Cold Dose of Gravel

The weather has been chilly but exceptionally dry lately the weekend forecast was for more of the same so I sent out a request  earlier this week to see if anyone wanted join me on a Klickitat Trail ride.  I was lucky enough to be joined by Mark and John for this little journey.  We knew it was going to be chilly, the forecast was for temps in the mid 30’s out in Lyle, WA.  Let’s just say that was a bit ambitious by our local meteorologists.

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Niner type day

I just ran a half marathon on this trail at the start of November and rode this same out and back on the Trek Farley last year, today I opted for the Niner with 40c tires.  For the most part these tires were just fine.  There are definitely sections of the trail that were somewhat of a challenge.  I’d say I nailed the tire pressure though, I felt both the rear and front tires bottom out on the rim more than once, but never a solid hit.

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Bunch of apples still clinging on for this late in the year

We rolled out of the parking lot with temps hovering right around 30 degrees.  The hope was that it would warm up a bit as we got away from the Columbia River……it didn’t.  It was 28 in Klickitat and dropped down to 25 in Swale Canyon.  We actually ended up cutting the ride a total of 10 miles short by turning around at mile 25.  We were no more than 5 miles from the end, but were headed into some freezing fog, light flurries and the hillside around us was covered in frost.  It was a wise decision as we still had some elevation to gain, it wasn’t going to get any warmer the higher we went.

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Mark and John during our chilly stop

We made good time back down the trail with the very slight downhill the whole way.  It was nice to stop in Klickitat at the Canyon Convenience store to get some food and something hot to drink.

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Hot drinks all around
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The key to today was lots of layers

We saw five bald eagles today during the ride.  One of them was carrying a fairly large marmot in her talons.  She was maybe 30 feet in front of me and about 50 feet in the air when she dropped (dashed) him into the canyon wall.  After we turned around we startled her as she was enjoying a feast.  It was pretty incredible to watch.

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This dog joined us for a bit in both directions
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Mark is a good draft (he’s like 10′ tall)

I have got to say thanks to Mark and John for joining me and for our wives for letting us take off to play all day.  It was dang cold out there, but at least it wasn’t wet.

Thanks for reading,

-Pete

3 thoughts on “Cold Dose of Gravel

  1. I can add you.

    This one went out specifically to a few people who have done some of my more hair-brained rides. Klickitat doesn’t look difficult on paper but it is pretty rugged. Sometimes I am surprised my friend’s wives still let them play with me. 🙂

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