Monday, August 20, 2007

Mackenzie River Ride / Portland



Saturday morning we all dragged ourselves out of the tents, put on some coffee, had breakfast and figured out a plan to get everyone up to the trail and leave a shuttle car at the end. The trail we rode was the Mackenzie River Trail, a classic Oregon ride that is frequently featured in mountain biking magazines. It has it all, some nice technical sections, waterfalls, crystal clear lakes and streams, old growth forests and a few ascents to get the blood pumping. Sara and I are beginner mountain bikers so we were not sure what to expect from this 20 mile ride but Melanie reassured us it was mostly downhill and we could always hop off the bike if it got too crazy. It started out pretty tame with some rolling twists through the forest and then it passed into a lava rock field. We had never rode through lava before, so it was an experience. The lava is super sharp, if you fall, it takes the skin off like a cheese grater. We made it through (slowly) unscathed, however Greg slashed his tire somewhere along the way. Since the tire was cut so severely it wasn’t just a matter of replacing the tube, the tire had to be patched. So we began to ask passer-bys on the trail for things to patch the tire with. In the end it was successfully patched with some gum, a Clifbar wrapper and duct tape. Amazingly, it held out for the entire ride. The remainder of the ride delivered as promised, it was amazingly beautiful. It did have a few sections that were probably at the edge or beyond our abilities for rock scrambling on the bikes, but we made it through okay. Sara and I had a few crashes, nothing serious, but Sara ended up with quite a few gouges on her legs that required some trail medical attention which involved some skin glue and wound cleaning by Greg. At the end of the trail (about 6 hours later) we had some great hamburgers and celebratory beers at the Belknap Hot Springs.

After the ride, we decided to pack up and head back to Portland on Saturday night to sleep in a bed rather than in the tent… quite a luxury for Sara and I. We got the full tour of Greg and Melanie’s house, which is awesome. Greg and Melanie were awesome hosts for the remainder of the weekend. We went out to breakfast in their neighborhood, hit up the local farmer’s market, saw the Nike campus where they work and downtown Portland. The camping Friday night, the ride on Saturday, and hanging out the Greg, Melanie and their friends will certainly be a highlight of our trip. Check out their blog for Greg and Melanie’s take on the ride/weekend: http://web.mac.com/stronglianos/iWeb/Stronglianos/home.html

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info on Sara's injuries. This gives us something to worry about since there was no news about it in the phone call.

Anonymous said...

Seen tougher wound from Hockey games. Sara's tough, looks like a miner scratch.

Dadeo

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G said...

Awesome review guys! I couldn't have said it better myself. And since I'm still at home sick, and haven't had a chance to update our site, I'll be using your posting as my guest editor spot. It's PERFECT!

I do however object to the photo of us in the livingroom. For all those checking in from home, I'm not fat. That's a bad angle. Next time I'll have to Photoshop any photos that leave the house. ;)

It was so great to have you two out and show you one of our many playgrounds. As well as our new home! We are ready and waiting for any other visitors that want to check out Oregon.

Thanks for coming!
Greg & Melanie

Kirsten said...

The Nike campus.....so jealous.

I'm assuming you're now stocked on soy nut butter, eh?