Twas the day before the night before Christmas (Christmas Eve Eve) and all through the valley the wind was gusty and the temps were falling. Needless to say the thought of doing a road ride was very low. There is nothing quite as motivation killing for me as cold and wind. I don’t mind cold rides, I don’t mind windy rides….throw in both though and in general I am going to head into the woods.
The Rogers Camp day use area sits right around 1600′ in elevation. It was high 30’s when I left the house in Hillsboro (about 250′) and just tickling 34F when I started my ride at the trailhead. I was the only cyclist there. Everyone else was on a dirt bike or 3-wheeler. Back in our preteens and early teen years Paul and I were all about snowmobiles, dirt bikes and 3 & 4 wheelers. I don’t think either of us can pinpoint a particular influence, but by the time we were fifteen we had switched to bicycles. Me mostly road and Paul mostly mountain bikes. As you can kind of tell, neither of us has looked back since.
I opted to do the historic hiking/University Falls loop from Rogers Camp. I like doing it clockwise, but man o’ man is the first 1/3 of a mile a bit tough on cold legs. There was a smattering of snow and ice throughout the loop with the bridges in particular a bit dicey.
I saw one hiker towards the end of the loop. Heard plenty of motorcycles and gunshots out there too. At one point it sounded more like an action movie shootout than a peaceful mountain bike ride through the woods. Not sure what it is with “rednecks”, woods and the need to shoot? Don’t get me wrong either, I’m no anti-gun hippie, I enjoy some target shooting. However there is a point when I hear a dozen or more consecutive shots being ripped off….what exactly the heck are you shooting at?
It’s been fairly dry this December, but University Falls was still cascading at a decent clip. There was a nice freezing mist coming off the falls too.
I was only out there for a little over 1:30 ride time. Definitely feeling a bit out of shape this time of the year (round is a shape though) but any chance I can get out I am going to take it. I’m hoping to switch the cold and wet trails for some cold and snowy ones very soon. Trails up near Hood or St Helens should be shaping up nicely. Mia and I are going up to the Methow Valley again for some skiing and fat bike riding too. Really looking forward to that one!
I found a Katadyn BeFree bottle in the middle of the trail too. Sorry to the person who lost it. It wasn’t the hiker I passed towards the end and I didn’t see anyone else out there.
That’s about it. Thanks for reading