Annual St Helens / Falls Creek Weekend Part 2

In Ride Report by Hawkens

What a fantastic camp dinner most had seconds if not thirds, I need to get the recipe for the sauce.

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The night cooled off a bit and we waited for the meteor shower to begin. We had caught a few the night before.

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The hypnotic effect of the camp fire caused my eye lids to get heavy and I called it a night by 10. Not sure when everyone else crashed or if there was a good Meteor show or not.

Woke up early again pulled out my Camelbak to fill it up with water and found…..that I only drank about a 1/4 of my water. I really thought I was guzzling it down the day before, well that answers the reason why I was suffering. Topped it off and would make sure I drank plenty on todays ride.

Then ate breakfast the day before Milt had made an awesome looking home made sausage McMuffin, putting my breakfast to shame. Milt was doing the same today and made another for me. Thanks Milt it was tasty and powered me all day. After breakfast we broke down camp in record time and were on the road to trailhead by 9. We had a little adventure to the trailhead, but eventually made it.

The day was starting hot again as we dropped the cars at the bottom then took another back to the top. On the drive down we saw many road cycles coming up and they did not look comfortable then followed further down was a Mountain Biker trucking up the road with no shoulder. We offered the MTB’er a ride, but he said he was fine this is a good workout.

We arrived at the top and chatted briefly with the group of Road Cyclists before heading down the trail. The trail starts off downhill for about a mile and in the opposite direction for about a mile then begins to climb as it sweeps around towards the direction we need to be heading.

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After a bit of rolling climbing we come to a road that we climb up for a bit. Not sure what Milt put in that breakfast sandwich, but I am feeling great. A heck of a lot better than the day before. We zip up the road in no time then back into Singletrack again.

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This section has some steeper sections with a few fast rolling areas. While it was certainly hot on the trail this is the best I’ve ever felt riding Falls Creek even with tired legs.

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The bridges on the trail have been replaced since my last visit.

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After what seemed like more climbing than I recalled before, we reached McClellan Meadows and from there we would ride a little bit of road to a horse camp then hit the fun section on Falls Creek.

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Heading down Brian found that a screw fell out of cleat and took a joint effort to get the shoe off the pedal. Milt happened to have a spare screw for cleats, got that fixed and off we went again.

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Arrived at the start of Falls Creek. From this point until we reach the falls is technical rocky\rooty ride and best of all fast.

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The Gang!

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This is the only photo taken as we start on Falls Creek. From here until the 1st lava tube there is no stopping to take photos the trail is too much fun to stop on. The trail has some rolling trail and other areas that have you screaming through rocky\root sections. Lots of opportunities to slice up some tires here.

Lava Tube

After some serious fun, highly recommend this trail. We arrived to the 1st lava tube there are a few near the trail you can explore. Then we pushed on keep separated far enough to not eat each others dust the trail was getting a little loose.

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This section until the falls is more rolling and kept Milt in sight nearly lost him when we came flying up on a section that had collapsed. There is a new path high up on the left, but did not see that until we came to a complete stop. Back on the trail we continued on eventually arriving to the Falls. Some other riders were enjoying the cool water by wading in it. I walked out there too and dunked my head to cool off, it was really hot now and boy did that cool water feel so good.

I was also running low on water, when I was loading up my bike and Camelbak in the morning I forgot to replace my bottles. Glad the next few miles are downhill and fast, if you are familiar with Devils Gulch the trail here is narrower and much faster.

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Twinkie Shot!

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A short grunt of a climb then we reach this section that then begins to drop rapidly. After a few miles of fast narrow joy the trail exits to the trailhead and complaints that the ride ended too soon. Maybe next time we need to make it two laps. This is such a fun ride makes for a great bookend for this annual St Helens trip.

16.52 Miles, 1158 Elevation Gain, 2800 Elevation Loss Smile, Max speed per Garmin is 23.8 and 12.26 Twinkies Expended

Photo Credit: Brian Holsclaw, Ken Miller, Erik Alston, Milt Kageyama