Ripplebrook, good to see you my old friend!

After a fairly tiring holiday weekend (I end up spending the big holidays at home on domestic to-do projects, it seems) I managed to squeeze in a ride up the Clackamas River Highway to Ripplebrook ranger station and back Monday morning. There were quite a few other bikes heading up the river by the time I turned around and headed back toward home, including several V-Stroms.

It was difficult not to keep going toward Detroit. That’s a 160 mile round trip and is one of my favorites. I didn’t have enough gas and needed to get back home to get more stuff done around the house, so I u-turned at the Ripplebrook ranger station.

The weather was overcast and cool, perfect for riding. The pavement was in good shape and I only had to pass two slow cagers, a relative luxury.

This week it’s supposed to be very hot in town yet despite all my grumbling and grousing about riding in the heat, I intend to commute on my bike as many days as possible. Thursday is supposed to be in the upper 90’s so I’ll probably take the air-conditioned cage to work that day.

Over and back again

I had hoped to go for a long bike ride during my day off yesterday but people at work kept calling me with tech support requests. I still managed to go for a ride but I had a late start.

The weather turned out to be perfect. It was sunny without much wind yet it was cool enough to wear all my gear without being too warm. I rode up the Clackamas River Road to Ripplebrook Ranger Station, then headed south on FS46 toward Detroit.

Rather than go all the way to Detroit, however, I cut east on FS42 which follows the old Oregon Skyline Road in several places to come out near Timothy Lake and connect with Highway 26. I took a quick break at CJ’s Chevron, then headed up and over Government Camp to traverse the Cascades a second time in less than two hours. There were a few slow pokes on 26 coming down the mountain but that’s nothing new.

I filled up my gas tank in Sandy as I neared home so the bike would be ready for the next ride. Maybe today.

Pavement and gravel to high mountain lakes

Saturday I rode to Detroit via FS46 up the Clackamas River. I parked at The Cedars restaurant amidst a half-dozen Harley riders that acted as if I didn’t exist. In their world, maybe I don’t. Second Breakfast, as the Hobbits call it, consisted of biscuits and gravy with a side of two eggs, over-medium, coffee and ice water. The pirates sitting in the adjacent booths continued to ignore me.

On the way back I took 4220 east to Olallie Lake, hitting gravel most of the way. There were lots of 4×4 pickups up in the woods cutting firewood. I got a few odd stares as I rode past. Initially riding on gravel felt squirrelly and weird but I soon got used to it and was able to ride at a decent clip. I eventually reached Olallie Lake and stopped at the shut-down resort to gander at Mt. Jefferson.

My original plan was to take Skyline Road due north to Timothy Lake but I didn’t have a very detailed map and I didn’t trust my GPS quite enough to rely solely on it’s direction. I was also concerned about remaining fuel, so I backtracked to FS46 and rode the pavement all the way back home.

February ride to Ripplebrook

The weather was mild and sunny on Saturday so I headed up the Clackamas River Highway (224) to Ripplebrook. There was a moderate headwind coming from the east and very few cars on the road. For some reason, the few cagers I did see were driving very slow despite great road conditions. Some kayackers were in the water enjoying what looked to be some nice rapids.

The air temperature got noticeably colder near Three Lynx, and there was some construction in progress just past the bridge at Indian Henry. Snow was on the sides of the road for the last mile to Ripplebrook. I stopped and took a bio break, then headed into Timber Lake Job Corps to see if the lake was ice free. The eastern half had ice but the remainder was clear. An older gentleman was taking his pole out of the back of his pickup truck to see if he could catch a fish. I’ll have to remember that lake for some early season fishing.

The ride back was pleasant and I found myself getting back into the groove on each subsequent turn. I saw a Sherriff heading up-river and was glad that I had been keeping my speed in check. By the time I returned home I found myself jonesing even more for my first big trip of the year, with an as yet undetermined destination.

Chilly ride up the Clackamas

The sun was shining and I had some time to kill before the Big Game, so I hopped on my V-Strom and rode up the Clackamas River Highway. There weren’t very many cars other than a few Californians driving 10 mph below the speed limit and the road surface was in good shape. A few turns had some sanding gravel in the center stripe but I was able to slow down and keep in my lane without issue.

It was getting colder as I went upstream so I turned around at Indian Henry campground and headed back home to watch the game.