Fred's ride report of 1-6-07 ride.
It wasn't as easy as I had predicted, I got thru the avalanche at the I-90 snowshed just before they closed the hwy. Charlie and Kevin didn't and we waited until 10:30 for them to arrive. It was snowing lightly off and on and Ed, Linda, her son and DeAnn showed up for breakfast but decided to not ride. We had Charlie, Kevin, Bob Soltez, and two of his friends from Easton plus Tony D start the ride. Just after the Air field Tony decided his knee that needs Surgery hurt too much to continue and he went back. There was a couple of feet of new snow on the road along the edge of lake Kacheese and it got deeper as we went up. I led most of the way and Charlie was second, the most difficult position. It is up hill almost all the way and if you stopped it was impossible to start without walking a pretty long path, so I went 6 miles before stopping. We waited a while for the trailing three then decided to keep making a trail. The other three were having their problems trying to stay on top of 3+ feet of new snow in a two foot deep trough. The visibility was fine and we only had light intermittent snow flurries. well after noon we took a short last view of Lake Kacheese and dropped into the hiking trail. There was no evidence that I had been through on Monday. We had to build a new 1.3 mile trail all the way. I was soaking wet from the inside when we got to the other side of the hiking trail. We visited the Fr Cbn Crk play area and tried to go to theThorp play area but the bridge I crossed on Monday was out. We got to Last Resort (starlight), a little after sunset had a leisure dinner, and got back on the trail about 6:15, went up the Cle Ellum ridge and crossed the Dam on plenty of snow. We took the long route through Cascadia- meaning I missed the turnoff as usual, went down the power line to Easton arriving at 7:45, tired but with a sense of accomplishment, having 50+/- very difficult miles.
I couldn't raise DeAnn Saturday night and all my close were wet so I decided to stay home and dry out Sunday.
It was a rainy morning as we left Seattle though it stopped raining about 8 am in Easton.
Nine people showed up for breakfast at the Parkside and the ride leader convinced eight that there would be enough snow to make the loop. With a light overcast, we crossed the airfield on minimal snow and rode on a fresh and excellently groomed road. Near Boeing Camp, there was a tree across the road that the groomer couldn't pass and the trail became quite rough, making us really appreciate the previous grooming.
At the top of the hiking trail, we stopped for the traditional photo, then dropped down the hiking trail into wind blows with no sign of where the trail was. Four hours later and a brief "blizzard" we exited the hiking trail with a sense of real accomplishment.
We went on to the Starlight for lunch/dinner with a brief stop to reattach one of the ride leaders skis with zip ties. The food was good & four decided to take DeAnn's offer of a ride back to their cars. The ride leader had his ski reattached at Playtime and the remaining four ran the CleEllum ridge; crossed the front of the dam on minimal snow; got lost once as per tradition, getting through Bullfrog; and got back to the cars via the powerline at 7:40 pm, ten hours from the start.
There were no other incidents but everyone created a memory they will remember. The ride leader appreciates the efforts of Charlie Little and his 900 Arctic Cat. Also appreciated and welcomed were Mike and Sherry Hyytenen, brand new members who demonstrated amazing effort and were real troopers and great fun to have along, Mike Collins a big help and a jolly fellow, Chuck Yadrosich a big helper and great back rider, and Elwood and Rebecca Hunt.
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