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September 26, 2004

Hurricane Ridge

Details of our bike ride up Hurricane Ridge, in the Olympic mountain range, Washington USA.

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Last shot of the summit before heading back down. Thanks to Shawn for carrying his digicam under his saddle.

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Shawn at the summit.

After a three-egg, two-toast breakfast and a coffee, Shawn and I cycled down to the 10:30am Coho ferry (actual departure 10:50) from downtown Victoria to Port Angeles, Washington, for $13 US and 1.5 hours. Customs wasn't happy about me living in Victoria and having a Nelson-based driver's license, but they let me through in the end. I had the worst $2 US hotdog on the boat. Then from 12:45--and the PA marina on--it was uphill.

It's a couple k of gentle climbing through traffic out of town to the Olympic National Park (appearently the largest national park in the US) turnoff, and with the weather as it was we had already stopped to stuff our back pockets with arm and leg warmers, jackets, gloves, jerseys. It was shorts and a short-sleeve jersey the rest of the way, of which maybe (my bike computer is dead) the first 4 km were a discouraging 8 per cent grade to the $5 US tollbooth. A lot of "man, what am I doing on this bike? on this mountain?" mental quivering. After that the climb averages say 6 per cent, with a couple tunnels, a few final switch backs and some great views. I averaged two power gells, two granola bars, 1.5 energy bars--and by my watch and shocked legs--a total of 2:20 hrs from boat to summit, the only point from sea level to 1,600 metres where I had the confidence I would actually survive, and where I bought a bowl of chili (as Shawn demonstrates).

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$4.65 US chili at the summit visitor centre.

I tried drying my sweat-soaked clothing under the bathroom hand dryer, put everything I owned back on, and then rotated drafts with Shawn for a non-stop, 40 minute, brakeless descent. Caught the 5:15pm boat home, where, incidently, I raced to change and shower, then peddle downtown to meet some friends and family for a great Chinese dinner, then immediatley hop a couple blocks over to see former Weezerite Mike Sharp play at Logan's Pub. In bed by 2am.

Posted on September 26, 2004 03:56 PM | TrackBack


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