Thursday, June 12, 2014

Shred Oregon Day 7: Oakridge Day 1 (welcome to the mtb capital of the NW)

Yup, just like I knew I would, I jumped right back into busy life after we returned from vacation one week ago and I got too busy to finish my posts about our super fun Shred Oregon vacation.  But I will do it!


Day 7 was our transition day to the Oakridge area, about 40 miles southeast of Eugene.  We’ve read magazine articles and Drew has fond? memories of a race in Oakridge from 01 B.L. (1 year Before Lucy) i.e. 2004.  The agenda was to split Eugene and motor to Hardesty Mountain for a big ride, then make Oakridge by dinner.

We didn’t have a map, so my Eagle Scout husband took a screen shot of a trail map he found online so we could look at it on his phone in the deep woods and wrote the important intersections and mileage on a Starbucks napkin. (All this while I uploaded one of these vacation posts while sipping a strong coffee sans grounds.)

Our destination: Hardesty Mountain
The loop started on Goodman Creek trail, a nice single track around a small reservoir and climbing up into the Cascades, crossing Goodman Creek multiple times and winding through deep, lush forest.
The next trail was Eagle’s Rest. More climbing into a gradually dryer ecosystem.
Our first snake of the trip.
After 2 hours of climbing, we connected to Lost Creek trail.  Much drier – almost reminded me of Utah.
The reviews said this trail was park of a rideable loop, but I think that review was written by a dude who shuttles all the time and has bad ass single speed friends, ‘cause ‘twernt ridable for this gal.
Hike-a-bike on Lost Creek trail, near Oakridge, Oregon
After 3 hours of climbing in the forest I was getting tired and claustrophobic.  Once in a while we would get a peek of the terrain.
And then finally this traverse on a super steep mountainside where we could see 180 degrees of the Cascades.

The slope was covered with awesome wildflowers!

We found Sawtooth Ridge trail, and true to its name it followed a ridge so, while we were still climbing, we could ride everything and caught a few nice views along the way.
And then finally the Hardesty Mountain descent.  This was a ripping descent through the thick forest.  We were going so fast and smiling so much that I didn’t want to stop to take pictures, but I made myself rest my hands once or twice.

There were no views on the way down and it was over in about 40 minutes.  If we didn’t like climbing so much (4 hours of it) I would not have been nearly as happy to be done.


 Here's the Garmin file for the ride. You can pan around and change to satellite background for more fun.

Bedding down near Oakridge

Back at the trail head we threw our dirty selves in the van and went to Oakridge in search of beer and an RV park.  Our first choice for lodging, based on its central location in town, turned out to be a haven for meth-heads and possibly a religious sect, so we backtracked out highway 58 to Casey’s Riverside RV Park. We could tell this was a top notch park even with our limited RV park experience.  Large sites, super clean facilities, and a gorgeous setting.
It was a bonus that we were there in time to make up some sausages and drink some local beer while the evening got dark enough to use our happy string lights on the awning.

The cool evening was thoroughly enjoyed by Drew in his new breezy apres riding kilt.

After night fell and supper dishes were cleaned up, it was time for dessert.
  I couldn't stop the doughnut disease. 

With man skirts and VooDoo, I will conclude this post about our introduction to the mountain bike capital of the Northwest.

Oakridge continues next.

No comments:

Post a Comment