Canyon downhill.   This old road "Freund descent" was put back in service for logging last year, but efforts have been made to decommision the road, add berms, and generally make it more trail like.   From the bottom of the downhill we put it in low gear and started the trudge to the top of Freund.   After a little over a mile the road switched over to narrow, singletrack, albeit steep singletrack, that climbed the shady backside of the ridge.   At the top we headed down upper Freund downhill for about half a mile, which was in great shape.   At the next junction we headed right to Rosy Boa.   Trail drops off edge of road, easy to miss.   Evidently this ridge trail has been around for a while, but has had several new sections benched into the steep hillside.   Francine walked a couple of the steep switchbacks.   Fun to do a new trail, but sure dropped elevation quick.  The Freund Canyon loop has never been a favorite, but looks like the locals are steadily working to make it better.   Really nice to be able to start at the ski hill.   With stronger legs, it would be nice to do a double loop incorporating the whole Freund downhill with Rosy Boa.  11.9 miles.

Rosy Boa

Still on Rosy Boa

April 10, Sage Hills, Wenatchee

We try to hit Sage Hills early in the season, when the hills are still green.  The entire area is shut down over the winter to protect the mule deer.  We missed the April 1 opening, but the trails were still in stellar condition.  It's hard to believe how green these "brown" hills above Wenatchee become in the spring.  The Balsam root (yellow flower) and Lupine were in full bloom.  We started on fifth avenue, "Lester Trail", at the southwest corner of Wenatchee and worked our way up onto the ridge tops.  We managed to find a couple, new to us, trails.  Always a great ride - Sage Hills 17.5 miles.

Francine climbs on "Homestead Trail". Trail snakes down the hillside

Mule deer check us out.  Lot's of deer.

Francine with the Stuart range in the distance

Headed down on Lightning Creek trail

Full Bloomage!

Classic shot of the gulley crossing on the bottom section of "Lone Fir" trail.


April 9, Moto in the backyard

I have been out on the ktm quite a bit this spring.  What else to do when there is no snow?   Took Francine up to Windy Pass today.

Francine at Windy Pass

Snow - dusting up high

Ran out of dirt on North side of Lake Keechelus.

April 2, Rat Pack

Rat Pack - trail a little wet, but good shape.

View of Mt. Stuart from Cle Elum Ridge

Sun Mar 22, Campbell Mountain - Penticton BC

Francine above the town of Penticton BC and Okanagan Lake.  On the way to the Dairy Queen bench.

Today is our last day and we head home from our Ski/Bike vacation.  Kevin has to work tomorrow.  We are so glad we brought our bikes.  The rain we  have had in the mornings has made for powder conditions on the trails.  Everything has been damp, tacky dirt.  If we come back, we will never have it this good.  If you can't have powder on the ski hill, then let's have it on the trails.

Kevin was a little tired when he woke up on this sunny morning, and wanted to skip riding and just head home.  Francine was having none of that.  She insisted on doing a little ride then.  We decided to hit Campbell Mountain, right in Penticton.

Drove out the road to the dump, which was sure busy.  We were wondering if it was opening weekend or free dump day.  Luckily some guys were getting ready for a ride, or we might have missed the parking on the side of the road.  They pointed out the red M?????? gate that we ride thru.  I assume a nice, private property owner, that allows biking.  Can we also mention that everyone in Canada is soooo friendly.  We could have ridden with these 3 guys, but we weren't quite ready.  They were on a time schedule, and we were kind of tired.

Made our way up hill for a bit before we realized we forgot both the paper map and Francine's cell phone which had a map on it.  Oh well, we would be riding blind.  Neither of us wanted to ride back down to the car.  So, we made our way out "Reservoir Road" and did some route finding after hitting "Tower Road" going straight up.  We found a tiny trail that started switchbacking up, and realized we were on "Sufferin to DQ", a nice, narrow trail.  DQ stands for the Dairy Queen bench on a lookout/ 3 way intersection viewpoint.  Stopped here to admire the view and eat a bar.  Next, we went left thru the dip and started climbing on "Chicken Noodle trail", another buff, narrow trail, to the top to the radio stations and Tower Road.  Without a map and no trail signage, we weren't sure where the trails were or if we would get stuck on a super steep trail, so we backtracked on "Chicken Noodle trail" to the first intersection heading down.  Here we saw another super friendly Canadian, who said that would be a fun downhill.  We thought she called it Chico's downhill.  Later, at the parking area, we found out we misunderstood the girl with her Canadian accent and it is actually called "She Goes Down".  This was a damp, tacky, narrow, bermed, downhill ride.  It crossed Tower Road and continued the fun romp down the hill.  At an intersection, we went right to hit a jump park.  At the end, we climbed back up the road to find our trail.  At this point, we ended up on a wider trail, more likely "Campbell Downhill".  This descended to the Tower Road we had been at earlier in of the day, and retraced out steps back to the car.  Awesome ride.  6.87 miles.

