Oregon, Washington, Idaho weekend tour

 

LLifecycles team two heads out to the Wildhorse resort in Oregon on Thursday, the remote Palouse falls in Washington on Friday, and then  cycle across Lake Pondoray, the fifth deepest lake in the US in Idaho on Saturday….

The first day out.  We spoiled ourselves at the Wildhorse Resort casino in Penleton where we had the all you can eat seafood. We always get mostly King crab. Anyway we stayed there that night. The next morning on the way to Spokane, we visited this remote location called the Palouse falls. Incredible.

This is the canyon below the falls.

 

Palouse Falls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We drove to Sandpoint the next day. Got up the next morning and rode across the long bridge to the small town where the dance hall is located down a long and winding dirt road.

 

 

 

We ride back to Sandpoint, wishing we had more time to spend in this town.

The marquee advertises George Winston, he’s a famous pianist. He doe’s all the charlie brown music and tons of others.

We ride right through a car show.

Sorry, I don’t know how these pictures got mixed up. This is the crab feed the day before at the Wildhorse.

We get cleaned up after the bike ride and drive out to the Crystal lake barn where the dance is to be held after our federation meeting. This is the view out the back.

 

 

Tour De Fat 2012!

The biggest baddest bike ride of the year.

We launch team lifecyles team five on a HOT summer day.  Buck, Jill, Ian, Fonda and myself. This is the inaugural ride for Fonda’s skip-tooth war-era cruiser. I just got it fixed.

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In the staging area with Ian and Monark man and Jill.

Dogs were big this year. These guys were having a blast.

psyching each other out before the race.

Anticipation builds to a critical level before we take off. Adrenaline flowing.

Pre-ride jitters on the face of a clown.

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We roll out en-mass.  I estimate ten thousand of us. This view was just breathtaking.

Creatures from every walk of life.

Fonda spreading good cheer with the rodeo queen wave.

Spectators growing and taking pictures of us on both sides of the road as we scream and holler out of pure joy.

 

 

Republican legislators shout at us to go home because people like us don’t belong out in public. We’re bringing disrespect to them and their red state.

Ian and Fonda tell the Republicans to bite them as they roll past.

Jill and Buck.

He rode all the way on a unicycle….at least I think he made it.

From the locomotive headlight on my 1951 Rocket. It blew a tire last year and I had to walk back to the festival.

 

We park the bikes and walk into wonderland.

We Own the place.

 

These cops were knuckling down this man in his nighty.

Some random shots of just about anything you can imagine.

Fonda and Jill with a gladiator.

A pink flamingo, and owl and a black swan.

 

Her boobs were twist off caps.

 

Proud to be your friends.

This is Foxy Brown. We see her every year. Demure and gorgeous.

 

There were some very skinny, tall people here this year.

Adam and Eve

More skinny.

Speaks for itself…his Indian name.

Stage show.

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We all began dancing to some pulsating, and I mean PULSATING music.

fonda and I took off our shirts and got high fives from the crown when I began cueing cha cha dance steps in her ear. They opened up a small spot for us and we did the chase with a peek-a-boo, underarm turn to a lariat, some new yorkers, shoulder to shoulder and a couple cucarachas. It was something I’ll never forget. Everyone was jumping around but we were doing the cha cha. The loved it. What and incredible day…….Lifecycles out.

 

dancing and downhilling in the clouds

The Lifcycles team heads to the top of the world for weekend of dancing  and downhilling.

The weekend fun begins when we attempt to get our stubborn little horse into the barnyard boogie stable at McCall with the other animals.

We finally drag him in and spend Friday night kicking up our heels.

We camp that night at Ponderosa park where we have camp already set up.

Early Saturday we head out for a shakedown ride to get the feel of the mountain bikes  before we hit Brundage mountain at high noon. We saw a fox right after this deer.

This trail heads south of town. Its nice and easy, but we get our downhill dancing legs going. Here’s Jonathan and Fonda, team two.

The trail winds through sand, rocks and finally pavement back to town.

We have to hurry to get to the lift. Here’s Cinder asking Jonathan if we all have our life insurance paid up.

