Three days—two nice mtn bike rides

We’ve started to explore various less ridden (than Post Canyon) mountain bike rides in the area.  On Saturday, we headed south to the shoulder of Mt. Hood and the 44 Trails.  We rode Knebal Spring Loop—very nice, lots of flowers, no other bikers on the trail!  When we got to the parking area, we saw signs with arrows that said “Racers” and we thought, oh no, there’s a mtn bike race here today.  What we found out was that we were at a fuel station for a 50 mile trail running event and the finish of the 50 k trail event.  We started out on part of the course, but most of the racers were behind us.  There was one trail runner whom we caught up to, but then he passed us while we checked the map….and we never saw him again!  I think he was the overall winner, running 50 miles in just over 7 hours!!   YIKES.

We took Sunday off; it was a bit overcast and threatening rain and on Monday road Whoopdee.  A great 10 mile ride east of Hood River.  Spectacular views of the river, Mt. Adams, even Mt St. Helens in the background and every kind of blue wildflower was out!  Lilac, blue flax, centaurea (bachelor’s buttons), penstemon and violets.  For contrast there were white queen Anne’s lace, a fragrant flowering bush-mock orange, and yellow balsamroot, chicory and goatsbeard. Blackberries were almost ripe and there were lots of pink flowering low bush huckleberries.  Between the evergreen forest and the meadows, there were grows of oaks, many had galls.  At one stop where we were deciding which way to go, a large owl flew out of a nearby tree and silently flew away.  What a treat.

The trail starts off with a drop into a steep valley and we both wondered about the climb out, but it was a well built trail and the climb took us through wooded sections and into meadows with the flowers and views.  We met on rider going the other way.  When we got back to the car, there was a note on the windshield—he was our here visiting his daughter and he saw our NH plates.  He was from Hanover!! Small world.

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