Friday, August 8, 2014

A Beautiful Day in the Western Cascade Foothills

Today was a halcyon day in the GPNW.  We took the bikes out to Fall City to do the first part of the ride we always do because it is flat.  It takes us through many corn fields and really big country yards.  You know, the kind of yard that people mow with tractors.  Anyway, this is new.  Someone built a very nice pad for the travel trailer, put up steps and two out buildings. Notice that the travel trailer and the big outbuilding are raised up above the level of the field.  That's for when the flooding starts.  It would be kind of cool to own a chunk of land with a place to park the RV.

After the first flat segment of the ride, my back sent me a message that I should stop riding immediately.  So we went back to the truck and Jim loaded my bike for me.  Then he set off to do another lap so he could ride hard and break a sweat.  I took pictures of the stunning scenery while waiting for him.  I don't know what these are, they're sort of bristly.

One of my favorite barns.

The blackberries are getting ripe.  There are many people out picking them, some bushes have nothing left on them.  They're not very good; they're sour and are mostly seeds.  We always wonder what people do with them.

After Jim got back, we went for a drive.  This is an old grove of Sycamore trees.  People used to live in houses along this road.  I think it was a company town which ceased to be.  The people left, but the trees remain.

The always lovely Mt. Si.  There is a four mile trail (with 3,500 feet of elevation) up the side of it.  I've never done it. 

This is a former mill pond.  Logs were floated in here, and then sent to the saw mill.  It is not lovely?

We pressed on with the driving.  These are all roads that we used to bicycle, back when we were doing more mileage.  We went over a bridge to see where it would go, and ended up in the outskirts of North Bend.  These are elk.  Elk!  Who would have expected elk so close to town?  It was really cool, we didn't see this big of a herd in Yellowstone.

Eventually we ended up on the other side of the mill pond.  The road down to the old sawmill was open, this has never happened before.  So we went down the hill.  Here is the old power plant.   It would have burned sawdust, wood chips and debris to run the mill.

Dirtfish has bought the old facility and turned it into rally driving school and a competition track.  Redbull is affiliated with it.  It's pretty cool. They have dirt and mud and stuff to drive through.
This quote is from the three day course description.  "With new found skills in hand, drivers negotiate a course through trees and solid objects which simulate an actual rally stage."  I want to learn how to drive through sold objects!  Check out the website, it's interesting.

These are cars waiting to go out on the track again.

They get to drive through the old mill.  This would be fun.

It was a good day.  I got to ride a little, Jim got to ride more, and we saw elk. 


  1. What a lovely day....the elk sighting is very cool! That property in the first photo is something we might like to do....someday.

  2. Your photos are gorgeous! Sorry your back limited your cycling, but at least you got a short ride in. Blackberries are everywhere here, and I love 'em. You do have to wait until they get VERY ripe so they're sweet instead of sour, though. Some bushes are better than others. I've picked a few that were sugar sweet and some that were much more tart. You can make jam with them or a syrup with sugar or maple syrup to put on ice cream or waffles/pancakes. They're full of anti-oxidants and fiber. I am loving the berries in this part of the country -- so many more than where I'm from in NC.