Monday, September 17, 2007

Iron Horse Trail

We just completed a little bike ride.

We started in Thorp, WA, on Saturday morning. The day was sunny and clear with temperatures into the low 70's or so. We were riding the Iron Horse Trail (State Park), the old right-of-way for the Milwaukee Road rail service across Washington. Unfortunately for us, someone had been dumping new gravel on the trail and the headwinds were always against us. This made for quite a challenge across almost 40 miles of trail through Cle Elum and into Easton. This photo features one of the tunnels that we rode through on the first day.

Don't get me wrong: it's a great trip and a lovely trail as it winds along the river and through the farming country. But the sheer labor of the trip is daunting - going westward is a hard ride.

After the noble struggle, we had a wonderful dinner and evening in Easton State Park. I recommend getting a camp site closer to the lake and away from the highway.

The next morning, we got up early and had a hearty breakfast. The overcast had come in overnight and the sky was gray. The cooler temperatures made riding a bit easier, the trail was much improved, and even the headwind seemed to give us a break. Well, a little break. We blazed through the first part of the trip up into Snoqualmie Pass and took a rest at Hyak. We were just at the mouth of the Snoqualmie RR Tunnel: 2.3 miles of darkness and cold. A pretty cool ride on a bike, but that 50 degree air just takes it out of you! We came out the western end into more overcast and a trace of rain. The rain mounted as we descended and soon we were wearing those brown stripes and spitting the grit out of our teeth. It's rare that I've wanted fenders on my bike.

I'm afraid my behind got the worst of the trip and I was pretty glad to see the end of the trail. I got out of my sodden clothes and headed home.

Maybe next year we'll do it all again.

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