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light winter weekend blitz, anyone? TR

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light winter weekend blitz, anyone? TR

Old 02-28-06, 10:50 PM
  #1  
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So, I'm blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest, a region that allows year round touring without snow as long as one stays out of the mountains. I'm sure some of the rest of Bike Forums folk have snow free winter seasons.

So, I've been taking advantage of winter weekends by doing light overnights. Anyone else doing these throughout the "off" season?

This last weekend, I did about 100 miles as an overnight, a lot of it on unpaved trails, two track and some single track, all around the (much) greater Seattle area, up into the next county and back. Free camping, a great rails to trails ride, a couple of minor disorientation episodes to keep everything interesting.

No significant rain, I didn't ever have to pull on the waterproofs.

Had Sun and Monday off, Left Seattle Sun 9 AM and rode out to Snoqualamie Falls. (pic 1) Soon afterward, hit the trails to get a little lost in the woods until I found the rail to trail I was looking for, and stayed on it until I camped at a great park by a river with a big suspension bridge to get to the campsites. Totally deserted and no envelopes to pay the pipe. bummer.


The next morning, hit the trails for half the day, wound up shooting for one town in the next county for lunch, but got turned about without the proper map coverage, wound up in another town ( the one with the good pie) and had a slice of applecrunch before riding back to Seattle Monday afternoon about 5.

Fantastic blitz trip. Got 'lost' twice, great unplanned pie stop, free camping, no crowds, no bugs.

Sometimes the off season yields quiet pleasures. Last month, same drill. Light winter blitzes. Anyone else enjoying the pleasures of the quick winter tour?

a few pics from the weekend: snoqualamie falls, coffee in camp, switchbacks on trail,
mossy wall, taking a break before getting lost for the second time
Attached Images
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snoqfalls.jpg (65.4 KB, 26 views)
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campincoffee.jpg (52.9 KB, 59 views)
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switchbacks.jpg (96.0 KB, 47 views)
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mossywall.jpg (77.6 KB, 51 views)
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fencelean.jpg (98.8 KB, 69 views)

Last edited by Bekologist; 02-28-06 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 03-01-06, 03:11 AM
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Wow Beck! Looks awesome! We are equally free of snow here in the winter, and although I haven't tried a trip like yours, it sure looks inspiring!
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Old 03-01-06, 03:30 AM
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Haven't been up to the falls in years. Just getting started with the touring biz. I have to say I prefer my camper, though. I,ve had enough of sleeping (or, trying to) on the ground. My touring will probably be somewhat limited to B&B's or motels, although a wild hair can sprout anytime...keep posting pics like these and I'm liable to get woolly fast. I know that area well. Pie in Duvall?
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Old 03-01-06, 08:10 AM
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Nice pics Bek. Of course, in New York, we're going through quite a cold spell - huge wind chills and everything. Figures we had a mild winter until I got a chance to order my bike. I guess the TravelContacts treated you well on those trails.
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Old 03-01-06, 11:40 AM
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jcm: Get a hammock. Good for any region, best for the Northwest.
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Old 03-01-06, 12:09 PM
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I live in the north Texas Hill County. Just got back yesterday from a two night-130 mile trip--all on highways and overnight at state parks. Sunday afternoon was an easy 30 miles to Fort Richardson in Jacksboro, Texas. No wind, no traffic, just great. Monday was all day, five hours IN THE SADDLE, doing less than 40 miles into a horrendous 25-30 mph direct wind. One of my worst pedaling days ever. I toyed early on with just heading to Oklahoma and seeing how far it would blow me and then calling my wife to pick me us. Instead I plugged on and spent the night at old Fort Walters/Mineral Wells state park.

Hoped for the tailwind home yesterday to battle the Brazos valley hills....it never materialized as the temperature went up to 86 degrees. That's right...nearly 90 degrees. Welcome to a Texas winter.

Except for the stop at a used a bookstore and the hamburger of the year in Graford it wasn't the best short tour.

Anyway, the summer tan lines are starting to come along as well as those little brown circles on the back of my hands.
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Old 03-01-06, 06:00 PM
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Beck -
impressive pics. Alas....I live in Pgh, PA. no winter tours here. Planning with the gazetteer maps for when the weather breaks. Please advise what tent you recommend....i recall in a previous thread you said yours was 2 person / 3 lbs...? I cant remember or find the darn thread... Thanks!
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Old 03-01-06, 06:51 PM
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It was 85 degrees here in Houston Today. Took a mini tour yesterday and got sunburned.
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Old 03-01-06, 09:17 PM
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And today....it hit 97 degrees...so I should be glad I came home yesterday. Like you, I got sunburned yesterday.
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Old 03-01-06, 09:33 PM
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Bekologist, I've been fascinated by the concept of winter camping for a while now and your last couple of posts about winter touring and camping have further fueled my desire.

Thanks for posting the pics and commentary, I appreciate it.
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Old 03-02-06, 08:03 AM
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Some of you have it pretty good weather wise, it was in the mid fourties for my weekend. Not a problem though. Certainly easier than when there's snow on the ground.

Ridelots, the tent I'm using is a Black Diamond Lighthouse. 2 person tent, 3 and a half pounds. They make a very similar tent that is under 3 pounds. The pic above doesn't show it very well, but it's tall inside and wide with lots of shoulder room. It may not be everyone's ideal tent, but it works very well and it's small enough to pack inside my panniers.

The pie was at Snohomish pie company in Snoho, JCM. I got lost between Duvall and Monroe (go figure) and wound up in Snohomish instead. Just a little lost.

regarding winter bike touring, here's a tour pic from my December '05 blitzkreig when there was a little more snow. Some of you northwesterners may recognize the sign ( outside Everett just a few miles)
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