Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sean vs. The McKenzie River Trail

This is a ride I've been looking forward to for a very long time. I don't remember the first time that the MRT entered my radar, but I can say for sure that it's been there for a long time. I got up early Saturday morning in Portland and headed South toward the trail. My goal was to find a group shuttling from the bottom and tag along so I could do the entire 26 mile length of the trail. I prowled the three lots I found near the trailhead to no avail so I went with the predetermined alternative. I parked nine miles up the road at Deer Creek and rode up trail from there. I was mistakenly under the impression that it was approximately 9 miles up to Clear Lake where I could replenish my water. I was also told that this ride would also give me a good taste of everything MRT had to offer. I should mention at this point that I had some very high expectations for this trail and in no way did it disappoint.

The trail started out buttery smooth and snaking between trees right next to the river. Within only a few miles the trail got a little further from the river and a little more exposed but the trail was no less fun. After about six miles or so I entered a lava field where the trail got a lot less smooth and the trail surface itself was quite reminiscent of the rough trails of the 'nix. To ease the trail pain someone had the foresight to place a couple of beautiful waterfalls and a pool along the most technical section. By the end of the lava I was starting to feel the burn and wanted to head back down but I was so hard up to see Clear Lake(and refill my Camelback) that I kept plugging away.

When I finally did hit the lake it was like a great weight had been lifted, I knew that I had been headed up hill for nearly 13 miles but dammit if I didn't realize how much. As tanked as I was it still took me an hour less to get back to the car than it had taken me to get to the lake. Net drop from the lake to the car was about 1300 feet but that made all the difference. Trail came and went quickly and at times I was riding like a man possessed. When the trail got smooth with just a slight downgrade I was just hanging on for the ride with a smile on my face.

Back at the car I had covered 25.5 miles and just shy of 6000 feet.


The pool, and by the way, the photo is untouched, that's the true color of it.
I don't remember their names but here's the two waterfalls along the ride.

Clear Lake,
and my salvation.
Here's every bridge I crossed during the ride.

Best ride I've ever been on.



Fred said...

Just curious what kind of camera you take riding?

Sean said...

It's a Sony DSC-W55. Halfway decent lense and mall enough to fit in a Timbuk2 iPod case on my Camelback strap.

YuriB said...

lucky b@stard!