West Fork Methow Trail

29 Sep

I have been planning a bike adventure trip for some weeks now, and am so glad to be here in the Methow Valley and kicking it off! I wanted to raise some dough for an organization that’s been on my mind (and heart) a lot lately: the HopeFirst Foundation, headquarters located on Whidbey Island. Please follow the link and donate a couple of bucks… all it takes is about $114 and that covers the cost of a new Kona AfricaBike! You can also donate money to Kona’s Basic Needs program; they saved the day by offering to pay for the shipping of HopeFirst’s latest round of bikes to The Gambia, after the original sponsor fell through.

Or, if you’re in West Seattle, pick up a Bikes for Africa t-shirt at Alki Bike & Board! All proceeds go to Kona’s Basic Needs program. I got one recently, it’s on American Apparel and super soft. Well worth it!

So, connecting the Methow Valley and HopeFirst. Well, it’s tenuous, and frankly very selfish. I will ride over three passes this week to help inspire others and, maybe, even inspire future themed/schemed rides to support HopeFirst. I’m also going to take some money I’ve saved up and, instead of getting some new part for my bikes (everyone roll your eyes)(in this case Honjo fenders; my plastic ones will do just fine for the nonce) I’m going to donate enough to cover a new bike. I’m not very good at writing this up, I sense. It feels awkward.

Instead, check this CNN story out… this is part of what inspired me!

What a lovely ride over the pass(es) today:

Fall Blond in Concrete

 

The trees are just at that perfect moment for Fall colors; about 60% or so turning; so that there’s lots of orange, yellow, red and green, and all full, no threadbare trunks yet.

I love the Skagit River, and seeing it in a perfectly sunny day in September was exactly what I hoped for:

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping...

 

Once I got to my rental cabin in Mazama (fairly nice place, but in a duplex/four-plex; thankfully I’m the only one here so far) I was greeted by the resident chicken. I spent a very interesting 15 minutes shooing out all of the yellowjackets from inside the cabin, while keeping Mrs. Curious out of the cabin:

Hey, where ya from, say that's a nice bike, hey what you got in that bag?

 

(Unfortunately, while typing this, some guy pulled up at the main house (to visit?) and his dog, while running free in spite of the guy’s earnest efforts of feebly calling out the dog’s name, proceeded to chase, corner, kill, and then eat a different chicken. Eventually, when the dog for some reason wanted to tear the chicken into pieces near where I was sitting I asked the guy “Is it okay if your dog eats all of that chicken?” and the guy responded “Well there’s not much any of us can do to control him.” Huh.)

So I unpacked and in a frenzy got all my mountain bike gear together in 5 minutes and then hit the nearby West Fork Methow Trail and at first it sucked and then it didn’t suck, and now I’m drinking beer and feeling blue collar.

This trail is seriously awesome, seriously:

Singular Track

 

The hills are alive with the sound of biking...

 

More...

 

This trail is 8 miles out and then 8 back. It’s a ton of fun. I should warn you, however, to heed the suggestions on the websites about wearing long sleeves and leggings due to overbrush. They ain’t kidding. Also, this trail is very slatey and rocky. I recommend a bigger, knobbier climbing tire, and let out a lot of the air, but not too much to invite pinch flats. There are some hairy scary moments on this trail where your front wheel can hit even a small rock then bob to the side and – whooot – off the cliff you go. I was sweating during many sections. Probably a good trail to take a buddy on.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do the whole thing and had to turn back due to the sun going down. However, I will return (corncob, resolutely striding from the landing craft) and do the full loop because it’s just plain gorgeous. Next up: Hart’s Pass.

Just a boy and his panda...

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