Cycling Date: Wednesday 17-June-15
Mileage: 65 miles
Weather: Dry and sunny to start. Upper 40s. It was in the 50s at the top of Government Camp. Temperatures came up into the low 80s to end the day in the high desert.
Highlights of the day:
Day three started the first big climb of the tour, 13 miles up to the base of Mount Hood at Government Camp. It was a long climb of the western US variety, meaning it goes for miles but the grades tend to stay in the 4-8 percent range. For the non-riders, 4-8 percent is work but relatively moderate. For the westerners, yes, I do know there are steep climbs out here but, in my humble and perhaps inaccurate opinion, the steep ones seem fewer and farther between than back east. (This is not the opinion of AbB. Please send all emails correcting this to my attention…)
The clouds were in our favor this year and Mt Hood was with us in all it’s glory all day long. Views as we climbed up to Government Camp. Views as we climbed to the high dessert. Views as we made our way to the hotel. It was my first time seeing this mountain for so long and with such clarity. I think I ran out of superlatives and transitioned over to monosyllabic outbursts of “ooooooo,” “aaaaaaaah,” and “wow.” We did have two sections of construction that required us to stop & ride with a pilot car but with these views, no one could really complain.
As we rode east from the base lodge our surroundings rapidly changed from evergreen forest to high desert, with a scattering of trees and shrubs over grassy hills. Big vistas opened up, with grand views of snow capped mountains to the west and Mt Hood to the north. The route ended with a beautiful winding decent down to the Deschutes River followed by a short but steep climb up to the resort.
I write this from a room in a Native American owned resort, with a balcony overlooking a beautiful valley, nearly devoid of human signs. Spoiled for one more night.