Are we allowed to show pics from rides that weren't in the immediate past...? I did this one back in September, and I wasn't terribly happy with the cell phone pics, so I never posted anything about it. Now, in the dead of winter, though, standards are a bit more lax. I was looking through the files from the cell phone for something else, saw these, felt a bit nostalgic, and thought I'd share, despite the mediocre quality.
One fine day, I put the bike on top of the car, drove up the I-90, parked at the Pratt Lake trailhead, and unloaded the bike. I rode through the picnic area and then up forest service road 58, over the pass, down under the freeway, and to the end of the pavement beyond the Gold Creek Pond trail, then through the Alpental ski resort to the Snow Lake trailhead, and back to the car. It wound up being about 25 to 30 miles, and 2,000 feet of climbing ... I was surprised how little elevation gain there was. It was a nice, warm (but not oppressively hot) sunny day, the kind I miss right now.
These roads aren't the world's most scenic, and this wasn't the best time of year to appreciate the scenery here: the snow is melted, and the wild flowers (mostly foxglove at this elevation) are played out. But the ride was a pretty meaningful one for me, because it took me by about a dozen trails I hike regularly.
Case in point ... Franklin Falls is a short, easy hike, and about halfway through, the trail comes within a few feet of the road. So I stopped here, leaned the bike up against a section of fence, and tried to get a picture of the river in the background:
A fun little bridge:
Starting to leave/climb up out of the thicker forest:
Approaching the west side of the pass:
SWEET WATER OF LIFE! I bring a purifier with me on rides like this, and refill my bottles from creeks. Snoqualmie Pass has a ski resort, gas station, convenience store, and coffee stand, so I stopped for a smoothie ... but most of the mountain rides I do don't have that option.
Toward the ski resort:
This is the end of the road. That's a reservoir lake bed on the left - the water level goes up and down:
I was experimenting with fit, and had tried a very Fredly +17 degree stem. I'm not using it any more:
Passengers on the right side of the bike will see the Gold Creek headlands:
This is the worst shot by any photographic standard ... but imagine how much fun these switchbacks were! There are two of them just as the road leaves the forest, and they were a big part of the draw for riding up here in the first place. I went through this one at speed, then came back up to get a photo and to do it again: