Sunday, May 31, 2009


Saturday, John Clark and I got a ride in that we've been wanting to do for a while--Chuckanut Mountain, then on to Blanchard. Conditions were perfect--blue sky, temps in the 60s and 70s and, far as we could tell, no wind. After having to stop at the corner of Eldridge and Walnut to watch the largest Donut Ride peloton we've ever seen pass by, we set off in the opposite direction just after 7 a.m. for Fairhaven. There we picked up the Interurban Trail and followed it just about to the end.
From there, it was up Fragrance Lake Road to the Lost Lake Trail, where we took a right (passing by the base of Little Chinscraper/Double Black Diamond) up, up, up to the shoulder just above the Lost Lake basin. Here we took a right (where the Dictionary used to be) and after passing through some disgusting mucky pond-puddles headed down, down, down a steep rocky gully on what the map calls the Overlander Trail. By map, I refer to the super-useful Chuckanut Recreation Area map (Square One Maps) which I highly recommend.

Eventually things level out, then go down some more, then up, then down and so on. Back here, it's all forested and winding dirt and gravel roads, the intersections of which all look basically the same so the map was invaluable. We'd ride for a bit, stop and consult the map, ride due south, consult the map then ride due north, then due south and so on. (See super low-tech map image below that kind of shows our route penciled in.)

With somewhat a sense of relief we hit the British Army trail, which was our super-steep Stairway to Blanchard. According to the map, it climbs 580 feet in just over a mile but I bet most of this is in the first three-quarters of a mile. We'd ride (seemingly straight up), then walk, then ride when we could, then walk, eventually making it to Lizard Lake where we dined on Power Bars, some kind of chicken wrap thing I bought at Haggen's that morning and Gatorade. From there we headed east along the lake, past a horse camp, to the Alternate Incline Trail which gets my vote for the funnest descent we've ever done on a mountain bike. Steep, but not scared-for-my-life steep, rather just this side of my downhill abilities.

From there, Road 1000, map-map-map, until we rode around a locked gate, passed a No Trespassing sign and popped out onto Roy Road near Camp Lutherwood at the far west end of Lake Samish. A great ride. Other folks do this ride and add the back way into Pine and Cedar lakes but we'll save that for another day. As it was, our stats were 40 miles, 4-1/2 hours of riding time, 4,400 feet of climbing.

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