July 4th in Leavenworth

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
North Van
I totally forgot about ride reports, so I figured I'd hash something together... Better late than never, marginally.

Some riding buddies got together this summer and we decided that we'd head south for our annual "guys weekend" ride. After much deliberation, we decided to make it a "little bikes" trip. Leavenworth via Bellingham was our loose plan.

We loaded up the A-Team van and hit the road

The bikes were worth about 20 times the value of the van. That is not an exaggeration. Ridiculous.

We all took off early from work on the Thursday and got a ride in on Galbraith Mt.

"Anybody have a multitool?"

Not many pics but we rode a bunch of trails. We ended on SST, which I think might have been the most fun I have ever had on any bike, ever. So many jumps, so many berms.... But all reasonable.

This wasn't SST...

This was one of the step-ups that we decided to session a few times. This was on SST. Such a blast

Popped out of the trials into this neighbourhood with a ridiculous sunset to match the ridiculous grin on my face. Pic doesn't do it justice. INSANELY fun day.

Only one crash so far (my buddy came unclipped in mid air on the step-up above), but he soldiered on.

We packed up the next day. As we loaded up, another buddy decided chalk up crash #2 in the parking lot. No pics of the damage, but it was by far the worst injury of the trip.

So, Leavenworth...

Info on the area isn't plentiful. "Go to Das Rad Haus" is the advice we got the most of. Boostindoubles did lend some advice. Coincidentally we had booked the exact same accommodation as he had used a week prior. The Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort is where we stayed. If in Leavenworth, I'd recommend it. Clean, decent lodging, and AWESOME food.

We were too excited to be smart and get organised at the Rad Haus for the rest of the weekend and charged off the Xanadu.

The trail head was easy to find, and we made our way up at a casual pace. Some more casual than others...

big-ted lead the pack

we rode the ridgeline on the right

this took a few attempts... kinda winded but ready to ride. finally. We were all very enduro.

Conditions were uber dusty. Made this section pretty tricky. I took the wussy line. Too much weekend left

This was a fun bit. Google+ did this...

The rest of Xanadu was fun too, but super loose and dusty. We headed back and stored our bikes

Next day we weren't too sure what to ride. Being July 4th, Rad Haus was closed... OOPS! So we checked out a local outdoors shop to try our luck with some maps/trail info. We decided to try out Mission Ridge. It was quoted as a 4-7 hour ride. We figured the 7 hour rating was for old ladies and started pedalling. We'd bang off that ride and maybe do another lap somewhere else in the pm... Little did we know...

We arrived at the spot where people seemed to park and set off. We met a couple who planned the same ride, and had ridden it before, so we figured we'd follow their tracks. The road up was sandier than the one up Xanadu and it made for tough going. We pedalled up for about an hour following the fresh mtb tracks ahead of us. Some sections were pretty steep and took some grunting to get up. Some of the party were already getting off and walking... All in the name of earning our turns, it was all copacetic. Until of course we saw the couple "leading" us come rolling back down the hill toward us. They'd gone the wrong way. Fvck. And it was hot... about 2.5 liters of water left. No problem. We about faced and found the correct trail head and re-started the ride. It was only about 10:30, we'd beat the heat, right?

We crossed some small streams and the sand instantly stuck to our drivetrains. Grind grind grind...maybe 3 hours later...

My bike was not happy with me. My kingdom for some chain lube!

a little while after that, the mountains disappeared...

gotta keep climbing... 1 liter of water left...

maybe another hour after that, the rest of pack were coming into view...

made it, my good side...

photo credit to big-ted

some of us more tired than others...

5 hours or so of climbing... maybe our second lap will be a shorter one.

these panos never work as well as you hope...

We kept stopping on the way up and joking about which ridge we had to bike to. It turned out we had to ride to the one the farthest away. Had we known, I'm sure we would have had one or two abandon the mission. Good thing we didn't!

Now for the descent. So sandy!

I think I ran out of water around here.

I couldn't decide which pic was better, so here's both

Some fun sections on the way down. Drifty!

Unfortunately, there was a fair amount of climbing to do on the way back to the car too. There were some really fun bits through a variety of different vegeation. It changed quite a bit as we desecended. But each time we thought we were about to hit the next fun section, we seemed to get a kick in the gut with some more sandy climbs up moto tracks. It was pretty brutal. As hard as I tried to pedal it all, I just couldn't do it. The sand beat me.

We also ran into some moto guys who seemed to have crashed off of the trail and were trying to hoist one of the bikes back onto the narrow bench cut. There was gasoline kinda everywhere. They swore they were okay... We carried on. Shared moto-mtb trails... I'm not so sure about them...

It was a huge day. All told, it took the group about 8 hours or so. I think the ride was close to 40 miles in 95 degree heat. We felt like a bunch of shattered old ladies by the end of it. It was a different style of riding than any of us were used to, and a bit of an adventure, so pretty cool all in all. But it sure made me appreciate the quality of trails available a little farther west.

So, for our final day, we hit up Galbraith again on the way home. Such a good time.