Bend To Portland via Santiam pass


Saturday July 14, 2012

Our time in Bend was relaxing and sunny. We left in the early morning and followed a series of bike paths and routes out to the north side of town. We had breakfast on the trail and then popped out on US 20 and started heading toward Sisters. The traffic was moderate and when we got to Sisters it was in the midst of the annual outdoor quilt show. The main road through town was closed to vehicular traffic so we had an easy view of all the quilts displayed. We were thinking of you – Karen, Lori and Chris!

The quilt show was drawing quite a crowd and the streets were filling up. Cars and traffic were slowly making their way through a detour route around town.  It came time for us to move on too so we decided to head out and ride up over Santiam pass and then wind our way through the Willamette and Mt. Hood National Forests to Estacada, OR. Our route brought us around the south side of Black Butte and then around the north side of Suttle lake. From Sisters it was only a 1700′ climb up to Santiam pass in the Cascades. The weather started to get a bit dark and rain was threatening but it somehow steered clear of us. We crossed the Pacific Crest Trail  at the top and then began our amazing  descent along the North Santiam River. Views of Mt. Washington and the surrounding area were spectacular.

View near Bend and Sisters

Black Butte and Mt. Washington

Mt. Washington

Easy ride down main st in Sisters, OR

Quilts displayed on a building

More Quilts

Once we got out of Sisters the traffic was fairly moderate even with the road closure. We met and were passed by the occasional cyclist. Most were out for the day or were fully supported.

Nice wayside on the way up Santiam pass

Easy open roads in Oregon

Action shot

Roadside Foxglove

The day proved to give us more downhill in one day than we have had in a long time.  That night we camped near Idanha, OR  in the Willamette National Forest leaving even more downhill for the next day.  We woke  early and got on the road in a flash. We stopped in Idanha at a small store for some coffee and breakfast snack. After a few more miles we took a stop in busy little Detroit, OR. Here we ditched a bunch of traffic and took a hard right onto Forest service road 46. This road took us past Breitenbush Hot Springs.  We tried to make a reservation there to camp but they were full. Next time for sure! We continued to gradually climb up and around Bald Butte in the Olallie Scenic Area and then crossed into the Mt. Hood National Forest. Here is where we picked up the Clackmas River corridor which we would follow all the way to Estacada, OR.

Once we were well into the forest we decided to use our new water filter that we purchased in Santa Fe. Our filter is the Sawyer complete 2-liter system and works great. It is gravity fed and takes no time at all!

So nice!

One of many small waterfalls pouring into the Clackamas River

Using our Sawyer water filter at the above waterfall

The Clackamas River corridor was an amazing ride. The river wound its way through deep forest and rugged mountainous areas. It did however prove to be challenging to find a campsite for the night. Steep rocky walls, the river itself and impenetrable Black berry bushes thwarted our efforts for a couple of hours. We did eventually find a small spot under some high tension wires. Not the most glamorous site but it worked out well for our riding the following day, and it was free.

Debi blazing down the Clackamas River Corridor

camped low near some high tension wires

Once in Estacada we found some coffee in a shop called The Grind House. It was a dreary morning but things improved as the day moved along. Estacada was full of murals painted by artists years ago. As we left Estacada our secondary road routes brought some steep hill climbs, steeper than we have seen in awhile. We got our first views of Mt. Hood southeast of Portland near Boring, OR.  In Boring we found an amazing fruit stand and had to stop to refuel. Here, we picked up the Springwater Trail which was unpaved and downhill and then joined with the I-205 trail which brought us into Portland.

The Grind House

One of several murals in Estacada, OR

View of Mt. Hood near Boring, OR

Fruit Stand!

Raspberries! More berries!

Mile marker on the Springwater Trail

Yay Portland!

Stay tuned for city adventures.



2 Responses to “Bend To Portland via Santiam pass”

  1. It’s about time! :) I was getting worried about you guys….figured you had to stop somewhere and get jobs! Nice to be reading of your continuing adventures! “) Safe travels!

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