Dust. The word of the day today was dust. Not sand. Sand doesn’t make you filthy, but dust that sticks to everything, makes everything on your bike creak, and makes the going slow, but goable.
We froze our little patooties off on the coast down to Lake Creek Lodge, and then had to wait 15 minutes for them to open for breakfast. It was worth the wait and we filled our bellies with goodness.
We talked to a couple staying at the lodge who rode and told us that the Metolius-Windigo trail that we were planning on taking, while loved by horsey-people, was ‘soft, but doable.’
They weren’t lying, and after checking out the headwaters of the Metolius River gushing out of the side of a hill, we proceeded to climb nearly a thousand feet on soft, but ridable trail. I just had to stay far enough back to avoid getting completely dusted out.
We ditched packs and camping gear in the woods just shy of the road to the Black Butte lookout and started riding up the road, expecting a similarly empty trek as yesterdays. We were more than a bit confused when we got passed by several cars and found a parking lot full of them at the top. The two mile hike to the top at 6,500 feet had lots of people on it too. I guess I did pull it from the 16 Best Hikes in Central Oregon.
The view from the top was impressive stretching from Broken Top to the south, to the Three Sisters, Washington, Jefferson, Hood, and then Adams in the distance. Oregon’s got a pretty good lineup of volcanos going.
We jogged back down to the bikes, coasted back to our packs, and enjoyed french fries from Clear Creek Lodge in the shade of a tree. It was roasting out.
The M-W trail continued to be sandy, but for the most part, fun. Not a trail I’d put in my Top 10 places to ride, but it so nicely connected where we were to where we wanted to be, which was Sisters. The last 6 miles to town were on the Sisters Tie Trail, which, as far as fun ways to get to town go, was amazing. Never have I ridden a buffer, flatter, or easier trail…while staying entertaining.
We found Sisters to be a little more upscale than Oakridge with no cheap motels, so we charged our devices first over smoothies and milkshakes and then over pizza. I’m starting to understand the appeal of dynamo hubs…Then we loaded the bikes up with some food and drinks, and a massive amount of water, and headed south. 3 miles out of town on a flat and fast trail network, we’re happily nested in among the trees and a (nearly?) full moon.
Tomorrow is going to be hotter than today, so we’re going to make a run for a lake to spend the hot-hours swimming, then on towards Mt Bachelor and the South Sister.