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Leavenworth to Wenatchee and back: from the mountains to the desert (pics)

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Leavenworth to Wenatchee and back: from the mountains to the desert (pics)

Old 06-19-12, 10:11 AM
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Leavenworth to Wenatchee and back: from the mountains to the desert (pics)

It's more of a sagebrush steppe than a true desert. And it comes on slowly, but a big part of that is that the route the ride follows: through the canyons, out on north-facing slopes, etc.

I wouldn't normally have done this one, it's too desert-like for my taste, but a guide-book I got recommended it, and I didn't have a better plan in mind on Sunday.

It was windy like you wouldn't believe. Not just headwinds, either, the crosswinds made the descents a lot less enjoyable. Sometimes the side of the cliff would shelter me, then I'd come around a corner, or out of the trees, and a big gust would hit me sideways. Other times it was constant. But it was humid and cloudy in Seattle, dark and gray, so the wind was a good trade to get some sun.

Anyway, I took the bike out to Leavenworth (where a few other good rides have started) and rode down to Wenatchee and back, mostly on side roads, climbing up and down the hills walling the valley in. I turned around at the Columbia River after I dunked my head to cool down - this is the one BC is named for - at Confluence State Park where it meets the Wenatchee River. I lost the route in the book a few times, but had fun, and I really wish I'd had more time to explore other roads I had to pass up. This wasn't a long climb and then a long descent, like the pass, it was rolling hills and flats, and wildly varied scenery.

The second pic is nothing like my style, but I like it. And the climb was a *****.

Finally, this ride was from a book I got, 75 Classic Rides in WA.




























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Old 06-19-12, 10:11 AM
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Old 06-19-12, 01:03 PM
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Thanks for another excellent ride report. The photos are fantastic and have me wondering what I am doing sitting in a chair right now instead of being out riding. Well done, sir.
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Old 06-19-12, 10:46 PM
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Huh? You didn't go from Wenatchee to Leavenworth and return? What are you, some kind of nut?

FWIW: on Sunday I was in Wenatchee with a bunch of other recumbent-riding loonies. We rode from Wenatchee to Cashmere and back... maybe 20 miles total. We may be old, but at least we're slow.
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Old 06-20-12, 12:05 AM
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I second what has been said. Your photo-reports are inspiring, more so the adventurous spirit demonstrated in "eh, it was in this book..so I went!". Good stuff. Oh, and where is the link to your blog?
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Old 06-20-12, 12:44 AM
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Forrest, every time you stop to shoot photos... you're cutting into your time. No wonder your perf metrics suck. Hah!
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Old 06-20-12, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by percy kittens
I second what has been said. Your photo-reports are inspiring, more so the adventurous spirit demonstrated in "eh, it was in this book..so I went!". Good stuff. Oh, and where is the link to your blog?
Thanks! You're going to inflate my already too-big ego, though.

Here's a link to the blog; it goes to the ride report for this one, and you can find your way around to the other ride reports. I try to use tags and categories to make it easy to find rides. I'm probably going to get a mountain bike in the next month, so I've been tagging things 'road' to keep things separated. If you 'follow' the blog, it'll spam you every time I click the publish button.
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Old 06-20-12, 10:30 AM
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They are some nice photos Forrest. Definitely makes me think of summertime. I used to go camping over there a lot. If you tire of the Seattle weather, drive 2 hours east and get some sunshine and hot weather.
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Old 06-20-12, 12:21 PM
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Where did you used to camp?

I camped at the Mineral Springs campground and resort on US 97, between Cle Elum and Blewett Pass once, in late summer. I found it lacking. Got up with the sun and left, and used the time to explore near Stampede Pass, which was much nicer. I didn't go back there or anywhere else very far into the east side for four or five years. What a terrible mistake!

So is the second photo inspired brilliance, or is it god-awful crap? There doesn't seem to be much room for anything in the middle.
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Old 06-20-12, 11:44 PM
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No specific place. Leavenworth is the gateway to a lot of places though. Continue east on Hwy 97 and you hit the Dry Falls/Sun Lakes area or the many sports along Banks like including Steamboat Rock. Chelan is a blast north and I have hiked the Enchantment Lakes out of Icycle (little joke there) Road. Camped at Lake Wenatchee, fished Fish Lake, etc. Good times and still a lot I haven't explored. I need to get my bike out there as I was not a hard core rider until about 2 years ago.
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Old 06-21-12, 09:44 AM
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Forrest as always your pictures are almost better than real life! You have a gift, please keep it up.
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Old 06-21-12, 03:40 PM
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I need to thank everyone for the kind words!

Originally Posted by Black wallnut
Forrest as always your pictures are almost better than real life! You have a gift, please keep it up.
I posted these also in the road forum, and somebody said more or less the same thing. The guy lives somewhere along the route; he showed them to his wife, who said something like "If we didn't live here, I'd think it was a nice place."

Originally Posted by B. Carfree
Thanks for another excellent ride report. The photos are fantastic and have me wondering what I am doing sitting in a chair right now instead of being out riding. Well done, sir.
Couches have butt-glue built into them. Sometimes it can be hard to get up and motivate. Of course, sometimes motivation isn't the problem at all ... I'm sitting here at work, waiting for my boss to finish a meeting and tell me how she'd like our software to work. But if I can inspire other people to go ride in new places, that would be a good deed. I'm much happier when I explore new ground on my bike.

Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
Huh? You didn't go from Wenatchee to Leavenworth and return? What are you, some kind of nut?

FWIW: on Sunday I was in Wenatchee with a bunch of other recumbent-riding loonies. We rode from Wenatchee to Cashmere and back... maybe 20 miles total. We may be old, but at least we're slow.
I saw a few people on road bikes at different points, but no one on a recumbent. You may have spotted a Fredly guy on a Cervelo, though.

Originally Posted by percy kittens
I second what has been said. Your photo-reports are inspiring, more so the adventurous spirit demonstrated in "eh, it was in this book..so I went!". Good stuff. Oh, and where is the link to your blog?
Do you chase laser from the pointer?
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Old 06-21-12, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I saw a few people on road bikes at different points, but no one on a recumbent. You may have spotted a Fredly guy on a Cervelo, though.
Come to think of it, I did. Lots of high-end hardware in Wenatchee, though. Must be the Tyler Farrar effect.
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Old 06-23-12, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Do you chase laser from the pointer?
Um, no...



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