Now we head home to the Pass, where we are sure it will be raining.


Francine reaches the Dairy Queen Bench

Downhill fun



Sat, March 21 - Bike Summerland, BC, trails off of "Trout Creek Trestle off the KVRailway

Nice narrow trail.

 Saturday - woke up to morning rain again.  Took a hot tub and decided to stay another night.  We opted for an unnamed ride in Summerland.  A random web post gave vague directions to a trail that headed right, after crossing the Trout Creek Trestle off the Kettle Valley Railway trail.  Turns out that a train runs tourists to this trestle bridge in the Summer.
Happiness on the sweet downhill narrow trail we were looking for.

Trails were definitely not marked, and route finding was challenging without a map.  Motorcycles ride here, and some of the trails were quite wide, due to the motos riding around the mud puddles.  Dirt was perfect for our riding.

At one point, the trail ended in an open meadow.  We wanted to head towards home, and not extend the ride too much, and ended up riding road for about a mile.  Climbed up to a bluff with no apparent way down.  Had to sort of backtrack to the last road/trail we were on by riding cross-country (no trail) downhill.  Hit the road/trial were were previously on, and luckily found the bike trail we wanted to somehow find.  Had a sweet downhill, climbed over the shoulder of another hill, and had another sweet downhill.

Day ended up great.  Dirt was perfect and tacky.  Wish there would have been more info on the internet for route finding.  Great place to explore, as there are numerous trails.  14.55 miles.

Fri, March 20 - Bike Kelowna, BC, "Smith Creek" trails



Today, Friday, we check out of our unit at SilverStar Ski Resort.  Maddie made us pancakes. The Weber clan got the car packed and were out the door by an impressive 8:30am.  Jimmy was fully enclosed in suitcases and gear in the way back of the Landcruiser.  Gone are the days when all 3 kids fit in one row of seats.

Kevin and Francine were planning on mountain biking Ellison Provincial Park in Vernon.  We woke up to a couple of inches of snow on the mountain.    Remember, we brought our mountain bikes on this trip, due to the funky ski season.  We finally made it out of the house around 10am.  On the way down the hill, we stopped in the Sky Ride bike shop and Francine bought a couple pairs of shorts and Kevin bought a bike jersey.  We stopped at the next store, Attridge Sports, and Kevin got new Snowboard boots and bindings.  Turns out that the sales person helping us was the manager of the Silver Star Bike Park.  We may have to come back to ride the park in 2016, after they finish adding a 35Kilometer cross country trail called Beowolf(sp?)

When we left the store, it was raining again, so we canned plans to ride in Vernon and made our way south to Kelowna to ride the Smith Creek trail system.

Kevin jumping near the top at a major intersection.



Met Paul Hoyne, a brewery startup consultant at the trailhead, and he joined us for our ride.  We grunted up the "Gruel Climb" trail to what we thought was the top, around 7 miles.  Looped down to an intersection we had seen earlier.  Here, Kevin opted for the direct downhill trail "Feel the Love".  Paul and Francine chose to descend the same trail we climbed.  Sweet trail system and trails were in perfect shape do to the rain in the morning.  12.55 miles.

Paul Hoyne with Francine on his heels.  Kevin stopped to catch us where our meandering trial intersected his downhill trial.


On to Summerland (just north of Penticton BC) to get a room for the night.

March 14 - 19, Ski Silver Star, Vernon BC

Jack in the terrain park

Saturday, 3/14 - Nice sunny day.  The backside runs have been icy, so they haven't been grooming the Black and Double Black runs.  But, with the warmth, they actually groomed Holy Smokes (black).  Conditions were chilly, and before heading to the backside, we had to warm up at the Paradise Camp hut.  It was weird to see no one inside, as in the past, it was always packed.  We also hit Minerva's (black) which was real soft and smooth.  Nice groomer day, with light crowds.  Good thing they had a Freeride Competition and a Bumps Competition this weekend to bring people to the hill.

