Today there was no hiking. There were no hot springs. But! But there was a hot meal. Actually, two hot meals. While ‘full’ still isn’t how I’d describe myself, reaching Lemolo Lodge has at least ended the low-grade hunger that has been gnawing since mid-day yesterday when we did an assessment of our food stores and decided we didn’t have to bail to Oakridge for resupply. All in the name of a pure loop…or something like that.
I woke up stupid-early because, well, I was hungry. I figured laying there wasn’t going to make me any less hungry, so I started the toss-and-turn routine sure to wake Scott up. He wasn’t happy about it…seeing that it was pre-6am.
Everything was soaked in dew…which made no sense since we were sitting at the top of a mountain. Dripping wet everything, nearly as bad as our rainy night. There may have been a little bit of longing for the desert for me…
We pedaled nice dirt roads to the Warner Peak lookout, futzed around in the sun for a little bit, and then headed to the Moon Stone (Moonshine?) singletrack. We knew nothing besides that it dropped steeply.
It was, in summary, 3,000 feet of fairly to moderately steep descending on beautifully smooth trail. But it was a brake-burner for sure, and my front brake has developed a ear-piercing scream, which is pretty awesome when you have to use it for the vast majority of a descent. We found that if I doused it with water, it’d shut up for a few minutes, but I did a good job of warning any wild life that we were coming.
The trail was definitely awesome.
From there, the plan was to climb up the Middle Fork of the Willamette river for as long as it was fun and then bail to roads for another 2,500+ climb. Originally, we had a 12 mile hike/run scoped out, but food stores weren’t going to allow that to happen.
Riding through the trees was fun for about two hours…and then I started to miss views. When the trail deteriorated after the Swift River crossing (bridge is still out but the river is crossable) we took our quickest exit and proceeded to prepare for our dance party.
Long road climbs go far better when we can each listen to our own music, get into our own climbing rhythm, and get the thing done. Sometimes we dance together.
We celebrated at the top by eating the last of our Fritos. We ate our last Cliff Bar (I bought two Cliff Bars because I knew things would have to be pretty dire before I dug into them) on the rollers and our last M&M’s once we hit the pavement by the lake. We’d hoped to ride part of the Umpqua Trail, but a fire had the section closed. Bummer.
We rolled into Lemolo Lake Resort and promptly ordered two giant burgers with fries. We also got ourselves a cozy little cabin so that we could get some internet-y stuff done, charge batteries on all devices, and decide where to go next.
Once sitting, we discovered the obvious: Our legs are feeling a little toasty after three pretty big days of adventuring. Hopefully a night between sheets will prove to have magic powers.