Saturday, March 3, 2018

Blyn Lasso

February was an incredibly busy month. Had one of the best trips of my life in the Philippines (will blog about that soon) picked up a very intense strain of the flu during a layover in Korea. Then once I got back to Port Townsend Alexis and I began our move to another part of town. I did not get to ride nearly as much as I would have liked to in February, but March has started off with a bang! 

The Blyn Lasso
On paper the numbers don't look terribly impressive, but the Olympics are a beast
Notice how the elevation changes are so spiky! Tons of hike a bike on this route.

Bob and I started this ride around 9
No real plans or destination
Once at Eaglemount we elected to get some more food and start exploring

By random happenstance we ran into one of our favorite people:

Tim Stone: PCT hiker, Saxophonist, minimalist adventurer
The timing was perfect, we didn't even plan on coming this way originally!

While Bob & I ate lunch/gathered provisions
Tim grabbed his bike and all 3 of us we were off into uncharted territory!

We wanted to explore the PNT from Disco bay

The section that we took was short, but very pleasant and scenic
Massive red-tailed hawk greeted us!
(all shots are with my 35mm prime, no zoom)

From Disco bay it was all a climb
These are the power lines from the other side of the photo at the top



Right here I was marveling at how well these waterproof/windproof cycling shoes have been.

What a team!

The road we were following had abruptly stopped.
I thought the ice would support my weight and it did.

Until it didn't!
Immediately my body was shocked, took a huge involuntary gasp of air!
For the next few hours I was running on adrenaline.
Rang out my socks and dumped out my boots but my feet were pretty cold.
My standard kit in the winter is 3 fleece polyester layers
my legs weren't too bad, but we still had a ways to get off this mountain.
This was just about the half-way point

Fortunately these huge fresh cougar prints led us on a tough way out.

The road from this point was some tough hike a biking.
Fallen trees made riding impossible and huge trenches forced us to lift our bikes
This was the most physically tiring portion of the Journey.
The toughest mental portion was ahead.

I did try riding some of it just to get my feet off the snow
bike did pretty okay considering!

Just about to Snow Creek road!
On the map it looks like smooth downhill sailing to Blyn.
We were in for a surprise though!

After this my resolve to take photos had waned.

Once we got to snow creek road it was completely covered in a crust of ice and wet snow. We were losing sunlight in a hurry and we still needed to get off this mountain. We went as fast as we could given the conditions. It felt like a mix of skiing, biking, and gambling. The descent was as terrifying as it was cold for me. My right foot wasn't doing so well, and while I knew I wasn't anywhere near the danger of frostbite (thank goodness my boots are windproof) it still wasn't a great sensation slowly losing feeling in your toes. Eventually we could feel warmer air surround us as we got closer to sea level and snow creek road had finally thawed. 

From there it was a glorious descent all the way to Blyn where we found salvation at a gas station. A local donated a pair of socks to me and I folded bob's arm warmers over my toes. We ate a 4,000 calories of food between us, sang along to Billy Joel that was blasting through the speakers, then biked the 12 miles on the Olympic Discovery Trail back to Disco Bay.

Moon was huge and orange!

The trail ended right where we met up with Tim.
We were Triumphant!

A great ending to a totally spontaneous bicycle adventure.










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