Weber Clan at the top of the Alpine Meadows Chair


Sunday, 3/15 - Cold and Clear.  All the warm slushy snow set up, making for a firm day.  Had to stay on the groomers.  Maddie skied from the unit, rode the baby chair, Silver Queen, skied to the bottom of the Comet Express, rode that and went home.  The rest us of  checked the groomer report and took note of the groomed runs.  The backside groomers were nice.  Made a mistake and followed Jack on El Dorado, but it had sweet grooming and faster snow than Saturday.  Turns out it was the only groomed run to the bottom of the Putnam Express.

Jim, Jack and Maddie

Kevin and Francine

Monday, 3/16 - Sunny, and we got 3 centimeters of snow, which made for real nice conditions on the groomers.  We thought today would be quieter than the weekend, which was quite sleepy.  But, apparently everyone arrived on Sunday, and came out today.  Apparently, Ontario and Vancouver are all on spring break.  I guess we were spoiled over the weekend with the empty slopes.  The ungroomed runs with the inch of fresh snow skied alright.  After lunch at the condo, we headed to the backside to hit all the groomers.  Since Wee Willie was so fun on Sunday, we hit it again.  Unfortunately, Francine crashed on the shaded, icy corner, and ended her ski week.  No swelling, but pain behind the knee in the ski boot with forward pressure.

Tuesday, 3/17 - Sunny again.  Firm in the morning and softer later in the day.

Wednesday, 3/18 - Ran down the hill to the town of Vernon for some supplies, and everyone hit the slopes for the 12:30pm afternoon ticket for soft runs.  Everyone enjoyed getting off the groomers to hit the bumps off-piste.

Thursday, 3/18 - Last day.  New snow overnight.  3 centimeters and snow throughout the day.  Temps were a bit warm, with rain at the bottom of the Putnam Express.  Snow in the village and condo, which made for sticky snow.  Francine did the Maddie drill from Sunday, and snuck onto the baby chair-Silver Queen and Comet Express to call it quits for the day.  Luckily we can ski home from the top of the Comet.  The best run of the morning was Split Decision, the run back to the condo for lunch.  Jack, Len, Kris, Maddie and Kevin went back out after lunch.  Might be our last skiing for a while.

We check out of our unit Friday morning.  Thanks to Len/Kris, we all had a sweet ski-in,  ski-out unit in the Ridge development.


Kris with Jim in back
 
Fresh snow, rare sight this year.

March 13, Penticton B.C. Mountain Biking??




Off to find snow.  We were headed to Silver Star Mountain in Vernon, BC to ski for the week with Kristin/Lenny and the three kids, Maddie, Jack and Jim.  Jim is on spring break from University of Idaho.  Maddie flew in from New York.   And Jack is in Seattle.

Had a nice easy drive on Friday, March 13th.  With warm and dry temperatures predicted for our week, we brought the mountain bikes.  We hit Penticton BC around 4pm, and made it to the Poplar Grove parking lot to ride the "3 Blind Mice" trail system by 4:30pm.  Rode the Lookout Loop for 11 fun miles in 2.5 hours.  The trails were skinny and fun.  They worked the terrain to include techy rock sections with great smooth dirt.  Not sure how they would be in mid-summer, but they were great today.


From the parking lot, rode the Kettle Valley Railway for half a mile.  Then hit Ridlle Road and climbed to the Pearly Gate trail head.  Managed to find the Lookout Loop markers and followed these for our whole ride.  Once we made our initial jeep road climb, we found the trails to be well marked.

White Tail to Mice to Three Witches to Cougar to Bobcat to Lynx to our far point at about 7 miles where the trail made a turn back to the car.  We hit Yellow Brick road to Three Witches to Narnia to Jack&Jill.  Turned around on Jack&Jill and rode back to Narnia to Roller Coaster to Three Witches to Tsweet Tsue. Down Riddle Road to the KVRailway to car.

Tsweet Tsue had corners similar to Flowtron at Tokul West, which caused Francine to do some walking.  Kevin thought the corners were a blast.  Great trail system, and we only covered a very small portion of the lower part of the "3 Blind Mice" trail system, maybe 15%.  We had great views of the lake.  Seems like it would be brutally hot in the summer.  Looks like we started at 557 Meters and climbed to 820 Meters.

Jumped in the car and after a funky dinner in Penticton, made our way to the condo in Silver Star by 9:30pm to meet Kris and Jim.  Len, Jimmy and Maddie flew into Kelowna, and had an eventful trip via a cab driver that could not find the house.  I think he drove them around the village for about 40 minutes.

Soaring Eagle

Hooked up with my sister, Kris, nephew Jack and their dog Ziggy for nice ride at Soaring Eagle park on the Sammamish plateau.