The bikes get their own lift.

The air gets thinner around 7500 feet.

Incredible views. They keep talking to me because I get panicky on these things.

We get to the top and meet dancers from all over Idaho for this special initiation into an exclusive club. There is also a forest-service road that you can take back down. Some of the other cyclist opted for this.

Bosco Bosler. A close friend, the caller for the dance and the man who arranged for this to happen.

 

 

Fonda and Jonathan before the dance, discussing a way to get down of this mountain without getting seriously injured.

The other downhillers are temporarily freaked out by us when we begin dancing on the mountain. We tell them its an ancient ritual that will keep you safe on the way down the mountain…. They begin to dance too.

It was inspiring and one of the defining moments of dancing for us. What a feeling it was.

A squaredance caller,  a downhiller,  a Celtic bagpipe musician hobby caller and a swiss mountain climber cuer. This is something you don’t see everyday.

All of these dancers share a bond of togetherness that is priceless.

We get a case of nerves, pick up the bikes, bid farewell to the other dancers and fly off  down the mountain.

 

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We stop briefly to discuss safety. This is a new member of lifecylces and also a dancer. Jason turned out to be an exceptional downhiller. I was impressed. He later admitted that he was experienced.

We decide to throw safety to the wind.

Looking South toward Cascade lake.

 

We check our gear and tear off again.

This sign says it all. Losing focus can cost you dearly.

It’s intoxicating.

 

 

 

About half way down, Fonda lays it down with only minor injuries. These hairpin turns had too much loose dirt over rocks. It was bound to happen.

There were water crossings too.

It gets more forested as you descend.

 

 

A dead tree had fallen across the trail spilling broken branches everywhere, Jonathan hits them coming into a hairpin turn causing his front end to wash out. He goes down, but sustains only minor injuries that would hurt worse later I’m thinking.

Like something out of a magazine.

Everyone showed some impressive skills on this mountain today. We are elated from adrenalin. Now we need to get cleaned up and go to the big dance in town!

 

We dance that night until we’re all zombies.

 

 

 

The next morning, our little horse wins third place!

 

I wish everyone could have this much fun.  Lifcycles out.

 

 

Nationals and Centennial Trail

Lifcycles team two attends out first National square and round dance festival. We spend four days dancing, cycling and exploring Spokane Washington and the Centennial Trail. This shot is from the trail and the Convention Center. The trail runs right through the middle. It continues on to the Idaho border about 30 miles away.

 

We splurged and got a suite at the top of the Roadway Inn. The bed was a raft, it even had paddles. With a mural of deer and forests along one side. Trees everywhere.

We started out each morning at the center for round dance exhibitions where we would select new dances for our club.

Jonathan and Fonda making sure our booth has all the Idaho stuff.

We wore shorts during the day, and switched to traditional SQ dance attire at night.

At some point during the day, we would hit the trail…right from the middle of town at the Convention Center.

We actually wore our biking shorts under our squaredance clothes!

Heading west on the trail the first day.

There is a spectacular water falls right in the middle of town.

It’s incredible. This is the site of the 1973 worlds fair.

 

We completely circle the city the first day on our bikes.

Getting to know downtown on the bikes. It’s scary at first, and they you just go with the flow. We can travel as fast as the cars, or faster.

Another bridge, another dance.

We go on a walking tour of the metropolitan area with Jonathan and Cinder.

This town feels like Seattle to me.

Jonathan takes us deep into the bowels of the city. This is inside the basement of the old water power plant. It’s now a fancy restaurant.

Downtown Spokane

More of us. Jonathan, Cinder and Ben and Kathy House.

There was dancing almost 24-7. This was one of my favorites. We danced right in the middle of two busy downtown streets to a German caller. It was just magic.

Jonathan and Cinder showcase a dance. We later learned it and got a chance to perform it later for people from all over the US.

Lots of us from Silverleaf.

On the last day we danced and danced and then hit the trial right from the parking garage in the afternoon.

We headed south this time to get some miles heading toward Idaho.

Right along the river.

 

We were not sure where we were, just exploring.

Just stay on the trail and we can’t get lost.

