Two Days in the Dirt

Aug 2007

Nick, an ex-coworker from Cycoactive / Touratech-USA, put out a call for a 2 or 3 day dual-sport ride around the Cascades. In the end there were just the two of us and it became a two day ride. Since both of us were previous Cycoactive employees, we thought maybe we should call this the Inaugural Cycoactive/Touratech-USA “I don’t work there anymore!” Ride. Rumor has it there may be more eligible for this event in the future.

Our itenerary was made up of some older Cycoactive GPS routes and a couple of routes from the most recent Dirt Gather. Some were new to me and some were new to Nick, so it promised to be fun. The weather turned out perfect and the riding was excellent. The high point for me was camping at 6000 feet on Cooper Mountain overlooking Lake Chelan. Doesn’t get much better.

The new routes for me were NF 8700 from US2 around the north side of Lake Wenatchee, the ‘secret’ route into Plain (hint: follow the power lines), and NF 5210 from Entiat Summit Road northwest to the Entiat River Road and on to Ardenvoir. NF 8700 is an easy ride that gets you off the main highway and up the mountain for some very nice scenic views. There is a bit of traffic on this road as it is the access for several trailheads. The ‘secret’ route into Plain is a bit more rugged, especially since the tremendous rains this last fall and spring. Once we got over the washed out sections, it’s just a steep hillclimb underneath the power lines and an easy descent into Plain. NF 5210 is a great alternative to NF 5800. It is narrower, much more overgrown and feels much more remote. Some great views of the Entiat River valley as you work your way northeast.

The new areas for Nick were Blackpine Lake and the Twisp River Road and a loop from Winthrop to Conconully and back on NF 37, NF 42, NF 4225 and Lester Road. All fast, easy routes with some great scenery.

The view from NF 8700 just north of US 2

The view from NF 8700 just north of US 2

Heading east on NF 8700 toward Lake Wenatchee

Heading east on NF 8700 toward Lake Wenatchee

It's nice to be wanted. Entering Plain

It’s nice to be wanted. Entering Plain

Climbing up to Entiat Summit

Climbing up to Entiat Summit

Near the lookout on Entiat Summit Road

Near the lookout on Entiat Summit Road

A handheld 180° panorama from NF 5210

A handheld 180° panorama from NF 5210

A view from Cooper Mountain Road north of Chelan

A view from Cooper Mountain Road north of Chelan

Nice road up to our camp site

Nice road up to our camp site

The view of Lake Chelan from my tent

The view of Lake Chelan from my tent

This spot was under 6 feet of snow two months ago

This spot was under 6 feet of snow two months ago

Are these good to eat?

Are these good to eat?

The view looking west from Cooper Mountain Road

The view looking west from Cooper Mountain Road

My kind of traffic jam

My kind of traffic jam

Blackpine Lake

Blackpine Lake

Forest fire remains on NF 37 near Baldy Pass

Forest fire remains on NF 37 near Baldy Pass

Kinda harsh on the signs

Kinda harsh on the signs

Looking west from Lester Road

Looking west from Lester Road

Just another great weekend on dirt roads in the Cascades.