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Leavenworth Loop 2016 (pics)

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Leavenworth Loop 2016 (pics)

Old 04-11-16, 09:28 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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Leavenworth Loop 2016 (pics)

This is one of my personal spring classics. First time I've done it on anything other than my trusty Cervelo. Almost crashed playing around off road in the ponderosa, got a bit of a sunburn (it rained every day for 3 months), and spent some time in one of my favorite places. I didn't see another cyclist and apart from when I was on Route 2 or near town, I barely saw anyone. Saw lots of balsam root, a few glacier lilies, and the snow is melting quickly.











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Old 04-11-16, 09:48 AM
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I go hang out near Plain over the 4th of July, and that area is a joy to ride.

Nice pics!
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Old 04-11-16, 08:47 PM
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Mind posting/PMing me the ride file? would love to do that look sometime as i live nearby!
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Old 04-11-16, 08:51 PM
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beautiful!
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Old 04-12-16, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by yamsyamsyams View Post
Mind posting/PMing me the ride file? would love to do that look sometime as i live nearby!
PM sent. Directions, ride file, routable course, and two other ride suggestions.

If you have any favorites in the area I'd love to hear about them.
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Old 04-12-16, 01:51 PM
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What are hills like in that area, I have been there, but only passing through never to ride. It is beautiful there.
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Old 04-12-16, 03:13 PM
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My area faves:
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/7515850
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/4512949

We'll do these again with a group on April 26 & 27.

Cle Elum to Leavenworth and back via Old Blewett Pass is another favorite century.
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Old 04-12-16, 03:17 PM
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Do you really ride right by Lake Wenatchee without going in to check out the view??
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Old 04-12-16, 03:32 PM
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Reading this thread reminds me that I have a friend who moved up to Stehekin a few years ago; told me about what an impossible, little place it is. I'd like to visit.
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Old 04-12-16, 04:15 PM
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I've been to Stehekin a few times, didn't think anyone outside the state had heard of it. The fastest I ever got there was a two day hike on the Chelan Lakeshore trail. You should definitely go visit.
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Old 04-12-16, 05:35 PM
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Nice ride, nice pics; thanks for sharing...
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Old 04-12-16, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Do you really ride right by Lake Wenatchee without going in to check out the view??
Usually. I know what it looks like. I suppose when one hikes and rides in the PNW long enough, one might become a little blasé about some things. I'm just riding my bike. Old Blewett is always magical though.
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Old 04-13-16, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I've been to Stehekin a few times, didn't think anyone outside the state had heard of it. The fastest I ever got there was a two day hike on the Chelan Lakeshore trail. You should definitely go visit.
Did you happen to meet a fellow named Marc Coggan? It's a super-tiny place, right, so I imagine the odds are pretty fair you may have! He moved up there to join an old squeeze, perhaps back around '06 or '07, upon retiring from a local university here.
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Old 04-13-16, 09:27 AM
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The name isn't familiar (I'm bad at remembering names), but that doesn't mean I didn't meet him.

"Downtown" Stehekin has one road, with a store, a post office, a hotel, a camp, and a NPS building. There are bike and kayak rentals along the lake. There's a building with public laundry and showers (Stehekin is just off the Pacific Crest Trail so thru-hikers bound for Canada stop there). Everything in the span of about two city blocks. There's an organic garden toward the end, and a bakery; we'd walk down, get lunch, walk back and eat it along the lake, and talk to people. The locals (there are maybe 50 residents, and 2 or 3 phones) always seem interested in the visitors, I think when you live in that kind of isolation you like hearing about the outside world. But I'm really bad at remembering names. If he's even a little bit talkative and has been down by the main part of town in the past few summers, I've probably chatted him up.

You've seen pics of the town, right?
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Old 04-13-16, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Usually. I know what it looks like. I suppose when one hikes and rides in the PNW long enough, one might become a little blasé about some things. I'm just riding my bike. Old Blewett is always magical though.
To each their own, but I don't understand this. I have to drive 260 miles round trip to do this loop. You're closer to route 2 so you might have a 200 mile drive. Either of us could go out and ride 50 miles from our front door. The reason I do it is because the scenery is fantastic, it's a better place to ride. If I was blase about it, I'd stay home and ride around town.

The Blewett loop is great for the low traffic, the ponderosa forest, and (if you go counter-clockwise) the fast switchbacks at the bottom.
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Old 04-13-16, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post

You've seen pics of the town, right?
No, never...here I go Google!
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Old 04-13-16, 09:55 AM
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That looks like a great loop. I love the riverside photos.
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Old 04-13-16, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
No, never...here I go Google!
Guess I'm about to hijack my own thread.

The first time I wound up in Stehekin I hiked in from the Cascade Pass trailhead. It took three days, the trail starts off going up steep switchbacks until it comes out above the tree line in these lovely glaciated meadows. I'd day hiked up there plenty of times and kind of assumed that's what the whole trail would be like. Actually it goes over a pass and descends into a wooded river valley, bummer.



So after three days of hiking with a heavy pack, I get to Stehekin, and somebody just cancelled at the hotel so I get a soft bed and a shower. And a fantastic sunset.



There are no phones or TVs in the hotel, but they have a common room with windows and board games.



Night shot.



After the hike I had a few days, so I rented a bike. Wouldn't do well in the hot or not gravel thread, but it was a good time.





If you ever get the chance to visit, you should. You don't even have to hike in, there's a ferry and a float plane service.
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Old 04-13-16, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
To each their own, but I don't understand this. I have to drive 260 miles round trip to do this loop. You're closer to route 2 so you might have a 200 mile drive. Either of us could go out and ride 50 miles from our front door. The reason I do it is because the scenery is fantastic, it's a better place to ride. If I was blase about it, I'd stay home and ride around town.

The Blewett loop is great for the low traffic, the ponderosa forest, and (if you go counter-clockwise) the fast switchbacks at the bottom.
For real scenery, hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Yes, it's exactly 100 miles from my house to Leavenworth. I used to ride that as a nice century, but traffic has gotten too nuts. Barlow Pass is another very scenic ride. Right now is good as is fall after the leaves turn. Round trip is a century from Snohomish. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13085792 Or just do it from Granite Falls.

Except for the return along Hwy 2 on the Chumstick route, the east side is frequently better riding and usually much drier. I spend the night and do a couple rides when I go over there. Looking forward to checking out the new big burns near Chelan this year.
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Old 04-13-16, 10:57 AM
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I've spent lots of time on the PCT.
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