Late Summer MTB Riding

The mountain bike riding here in Cascade Mountains is always great. It’s been a hot, dusty and always short summer here in the PacNW. The weather is still good, unfortunately no rain so the extreme fire danger continues. Fire smoke drifts in and out of the area but thankful no major wildfires in the immediate vicinity.

It seems like it’s been 100°F all summer and one morning it’s overcast and 40°F.

Overcast morning at MTB camp in the Cascade Mountains

I finally broke down and put a new rear tire on the trusty Giant Trance. Bike tires have gotten really expensive, I run them down to the bone. I notice the better traction, especially in loose sand and dirt, but I go so slow these days it’s hard to tell.

New rear tire on the Giant Trance

It’s getting cloudier, but still no rain. Everything is dry and dusty and the normally green mountain forests are tinged with brown. Walking in the woods sounds like walking on corn flakes. As autumn approaches, the mornings are getting cooler as night time temperatures dip into the low forties.

Cloudy late summer Cascade Mountain road

I found the remains of this bird on a remote mountain road. Everything was missing except the wings. Not sure what what’s going on here, but this looked like a hawk or some other bird of prey. It’s unusual to see these remains in the middle of a road. My personal opinion is that this bird did not die of natural causes.

Remains of a forest hawk on a remote Cascade Mountain road

The glaciers on Mt. Adams have really taken a beating this summer with all the record breaking heat. As fall quickly approaches, nighttime temperatures on the mountain are falling into the thirties, but it still in the eighties during the day.

Partly cloudy Mt Adams on a late summer day

The sun is out and the mountain wind is cool as the clouds race by just a few thousand feet overhead.

Partly cloudy mountain road

In the areas where there have been forest fires in the past, the underbrush grows quickly without the shade of the dense mountain forest.

Mountain trail through burn area

In this remote part of the Cascade Mountains, the thick underbrush with logs and tree stumps inches off the trail, it is imperative that you keep the bike on the trail and not to go even a foot off either side.

Bike riding on a remote Cascade Mountain trail

On some trails, there are so many downed trees, the trail will revert back to nature. Nature’s way of saying that “this trail is closed”.

Mountain trail closed due to downed trees

As we headed out, or more accurately, up on our final ride of this latest MTB camping adventure in the Cascade Mountains, there were clear signs of the seasons changing. Nights are getting much colder and the leaves have started to turn colors.

First colors of fall in the Cascade Mtns

The final ride of the session was to the end of the road at the border of the Mt Adams Wilderness where bicycles are not permitted. This is a tough climb up steep, windy mountain roads.

Steep Cascade Mountain road

From up here you can see the Cascade Mountain foothills as they tumble into the Columbia River Gorge and across the Columbia River to a hazy Mt. Hood in Oregon.

Looking across the Cascade Mtn foothills across the Columbia River to Mt Hood

Fall is here in this part of the Pacific Northwest and that means that the mountain bike riding in the sun and nice weather is just about over. We’ll be getting in as much riding as possible before the weather gets too nasty. Stay tuned.

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