The last few weeks we have spent having a joyous ride through the stunning mountains of Oregon and Washington. Many mountain passes, snowy peaks, wonderful people, great weather (yes, really!), generally kind drivers, and great camping! We. Love. The. Northwest! It seems like the mountains, the BIG mountains, are playing peekaboo with us. We ride along in a forested area, or through fruit orchards, turn a corner and suddenly Mt. Hood sneaks into our view!! Really fun.
We decided on this route based on a fortuitous encounter with Carol York and Peter Fotheringham, two experienced cycle travelers living in Salmon River, Washington, but who happened to be in the bike shop in Hood River when we were there. Kathleen struck up a conversation and explained some of our challenges finding a good cycling route for our family (mainly we were/are concerned about traffic) and they suggested the Sierra Cascades Route from Adventure Cycling Association. Originally I had wanted to do this route through California, but we hesitated as it has a lot of mountain passes, climbs of over 4000 feet in elevation, and many of the passes were still snow-covered. So we chose a different route. At any rate, after talking to Carol and Peter, Carol said she’d leave the maps at the bike shop for us the next day. When I went to pick them up I found an envelope containing 2 bike maps and a highlighted state map of Washington with alternate routes and side trips! Thank you Carol! Well, the next day we headed further down the Columbia Gorge to The Dalles, and then we headed south into the mountains near Mt Hood, and ended up climbing 4000 feet on a gravel road (I swear the road looked paved in my navigation program!). Well, after doing that, then climbing even higher the next day (up to 4600 feet), Kathleen said let’s do the Sierra Cascades. So from that point onwards we decided to follow the Sierra Cascade Route. We headed back down the mountain, back to Hood River (love that town!), visited our favourite bike shops and bagel cafe, and headed back to Cascade Locks to cross the Bridge of the Gods (great name!), into Washington.
And what about Washington? Well! You’ve read Kathleen’s posts, so you know it was amazing–I’ll explain our route in a future post!