For this years Erik’s Annual Mountain Bike Trip we packed in a lot.
Normally we pick a place as base camp that offers a weeks worth of riding nearby or close enough to not take all day of driving to reach the trail. Previous trips have been Maah Daah Hey in western North Dakota, Moab - Utah, Bend - Oregon, Sun Valley - Idaho, Winthrop – Washington, Bend -Oregon (Again), Sun Valley Idaho (Again), Fruita Colorado and Moab – Utah, Lake Tahoe – Nevada and that brings us to this years trip.
Not sure how much longer I’ll be doing these annual trips and want to pack in as much variety of riding into these trips as possible. Two years ago we mixed it up a bit, starting our trip in Fruita, Colorado for a few days. Then later moved base camp to Moab, Utah. That worked well offering a bit more variety of riding and decided to do the same for this years trip. For this years trip there were so many places I wanted to ride, I really wanted to ride in Mt Hood area it is an area on my list for many years. I also, wanted to return to McKenzie river trail this is a trail that can be best described as what Heaven looks like. Normally between Memorial Day and Labor Day I would have made three trips to Bend, Oregon, that did not occur this year and really wanted to get in my Bend fix.
I was fortunate that others I ride with often were game for the same plan, dates were set and we would start our trip in Parkdale, Oregon for three days then moved base camp to Bend, Oregon. For the 1st few days it would only be a few of us then others would join later during the trip, including my son.
For the 1st leg of the trip Milt and I drove down to Parkdale, stopping along the way to capture images. All the years driving down HWY 97 this was the first time all the major Mountains were so viewable viewable.
Milt is originally from the Mount Hood area and like me really enjoys night photography. He knew of some great locations that would get us some great views of Mt Hood at night.
This is my favorite of the series of photos I took where I captured a bit of the milkyway.
Mount Hood and the starry night, the light in the lower right of the mountain is the lights from Portland.
The next morning we met up with Peggy and the three of us drove out to Surveyors Ridge trailhead. Our original plan was to ride it as an out and back and then as we progressed we really wanted to ride it all, changing plans to be a point to point.
Trail offers a little bit of everything flowy trail, technical and steep climbs.
Even a few water crossings
Then we started to get some views and what a view we had for much of the ride.
I certainly do love Mountain Views from the trail.
Climbing and climbing some more
A little wild life taking in the view and waiting on lunch to arrive
From this point of view we could see Mount Hood, St Helens, Rainer and Adam’s. The panorama that I captured from this view point is huge and too large to post online.
We continued on and eventually arrived to Oakridge trail….steep fast and in some parts loose. 100% Fun!
Rotors are smoking hot! after that run.
We rolled back to the highway and coasted a few miles back to our campground, how great is that. Then drove back to the trailhead to grab the truck and
For day 2 the weather was overcast and threatening us with rain, nothing like the day before. The plan for day 2 is to ride the Eight-mile/Knebal Springs figure 8.
From the parking lot it is a rolling climb then becomes a steady climb. That then gets a bit steeper as we climb to the start of Knebal Springs.
After a bit of climbing we arrive to a great view, well I am guess it was a great view behind all the clouds. No photos as there was nothing to see, from here we climb a bit more then the trail begins to flow downhill.
I stopped once to grab a photo and then pressed on. Wow that was a great ride, fast, flowy some parts technical and 100% fun. I’d climb back up to ride it again.
Once at the bottom we had to climb back up and boy did we have to climb.
After lots of climbing we stopped for lunch…boy was I feeling beat. Then we pushed on with more climbing and reached another fun section that lead us back to the section of 8mile we climbed up originally. From here we had a choice continue the 8mile loop or go down the section of 8mile we climbed up earlier in the day. My legs were done, so we rode down the section we came up wow that was fun! You could see a long ways down the trail and the bike just hauled tail down the trail. Wow….that was fun I want to go ride it again. Rolled back to the trail head loaded up and made our way back to camp. Walt and my son would arrive in Parkdale soon after.
Had a great dinner at Peggy’s Diner then watched the lighting show nature was providing.
Day 3 was suppose to be Dog River Shuttle…..instead we awoke to pouring down rain. Change of plans, time to pack up and move to the next leg of our trip. We made our way to Bend through some hard driving rain, but as we pulled through Redmond the sky’s cleared up and we had glorious sun.
Time to dry things out now that we are back to the land of sun. Yeah, we really rough it on these trips.
Day four we are joined by Brian and Guylaine. The ride on tap is the McKenzie River trail and would be using the local resort for a shuttle. When we left Bend heading to McKenzie Bridge the weather was awesome as we got closer it was raining and cloudy. Well, at least it will be much cooler ride than it had been previous trips. By the time we arrived where we would be starting the weather improved a great deal.
Heading to the start of today’s adventure
My son would be joining us and while the rest of the crew started at the very top. We dropped in just below the blue pool, my son could have probably navigated the lava fields fine, but figured for his first big ride lets skip that. We hung out for about an hour and then pushed on figuring the group would catch up to us now. We would stop and hang out for a bit along the way still figuring the rest would catch up soon.
This is one of my favorite trails and when you ride it from the very top to the bottom it feels like heaven. My son did great zipping along the trail we’d come across riders every once in a while, even came across a group that was lost. I knew the way and the trail is now well marked, unlike it had been back in the day. Anyways gave them my map and pushed on.
Lots and lots of bridges to cross, they are all in much better shape then my previous trips.
The temps were perfect too, had a ride here a few years ago where I had to completely soak myself to cool off it was so hot.
The little rocket when the trail would kickup so did my son, a few times he got away from me. Well until we got to the Paradise campground intersection, then I knew we were close and pushed a bit more.
18 miles completed, we arrived back to the truck. The rest of the crew would arrive about 30 minutes later, perfect timing.
Day 5 \ Day 6
Some of the crew planned on an easy ride on the Deschutes River Trail before leaving the next day. My son and I headed over to Bend to get in a few fun loops for the next few days. My legs were so tired that it was tough to keep up on the climbs, but like always fun to chase on the flowy sections. I miss the days that you could climb up Phils, I much prefer it when my legs where tired. I did much better the following Day on Ben’s though.
Love this trail, we climbed up to the Heli Pad came down Phils then over to Kent’s great way to wrap up the trip.
Chasing in the big ring and small cog in the back! Fun stuff.
We got everything put away and ready for an early departure the next morning. As the sun was setting this shadow appeared on the back of my trail, what great image to close a fantastic trip with.
That’s a wrap for this years annual trip and already thinking about next years trip. Perhaps a return to Sun Valley, Idaho other ideas maybe going to Park City, Utah one that was almost the choice for this years is head for the Yukon. A weeks worth of guided tours with Boréale. The Yukon really interest me, it is a completely different than anything we’ve done before.