Riding in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. St. Helens National Monument.
We've ridden there before, due to the High Fire Hazard in Southern
BC we viewed this as the opportunity to check it out again!
Armed with my new Polar HR Toy I could accumulate lots of data for this ride! I will only bore you with the elevation profile over the 45km ride.
The ride started off Hwy 99 at Windy Ridge. The view of Spirit Lake in the background with the logs meandering on their lazy course with the wind. The devastation of the volcanic blast is still present 23 years later. The area is recovering though.
We head down the Smith Creek Trail ( #225)
The loose Pumice anti-slickrock trail with the remarkable views made for some interesting riding!
Mt St Helens and her surrounding devastation was ever present. Logs were just lying around like discarded tooth picks.
Crossing the red rocks of Smith Creek was a bit of an orienteering feat in some parts.
After the ripper descent down Smith Creek and back up the road where we regained half our lost elevation, the Mountain made her presense felt. (Click on picture for larger image).
We thought we were mighty on this little epic of ours. Her journey is so much larger.
Back up Ape Canyon we climb. Most of the remaining elevation was gained on this switchback trail that coursed through an oasis of HUGE Douglas Firs that survived the blast and mud flows that traumatized this area. This ride as a there and back would be the LEAST someone should ride in this area. Put it on your MUST ride list.
The views of the Muddy River continued to present itself through the giant trees.
Finally we reach the top of the climb to view the surrounding desolate landscape and the view of where we came from. (Click on picture for larger image).
We ride through the Plains Of Abraham as it ages back to its own under the Mountains watchful eye.
Could you imagine being here on May 18th 1980?
The first signs of growth are emerging.
Through the turns
Along the ridge of time we ride.
Down the stairs since the soft pumice slope cannot support the visitors who want to ride and hike in this area.
Back to the cars we ride for a much needed beer and snacks to end this epic ride. Until we meet again.
Day 2. - Badger Ridge Trail (#257)
This Ride consisted of a pretty healthy climb up a FSR that again provided some amazing veiws! An added bonus were the blueberry bushes on the side of the trail! As you can see from the elevation profile there was a bit of a hike a bike section... The descent made it HIGHLY worthwhile!
Part of the hike a bike you could climb...
Others you could not...
The descent was bermy, switchbacky and FAST!
again we were surrounded by towering Firs. Not as big as in Ape Canyon but big none the less. (Click on picture for larger image)
Thus ends our second day of riding in Mt. St. Helens.
We'll be back.