I haven't done that ride personally but friends of mine have (and are doing it again). We pre-rode the course just 2 weeks ago and its a fantastic scenic ride! I would love to "compete" but rides like that I prefer to enjoy on my own time/pace. They just booked a room at Packwood inn since you don't have to get up super early and drive to the start. Enjoy the ride!
2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom, 1985 Univega Gran Turismo; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
I did it 3 years ago and really enjoyed it. Do be careful on the descents - some pretty sketchy road surfaces (cracks, potholes, etc.). The organizers will mark the worst flaws w/paint but they won't catch them all.
I just registered for the HPC last night. Hasn't sold out yet. I also did the Randle to Windy Ridge ride JazzyRider referred to a few weeks back. The HPC is similar but adds one hill and a lot of flat-ish miles.
I'm thinking about going to pre-ride the full HPC route either tomorrow (Saturday) or Monday if anyone is interested in joining me. One last big push for endurance training before the actual event and a test to see if I have any chance of finishing in 7 hours for the "gold" award.