Monday, January 21, 2008

Riding To The Snowline

There are no clouds to be found in the sky for the first time in I don't know how long. This is probably the nicest day since late fall, and if you don't mind your temperatures in the twenties, then its perfect.

I had the itch to get out and ride, and I figured that a run up to the snowline would be just right.

The process of layering up with cold weather gear was necessary, and much appreciated once I got to where the above photo was taken. I figured the temps to be roughly 24 degrees or so, and my choice to wear the fishtail parka was the right one. My mittens didn't quite do the trick though, as I had to warm my hands the old fashioned way above the tailpipe. My helmet let in enough cold air to sting my cheeks a little, and it became a bit distracting. Unfortunately, the balaclava doesn't wrap far enough to cover my entire mug.

My turnaround point was at the 2nd turn-out on the Hurricane Ridge Road, and this is where I first found a real covering of snow. This road has been maintained by the Park Service for the past few months, as the snow has been consistently covering the road from the one mile mark and above. I guessed my elevation at around 800 feet at this point.

I could have gone further, but at the point that I stopped, the layer of gravel and sand was covering the entire road surface. It wasn't until I stopped that I realized that the sand and gravel also covered some fairly thick ice in the shaded spot just behind where my Big Ruckus was parked. That made for one of those, "Whoa, that could have sucked" thoughts to cross my mind. I had crossed from a sunny spot into the shade, and totally missed seeing the ice in the time that it took for my vision to adapt to the shade. Lucky for me that I was rolling in a straight line and not hanging in a curve.

I pretty much knew at this point that I was going to turn back toward the ranch. I meandered around for awhile on the way home looking at the boats at the marina, and watching the construction crews that are tearing up the downtown streets for the umteenth time in recent history, and finally puttered into my backyard chilled and satisfied.

As I type this post, my cheeks still sting from the chilled air sneeking in my helmet, and I don't mind a bit. It's finally sunny out and I was on my scooter. Not much better than that in mid January I think.

Have fun,
Bill

8 Comments:

Blogger BBC said...

You do have a very nice scoot, I've seen it over at the store. How fast does it go?

The last time I rode my scoot up to the Olympic Hot Springs I wasn't prepared at all, my only excuse is that I'm an idiot, but a tough idiot.

It was a nice day, but started raining just before I got to the trail head parking lot as I hiked back to the scoot after enjoying an hour in a nice hot pool

I was just wearing sandals and light clothes and it pretty much rained all the way back to town. I had to stop two times and liked to froze my butt off.

But I got back to town and then stopped at the beer church for a couple of brews before going on home, just to warm up ya know. :-)

8:31 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Billy B.
I've had that scoot up to around 75mph before, and it was smooth like butter. And,it gets right around 70mpg to boot.

Man, I feel cold just reading what you wore on the Hot Springs ride. The best part of that ride had to have been the pool time. I haven't been up there in awhile, but will make a point of riding up this spring.

Sandals and light clothes, no wonder you had to stop for some anti-freeze!

Have fun,
Bill

8:49 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

I could have gone further, but at the point that I stopped, the layer of gravel and sand was covering the entire road surface.

You pussy, I'm reminded of my last wife (a good o country gal) and a picture I used to have of her pushing our Yamaha 250 Exciter up an ice covered road when we went on a camping trip and got caught in crap we hadn't expected to get stuck in.

She was a great gal with nice boobs that really liked sex, to bad that her kid on drugs screwed that up for us.

Don't pay any attention to me. I'm just remembering old and better times.

8:58 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

You may not be able to get to the hot springs this spring. The way has been closed for a few months now.

The parks service is low on money and the hot springs isn't a top priority for them being as it doesn't bring them any money.

Actually, I can't blame them for that. But I sure would like to get to the hot springs again, I've posted about them a number of times.

9:07 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

Hum, as I recall, my 250 topped out at about 70, your scoot is doing pretty darn good. What size engine has it got in it?

9:11 PM  
Blogger Steve Williams said...

Sounds like a great ride Bill, even with the hands heated over the muffler. That's really old school adventure.

It does take some gumption to get out in the cold. More and more I want to sit inside and stay warm.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

4:04 PM  
Blogger Sarch said...

Bill, there is nothing better than getting home from a cold ride. Makes you appreciate your ride AND the warmth of home.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Heinz & Frenchie said...

Thanks for the picture of the Cushman, it is really good looking. We don't see them around here in South Florida. Nice Ride.

3:20 PM  

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