Monday, October 13, 2014

Road trip 2014 - First Stop: Oak Ridge, Oregon

After weeks of preparation, countless hours of planning and a couple years dreaming of a fall bike trip in the south west, we are finally on the road. The van, Stella, is decked out and ready for the three of us to call her home for the next four weeks. We are hitting all the classic riding spots along the way, extending the beautiful summer that we have had in Bellingham. John has pulled out all the stops and everything is to the nines.

 The first stop of Oak Ridge, OR, was a days drive from our home base of Bellingham, WA. We had never been there but when we mentioned it to people they insisted that we make the trek. We pulled into town and hit the Oak Ridge bike shop,  picked their brains about riding, conditions, camping and the sorts. From there we headed to what seemed to be the one happening spot in town besides the Burger King for dinner and a pint the local brew pub, Brewers Union Local 180. The beer is a worthy stop on its own, they offer traditional English style beers. We met a lovely couple that were passing through from Bend on their way to Coos Bay to go crabbing with their families for the weekend.

The first ride, The Alpine Trail, of the trip was a shuttle offered by Oregon Adventures. We had never done something commercial like this but figured it was the way to experience the most trail. It was totally worth it. We ended up ridding 20+ miles of alpine downhill. The trail was swooping, fast and fun through meadows, old growth forests and alpine rivers. We took Lucy with us this ride and she did awesome, all 20 miles.  The shuttle was full with about 8 other people. A couple from Whistler on their way to LA. A father and son who meet up each summer and ride together. And a few other guys who all wanted to hear about the riding in our area. We ended up really enjoying and riding with the father and son. When the ride was over we stopped and sat down with them for a bite and ended up talking for hours. The ride ended and spit us out right through the above covered bridge and in the parking lot was a great little bed and breakfast that served beer and sandwiches. We partaken - of course.

 From there we drove further east to Waldo Lake, which is breathtakingly scenic, peaceful and alpine. All of the above photos. We camped here a night and woke at first light to ride to the Twin Peaks trail. Epic trail. Do it.
I toted our favorite local beers and the last cucumbers from the our garden.

The view from the back seat of the van at sunset.

John toted the Uke on the trip and plays while I drive.

We were thoroughly impressed by the fast fun nature of the trail and the amazing view from the top of Twin Peaks. I opted not to summit the peak because it looked like a huge hike a bike over and scree surf on the descent. Hindsight and scoping out the descent it looked totally doable and fun. Next time. 

 There will be a net time, Oak Ridge, Oregon is awesome and totally worth the stop for a few days of great riding.

Just bringing it all back to earth, we are driving an 80's van. Day one the lights for the spedmeter went out. John is good at problem solving in German.

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