This trail got nicer as we got closer to Idaho. But we were running out of water after about 15 miles and needed some bad.

This was one of the wierdest things that have ever happend to us on bikes. We were desperate for water, and we pop out of the forest, right into this mall in the middle of nowhere. We bought energy drinks from a machine but we needed to find some baby-wipes or something to take back to the dance to clean up for the last big dance of the convention. Fonda goes on an quest to find some.

This mall was like…in a different dimension or something. A lady from one store gave us some tissues and that alcohol hand cleaner. I put them in my pack. We flew back to the parking garage, cleaned up with them and put our dancing clothes back on in the Aztek.

We danced to the biggest crowd ever for the last night.

This says it all. The shoes come off in the parking garage. What a whirlwind vacation.

 

WRT ride 2012

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Hostel and Weiser River Trail

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Lifecycles team two spends two days of riding and dancing based out of this fantastic hot springs hostel north of Cambridge. It was quiet, had all the comforts of home and it was only $30 a night for both of us.

Out on Goodrich road, just over a small bridge across the Weiser River. It’s a place called Mundo Idaho.

After checking in, we head for Cambridge to get a few supplies. We intersect the trail a few miles out of town.

Doesn’t everyone love quaint general stores….

We decide to head south today, and north tomorrow.

This is the familiar canyon that you can see from the highway.

We get back to the hostel. We are going to cook dinner, but there’s a place we just love called Bucky’s. Its a mom and pop cafe in town. We go there instead for finger steaks.

What an asset for the Weiser River Trail.  This hostel is positioned just about right for a two day ride. Start just below New Meadows, spend the night here and finish up at the Galloway dam above Weiser the next day.

The hostel sleeps 8 people. Has a microwave and fridge,  a full shower and bathroom, and a claw tub for mineral hot springs soak. Oh, and even a washer for clothing.

We clean up and head for the come-as-you-are dance at Cambridge.

Caught this little scissor-tail just outside the hostel. Very tame.

The next morning, we ride to town for the Hells Canyon days breakfast. We sit and visit with our friends, also dancers, and hit the trail north.

We’re on the opposite side of the river from the hostel. You can see it in the distance.

Lots of purple along the trail.

And sunflowers everywhere.

The trail was in great condition.

 

 

Just after this photo, I fell in some rocks. Was going to be very sore later from it. Wasn’t even on my bike. Didn’t take too many more pictures. We wanted to go to some festivities in town so we headed back. We made it almost to the old Goodrich school.

We saw evidence of bears. Spooked Fonda a bit. You wouldn’t think they would be this low. But there is sign everywhere.

We got cleaned up and headed to town. There were no working ATM machines in Cambridge, so we drove to Council where we spent an hour wandering in this great curio/antique shop..loved it.

WWe drove back to Cambridge, ate at the legendary Hells Canyon days BBQ with friends and went to the big dance in town as the sun sank low in the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

map rock road

Lifecycles goes back to its roots this week with a trip down memory lane.  Pavement comes to an old gravel road where I spent many pleasant years a long time ago……………………yes, I’m a neanderthal.

We launch from the old homestead where my mom was born and raised Southeast of Marsing. More on that at the end of the blog.

We climb up to a high mesa that everyone used to call dry lake. But it’s long gone.

Racing across the old dry lake bed on some of the smoothest pavement ever, we come to what they now call wine country.

After about ten miles we reach the rim of the canyon.

Its so steep that they close the road in the winter.

Is this safe?………. We take a minute to evaluate the situation.

 

The mighty Snake River.

We tear off down the hill. Within seconds, the bikes hit almost 40 mph. The gravel surface was rough, causing the bikes to vibrate seriously. They became hard to handle, causing us to brake all the way down.  What a ride!

We stop at the infamous Map Rock. It’s supposed to be an ancient path to the happy hunting grounds.

Lush foliage along the river smells unbelievable.

Basalt cliffs on one side. Water on the other.

Everyone should cycle this fantastic road. It’s almost deserted too.

More ancient volcanoes.

Twisty, shallow rollers and scenery. How can this get any better.

Bathroom stop. Fonda walked her bike. I rolled mine. I got a flat. I’ll never learn.

