Slow way to view Mount St. Helens in winter

Cold weather was everywhere last weekend, even in the usually warm Mt. St. Helens region, so I decided to check out the small SnoPark north of St. Helens: Wakepish. It seemed like a splendid idea as it would have been 9 miles on snowmobile trails to a nice viewpoint. However, upon leaving Randle, the gateway town to the north of St. Helens, the road, NF-25, was not really plowed and I either had to leave my car right there, or find a different place to ride my bike.

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My cold from a few days earlier didn’t seem bad, so after consulting google maps, I decided to just ride from here.

So, in the wee hour of 8:20 am, I started riding the 18 miles to the SnoPark.
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I checked out a side road and saw a few elk meandering about.
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After a few diesel pickup trucks towing trailers with snowmobiles passed me, I arrived at the Snopark just in time to witness the warming of their engines. The stench is beyond real.
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Nevertheless, snowmobiles are the things that I rely on to compact the snow for me on NF-99 to Windy Ridge – which a few had done. Yay! So, I should be thankful.

The 5% grade was just rideable the 5 miles to the first viewpoint, called Bear Meadows. If there would have been a viewpoint any earlier, I would have turned around then. But, trees line the entire way and hardly anything can be seen off to the sides.
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Very nice.

I think my cold is getting worse. After putting all my warm clothes on, it was time to head back down, hopefully twice as fast as I had creeped up here.

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Towards the end, the ride back got quite painful, where there are about 5 miles and 300 feet of elevation gain to be had.

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The price for this ride was a bit high at 2 days sick in bed the next days.

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2 Responses to Slow way to view Mount St. Helens in winter

  1. brrrr but beautiful\

    Lee

  2. 2wheeltrails says:

    This was the most exhausting trip, yet. Sometime, I’ll need to learn to turn around before I am tired. And to wear a 2nd pair of tights when its’ 20F all day.

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