What is Normal?

I’ve almost forgotten what a “normal” schedule is for Mia and I.  We sold our townhouse on August 30th and moved out to a temporary rental on September first.  Going from almost 1,600 sq ft to a rental of 770 sq ft was tough, add to that our new house was delayed for 6 weeks.  So what we thought was going to be a 45 days of “sucking it up” ended up being 77 days!  Finally on November 13th we received the keys to our new house!

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We’ve done some quick hiking at Stub Stewart

Mia and I both took some time off to unpack and get the new house setup.  I’ve been telling everyone after about 5 days we were 80% of the way there.  Until today (12/16) we were still at 80%.  I have assembled so many things and broken down well over one hundred cardboard boxes in the past month.  We’ve made sure that UPS and Fedex  are acutely aware of our new address too.  Finally today I’ll proudly say we are 85-90% of the way there.  🙂

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Misty walk thru Stub Stewart

Christmas has kind of snuck up on us too.  It took us a week to finish decorating the tree.  We had good intentions after setting it up last Saturday but all week one or the other of us wasn’t getting home until 7:30 every night.  Finally on Friday Mia and I finished it off.

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Niner RLT with new tires and chainrings

I’ve been scouring google maps to try to link up some gravel roads that I know about but have never ridden.  From our old address it would have added about 20-25 miles roundtrip to hit some of the stuff that is now 5-6 miles away.  With the tree done and no Lowes or Home Depot run to make I decided to go check out something  Mia and I had run 3 years ago.

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Gate at Lee’s Fall Rd.  That sign on the left wasn’t there 3 years ago

I’m not thrilled with the amount of land in the Tillamook Forest/Coast Range that is closed to public access.  So much of it is owned by timber companies and a couple of them have gotten super anal about access to their property.  It looked like there was active logging in the surrounding hills, so maybe this public closure is temporary.  I’m pretty sure with a little effort I could find out.  But I had ridden out here from the house and was a bit bummed to see that sign.  I may or may not have ignored its directive.

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This is Lee’s Falls by the way

I proceeded up Summit Road in Cherry Grove, OR to make a connection I had been eyeing.  I knew it was possible to get to Stimson Mainline and then drop down to Hagg Lake.  Question is would there be more signs like the one above.

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Stimson Mainline

The header shot is the more welcoming sign at the top of Summit Rd where it enters a pretty epic array of gravel roads.  The few gates I came upon on this side were all open or signed to allow hikers and hunters (and cyclists by default).

I’m going to plan a few expeditions up into the roads south and west of Hagg Lake.  I am aware of being able to connect to things over towards Carlton and Yamhill.  It also looks like I can get over to Brown’s Camp which means Reheers Camp and Cochran Rd should be total possibilities too.  Those rides with more than likely end up being well over 4-5 hours though.  This little jaunt on Saturday was just over two and a quarter hours.

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Looking forward to some clear days up here at some point
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unfortunately this bucket was empty

I’m already jonesing for more daylight so that the exploration can take a big step up.  Being winter in the PNW though I’ve got to bide my time until at least March or April.  Until then it’ll be a bit more piecemeal and lots of map scouring.  I do have a HUGE Tillamook Forest map that I need to pull out.

That’s about it for now.

Thanks for reading,

-Pete

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