Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Out past Springwood Ranch

Started a lentil soup before I left
I can't say enough good things about lentil soup

Northern Harrier


Warmest ride since October
really put into perspective how long winter was
first time this year I just needed one layer and no gloves

leftovers from the other day for lunch

Don't photograph fish that often
that grey cloud is a school of them


they were in this irrigation ditch

So green this time of year

Springwood Ranch

Along the Yakima River on the John Wayne Trail


Bald Eagle on the River


Landed in another tree
Wind Turbine in the background

Tunnel 47 is closed till mid April spoke to the foreman


Everything in this picture
was once owned by the founder of Black Angus




Silo


Turkey feather
I like the grass growing through it



Feels great to be thawed out


Cool little crack in the rocks



Some deer on the way home

Soups on

26.34 miles primarily on the John Wayne
Smoothest the trail has been since October


Monday, March 27, 2017

John Wayne's Lasso! - 71.67mi w/3,754ft of elevation

Kinda made a graveyard of snacks for ride food,
this and 3 liters of water was all I needed though.


Started before sunrise
so many animals at that time, 
poor lighting so I can't capture them on camera
I saw a barn owl, great horned owl, vole, rabbit,
marmot, deer, numerous waterfowl, chukar, quail, etc

After being in London it was refreshing to bask in the silence of this sunrise


Love this time of year, so many new lives in the valley

little lamb

I-90 was vacant, looked weird

Not the prettiest picture
This is one of the places the county dumps elk/deer from collisions

Finally thawed, so much easier to ride a bike outside of snow

Some equestrians ripped up a huge section though
would have been a lot more rough on a standard mountain bike

one lone elk during this 30 mile stretch
I think the proximity to the Yakima Training Center
keeps animals sparse in this area

So much open space, so much solitude


all those hoof prints, if they had waited a week wouldn't have been as soft.

My track is in the middle
Even though the tires are wide, fat bikes don't leave ruts
the tracks to the left and right are from a conventional mountain bike
Often I'll get asked "but aren't those heavy?"
They are, but for these conditions they're 100% worth it


no matter how many times I reach this tunnel
still kinda creeps me out a smidge


Tunnel 45

Lights are a must, tons of debris in this tunnel
not as clean as the others on this trail system

The other side

This section of trail was pretty rough
next time might bring some clippers and widen it.

Now that the horse tracks are gone it was smooth sailing to the Columbia


This part feels like another planet to me


you can see cutouts for the trail








All this space, and other than the birds
complete silence



11 hours with this seat and no sore spots today


Normally this area is not as green
a couple months from now it will be much more arid



After that large stretch of nothingness you are greeted by the Columbia!



Storm I outran till I had to head back

Had to change into my rain gear
glad I did, it was about to downpour the remaining 35 miles back home


this sign has been up for years

Met this guy, name is Joe from JBLM recent Washington transplant
We BS'ed for awhile, he was going the opposite direction
had a sign so someone could drive him across the vantage bridge
They really need a bike crossing for this section of the Columbia

was nice to talk to someone crazy enough to be out in it!
Made tentative plans for a bikepacking trip later this year.
Awesome to meet new people through a shared love of cycling

Pictures don't capture rain, but I assure you, it was soggy

Atleast it wasn't sweltering hot. . .

Coopers hawk


The hill out of vantage is:
12 miles long
and 2,000 ft high


Someone bought that brand new at one point

The forecast for "light showers" was wrong

Not a lot of native Cacti in the Pacific Northwest, and these are regional
Pediocactus nigrispinus - Hedgehog Cactus
Beautiful flowers when they bloom

This hill never goes by quickly


Once you reach here, the main challenge is done

Looped back on the John Wayne home
(map looks like a lasso)

Rough-Legged Hawk, they will leave the area soon

Still raining

Almost home

And home!


Longest ride of the year, and the start of many more like it