 

We could spend all day out here.

 

 

Peaceful easy water. We’re just below Givens hot springs on the other side of the river.

I spent many days catching bass here. Me and my brother caught bass all day, floating down the river right past here.

This is the butte where I played as a child. All the mothers told us to go play. We spent our long days on top of a cliff….Thinking back,  I can’t imagine letting my kids do that sort of thing.

This is the homesite where my mom was born and raised. I was born in a basement house about a mile from here, also gone. I never even seen a doctor until I was about 10 years old.

There used to be a huge farm here. Everything’s gone.  When we were small kids, we all would climb to the top of that butte and roll rocks down for fun.

After a hard day in the canyon, we treat ourselves…………

Spring fling dance and ride, Baker City.

Biker Fuel.

 

Lifecyles team two pampers ourselves with a trip to Baker City, one of our favorite dances of the year with a national caller….and some spectacular riding in one of the most beautuful places on earth.

Here we are launching at the bottom of the Anthony lakes hillclimb. Nine miles of excruciatingly beautiful peaks and painful blacktop.

 

We never passed a single car. The road was still blocked by snow after the resort.

Some of the best blacktop I’ve ever been on….Oregon roads are the best.

We only have one hour to make it to the top and back down. We have reservations for lobster at the Geiser at six. As usual.. we’re behind schedule.

Its cold when we start, but in minutes, we’re too hot.

The road was closed up ahead, the rest of the Elkhorn Scenic Byway.

Looking across at the Eagle Cap mountains. We’ve already climbed into the sky.

 

Not sure what this is all about. Must be something up there. I was on telephoto.

The jackets go back on as we ride into snow.

The satisfaction of the climb. We’re out of time, only  a few miles from the ski resort.

We FLY down the hill, topping 40 mph..(its almost routine now,) get cleaned up and head to one of our favorite places in the world where we have reservations.

 

 

We have to hand pick our dinner from live lobsters. Fonda wouldn’t do it, so I tapped two of these on the head, they averaged 2lbs.

Here are the fortunate volunteers.

We had a secluded table in the back. Classical music was playing. The atmosphere thick with history and opulence. They treated us like kings.

They called this the “Presentation.”

 

This is Celene, our server. We have actually gotten to know her as a personal friend. She has waited on us every time we’ve ate at the Geiser over the past six years.

Fonda is momentarily overcome….Celene asked us if we wanted her to show us how to “clean” a lobster.  Are you kidding? of course we do… she told us she enjoyed it.

Celene took off their little blankets,  the flowers out of their little claws….and snapped their heads and tails off.

She takes out the tail meat and we crack the claws and legs to get at the delectable white meat.

 

 

 

 

After all you can salads, bread steamed vegetables and lobster with butter. We are crazy, but go for this decadent dessert.

We sit back and enjoy the rest of the hotel.

We were so full…that we skipped the Friday night dance and went to the movies. Sat in a dark movie theater, kicked back and watched and awesome action movie called “Lockout.”

The next morning we meet up with Jonathan and hit the road, starting from the greenbelt in town.

 

We head out Pocahontas road, cool and windy.

The Elkhorns are just spectacular.

They rise up abruptly.

It’s already warm, and very pleasant to ride with Jonathan.

 

Again, we’re watching the clock. We’re already at ten miles, with another ten to go before we head back to meet other dancers for dinner.

Almost like a painting out here.

 

 

We make a great big loop.

Get cleaned up and head out to the big show. We dance till eleven o’clock. What a blast.

 

immigrant hill wildhorse

Lifecyles team two heads west for another attempt at the Immigrant road hillclimb.  But just as it was last time, weather defeated the trip —  sort of — it gave us an excuse to pamper ourselves at our favorite resort, the Wildhorse outside Pendleton. And this time…in the new Wildhorse tower.

 

 

The first night, we hit the most famous dinner in the west, the legendary Wildhorse all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. We were both bloody and covered in clarified butter after cracking about a hundred of these delectable legs. We’ve had lots of seafood all over the northwest. This is the best I’ve ever had. Salmon shrimp, halibut, clams, oysters etc….We were almost sick from eating so much seafood….what a way to go….we slept that night dreaming of giant  crabs attacking us.

Before bed that night I was joking with Fonda. “I hope we don’t see Bruce Willis.” I was referencing the movie “Die Hard.” Remember people stuck on the upper stories of a tower? Well at about 3 am the wind blew so hard that it knocked the power out in the hotel. We were both up instantly wondering if the elevators worked. We got our cloths on and took the stairs down to the casino. “We’ve just had a major power failure!” said the astonished clerk. Security was all over the place. It was exiting. The emergency power came on. Satisfied that we were going to live…we went back to bed.

We were supposed to ride the next day….it rained so hard, that we abandoned the idea. Hit the hot tub, sauna and cinema.

The new Wildhorse now has a five screen cinema…it’s awesome! We watched John Carter (great adventure movie) as the wind and rain howled outside…we had an awesome day, even though we didn’t ride.

Had to throw away some money first.

The next morning it’s freezing, but at least its not raining! We launch for the trail behind the resort.

The is a spectacular trail the Wildhorse put in through the wheatfields.

It drops over the hill into the small Indian community of Mission.

It then connects into  Immigrant road that climbs up the old cabbage hill and then on to La Grande. We only had about 90 minutes to do our ride, get back and hit the hot tub before we had to check out. So we didn’t make it up the hill.

I climbed the hill about six months ago, so wasn’t too upset.

 

 

This is where the trail turns to go back to Wildhorse.

We climb back up to the wheatfields.

The clouds are starting to break up a bit.

Cabbage hill ahead.

 

The clouds part just a bit before they close again.

 

 

The atmosphere is almost surreal in this light mist.

Looking across the fields to the south. The interstate is out there somewhere.

wWe reluctantly head back to the hotel. The old hotel is in the foreground. We hit the hot tub. Grab some biscuits and gravy in one of the cafe’s and hit the road. We still have a dance tonight at home.

We find this adorable ceramics shop in La Grande on the way home. It’s so quaint that we could have wandered around in there for quite a while. We did purchase an elephant.  An enjoyable trip, even if we didn’t get to ride the immigrant trail…oh well, now we have an excuse to go back.

 

South Slope

Cyclists come from all over the world to ride this stretch of road.  This was one leg of the women’s version of the tour De  France for many years.

We meet Lifecyles team five members  Jonathan, Cinder and Richy at the Alb. parking lot. It’s the best day we’ve had this year. Temps finally allow us to ride in shorts for one of the first times this year.

 

Richy was still healing from a knee injury while snow skiing. He wears tights to keep knee warm.

With spirits soaring, we head out Cascade road past the sand plant.

 

 

The only place where you encounter traffic of any consequence, a short stretch of connecting highway. We bunch up in a paceline for about 3oo yards.

The first small hill as we turn onto South Slope road. It get scenic.

This little hill is steeper than it looks, but just warms you up as the ride turns into something magical.

We gather at top for some delicious strawberry water.

We fly down this hill into the best ride in the country. Right at our doorstep.

 

 

The night before, we all participated in the biggest dance of the year, the “let it Be” 60’s bash. We all became hippies. They flashed me the peace sign as they flew by.

 

 

After some woop-tee-dues, curves, dips and compressions we stop for some more water as the scenery is  a desert environment on one side.

Only half way through the ride, the road beckons you on. The adrenaline is just surging.

We enter another version of the ride… the orchards.

The road turns curvy and almost like a painting.

This is a windmill used to keep warm air in the orchards when the blossoms are tender. Just a few more weeks before everything blooms. Not sure what Richy is thinking here….determination?

 

 

Just one shot of the lifecyles cameraman. He’s too fat to be on camera.

The road enters the high-rent district. Some of the nicest homes and ranches began to appear here a few years ago. Most are gorgeous and fit into the landscape.

Shell, one of our best friends, has a ranch here. We stop for a short visit and get to feed this adorable little lamb. It has fur like a cat, not wool. It’s a special breed.

 

As the weather begins to turn. We head out for the final leg of the best ride in Gem County.

 

 

 

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