Sunday, June 14, 2009

John Wayne Trail: a 39 mile ride

The John Wayne Trail starts near Rattlesnake Lake in North Bend and continues halfway across the state. On Sunday afternoon, I put my hyrbridized cruiser/mountain bike on the trail and rode up to Snoqualmie Pass and back. Its approximately 19 miles each way. According to Map My Ride, the ride gains 3,000 feet of elevation.

At 5 miles you start to get to the interesting stuff. Here is the beginning of the climbing walls -- lots of people milling about today! The cool trestles that supported the old Chicago-Milwaukee start here too.

If you click on this image and look closely you can see this climber hanging from a piton.

This beautiful craggy wall just begs for some climbing. Never seen anyone on it.

Here's one of the fantastic trestles that span each creek valley.

Looking down (100 feet?) from the trestle over Hall Creek, you can see a new trail that begs for some exploring. It looks like it is part of the new Change Creek Trail which is likely an adventure all on its own.

Every now and then a break in the trees rewards an angler with a view of the South Fork of the Snoqualmie. They say it has the biggest and healthiest fish of the three forks. With fishy spots like this one glimpsed above, one can see why!

Here is yet another example of exactly how rough a winter we've had. This little creek, merely a drip in the rocks now, was clearly a 15 foot-wide torrent of destruction ealier this year.

The stretch between 10 and 18 miles is difficult. It is somewhat desolate and foreboding. At 15 miles, I considered stopping and turning back, missing my goal by a mere 15%. But I kept going by taking it just one mile at a time.

At 17.2 miles, less than a mile from the end of the trail, I met with THIS problem. The last washout had not yet been repaired! I was advised by some fellow bikers on the scene to just hoof it the rest of the way but I portaged my bike through the creek instead.

And a few minutes later, I arrived at the (still closed) Snoqualmie Tunnel. When open, you can ride the 2.5 miles through to the other side, provided you have a headlamp.

There's a nice outhouse and some picnic tables WAY out here. Lunched at one of the tables and then called some family to tell them I was thinking about them. The ride back took another two hours.


On a personal note: Surprised myself by doing this ride. If you would have told me that I could ride 19 miles uphill I'd have said you were crazy. Feels good. Except for my wrist, which is killing me!

3 comments: