Getting up late for this ride is a bad idea. And by late, I mean 6 am. But, that’s what I did. By the time I started riding it was 9.30 am, knowing full well that it takes at least 12 hours to finish this ride from last year.
There are now 10 miles along Lake Crescent that are paved. Such a weird way to spend millions of dollars: replacing a wide smooth-ish hiking trail under trees with a wide gravel road covered mostly in tarmac – lots of trees gone. Lots of character lost – who wants to hike on pavement for 5 miles? Turns out, no-one. All the hikers drive to the absolute farthest point they can, then walk the last < 1 miles. And who was out there biking? 2 people on ebikes and me. Really?! The lack of consideration to create an immersive outdoor experience is sad.
Enough of the rant. The ride is actually pretty good if you don’t know what you’re missing. The fun stuff being the “Adventure section” of the ODT and the Mt. Muller loop. – perhaps not the push up Mt. Muller.
The smoke forecast had Saturday looking good for the Olympic Peninsula, and was able to snap some good pictures this time – much much better luck then last year when the smoke clouds were so thick that it got dark!
I had stocked up on ferry food:
Here are a few of the last remains of the fun singletrack along Lake Crescent, which also appear to be in process of getting paved over.
Note the pavement below:
More ferry food:
First good view from the Mt. Muller ridge line:
So many pretty meadows.
The trail weaves between a dark forest and alpine meadows.
A wee bit late in the day, but so much downhill goodness about to come.
Lake Crescent below. Oh yes, there was more climbing before it goes down for good.
With 15 miles left, the sun is setting on the Olympic Discovery Trail.
Shortly after taking this picture, the pack of instant coffee that I took on an empty stomach did a number on me. Feeling too dizzy to ride, I had to sit for long periods of time while inhaling carbs. After a half hour (it seemed like an eternity!), my body stabilized and I could ride again. Though, feeling on the verge of throwing up because I ate too much.
After 13 hours, 45 min, I was back at the car. Woo hoo! I was feeling ready to ride more, instead drove back home for 3 hours. That’d be 2 am.
I was very glad that I did this ride on Saturday, as the smoke forecast for the next day was very bad: