Monday, September 07, 2009

Mary's Peak

At 4,097 feet Mary's Peak is the highest point in western Oregon. You can see the ocean to the west and the cascades to the east. So they say. All we saw were clouds in every direction. The day started out with our 6 person ride whittled down to 3. Team Enduro.I rained hard on Sat and sunday morning as I was getting ready it was ..raining. I'm ok with that, not because I have some fancy rain wear but because if I cancelled a ride every time it rained I would not ride a whole lot. So Eric, Aaron and I headed south to a trail that none of us had ridden, driving through every scattered shower in the Willamette valley. This trail has been on my radar for some time. I've read a lot about the hard climb and treacherous decent so I was excited to have my own opinion. I hardly ever state my own opinion. We nearly found the wrong trailhead easy enough but got turned around and headed the 10 miles or so through torrential downpours to another HWY which connected us to the right road which was at the exactly same mile marker, and from there it was easy. Drive to end and get out. We were concerned about the temp a the top so we kinda dressed warm ish. About 10 min into the 3.5 mile gravel road climb I was soaked with sweat and plenty warm . When we got to the East Ridge trail it was sprinkling a bit so we were happy to be in the trees. The hill side was really steep so no going off the trail. It was a little rocky but not too bad. Eric and Aaron rode nearly all of it . A couple of the switchbacks were impossible. Massive roots with tight turns. It was kid of surreal with the clouds moving through the trees. Sometimes I thought we must be in B.C. When we got to the top (aka the FALSE summit) and it was so foggy all you could see was ..... fog. It was really cold , so when some clouds went by and revealed the true peak we agreed that this was OUR summit and to not tell anyone. My hand's were getting numb by the time we found the trail to head down the dangerous decent. It was wet for sure so the roots were unpredictable but that the kind of riding I like. Non stop wet MASSIVE roots and quick turns through huge trees. Eric had a few off the bike moments from the slippery roots but nothing serious. I guess he hit his head on a stump. Aaron almost fell while taking a picture. Dangerous thing, standing along side of a trail. Near the end Eric found a cool log ride and rode it clean 2 times. The downhill was too short (as always) but made me want to go back with the helmet cam. I think next time it'll be a night ride!

No comments: