Monday, July 4, 2016

Dwaine's Picture Post for the Eleven K Ride

The crew still looks fresh after an overcast climb to the White Pass ski resort. We were about a third of the way into the days climbing and thinking 'how hard could it be?'.

After stopping at the cars and filling our pockets with food we climbed to Reflection Lake. The sun was trying to peak through but the clouds prevented any interesting reflections. A few of us, myself included, finished this climb by burning a few too many matches.

When we arrived at Paradise we found that the mountain remained veiled in clouds. Many motorized visitors were in attendance and probably feeling  more disappointed. As cyclists we derive joy from the climb and not just a view of Mount Rainer. Looking around we noticed a line of wooden Fred Flinstone style bike racks. Mike was able to utilize the bike rack despite the colorfully dressed drifter taking temporary residence.

With over ten thousand feet of climbing in the bank we were feeling pretty tired and plenty proud when we arrived at the top of Cayuse pass. Mario was a few minutes behind us due to his dip in a road side waterfall. Yes, really. While we waited I looked for a quick picture. This is the first time I've used the built in flash on my pocket camera and it did pretty well providing some fill.

I was able to 'sell' the idea of finishing the day at the top of Chinook pass. On the way up I salvaged a large screwdriver off the shoulder of the road and was so pleased with my find I posed with it instead of my bike. While Les was busy creating this wonderful composure Mike was looking over my shoulder and admiring my new found tool. Before we started the descent Mike warned me against descending all the way to the vehicles with this large chunk of steel in my back pocket due to the danger of impalement should I step off. Mike was even kind enough to show me a good place to stash it for pickup on the drive home.

After about 110 miles and almost 12k feet of climbing, we were thrashed. Getting off the bike never felt so good. I snapped this quick photo showing our finish location, my bike, and one tired rider. Mike, Les, Mario, and myself congratulated each other on finishing a really tough ride and Mike skedaddled on his way. Les and I had carpooled and we took our time getting on the road. On the drive home I was surprised and disappointed at the discovery that the large screwdriver was not where I left it. As we continued the drive home Les and I wondered who knew where it was stashed?  Who had the opportunity to retrieve it before I returned? Who, other than me, even wanted a roadside screwdriver? Weird.

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