The Long Road North

I apologize for the lack of blog material here at and also at This is the time of year I make my annual pilgrimage from the desert southwest to my home in the Pacific Northwest.

This season of kayak fishing in the desert was terrible. The Sonoran desert is not a calm place, but wind has been getting stronger and more frequent every year. After being blown off the Colorado River, I left a windy and cooler than normal desert behind.

Windy and cool Colorado River dawn

Across the California desert heading towards my friend Mike’s place in North San Diego County. Southern California had just received a record amount of rain so the spring flowers were in bloom and everything was as green as it gets.

California flowers in bloom after record rain

Me, Mike and his dog Luc did some hiking out in the green and dust free scrub. Record rain means record rabbit population and rattlesnakes out looking for them so you have to be alert. Running into snakes is common this time of year.

Mike and Luc hiking in North SD County

Mike and I spent a lot of time riding mountain bikes around here, but bikes are not allowed in many places any longer. Like everywhere else, eBikes are changing the trail environment, especially in a small area like this.

North San Diego County

After a few days of too hearty partying with Mike, I was on the long road north. It’s a long trip and you see a lot on the way. The number of people down on their luck at every freeway gas station and rest area was mind boggling. Especially the number of older people and veterans. Not sure what they did to deserve that kind of life, but as I found out, your entire life can change in a split second and all you can do is hang on the best you can. It does not speak well for the future.

I had a trouble free journey and the trusty Tacoma ran well. I arrived in the PacNW to record heat. I packed up the mountain bike and headed to the mountains. The weather could not have been nicer.

MTB camp. Cascade Mtns.

The weather was warm and sunny, but it’s still 3000′ in the Cascade Mountains and there was still some snow around.

Cascade Mtn snow

With the warm weather, the winter snow was melting quickly. With plenty of snow just up the road, there was plenty of snow melt water running down the road.

Snow melt

All the water rushing down the mountain made a couple water crossings where there usually are none. With the downed tree as well, we went around this one.

Cascade Mountain water crossing

When you first start riding, you must take it slow. It’s so nice, you want to ride all day, but in reality, about an hour of mountain riding is enough to start out. Stretching is also in the program.

Morning stretch

You want to get in shape as quickly as possible because the better your condition, the more you can ride. The more you ride, the more you see.

Mt Hood

In the mountains, sooner or later, the road is going to up. Plenty of climbing options.

Cascade Mtn road

Beautiful mountain scenery makes a morning of climbing forest service roads worth it.

Mt Adams

By this time, the warm weather had taken care of the snow leaving some of the trails and mountain meadows under water.

Flooded trail

The pine trees are in bloom so there’s pine cones falling and a daily cloud of pine tree pollen.

Pine tree flower

Meanwhile, we ride every day, going a little further and a little higher every day.

Cascade Mountain road

In the evening, sometimes the locals stop by to say hello. There have been bears around as well, so you have to be aware of what’s going on around you.

Cascade Mountain deer

That’s it for now. We’ve upgraded some hardware, so the posting at and will take place more often. Check back soon!

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