Thursday, May 28, 2009

Index-Galena road update

After doing some research, I found that the damage on Index-Galena road happened in November 11th, 2006.

[ Snohomish County Public Works ]
[ Washington Trails Association ]
[ flickr ]
[ NorthWest Hikers ]
[ ADVrider ]

It looks like I will have to walked a lot if I want to ride pass the washouts (there are 2 washouts apparently).

Gold Bar - Index - Galena - Jack Pass - Skykomish - Gold Bar would make a nice day trip (~72 miles).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Galena trip

Today I left home at 8:30 planning on going to Galena, through Reiter road and Index. The road to Galena is gorgeous, but hilly (ups and downs).

I was stopped a few miles from Galena, because of road damage. The road was blocked, and someone wrote "Road closed 4-ever?".

I walked passed the gate to check out what was going on with the road:

The river is actually coming from where the road was. It looks like the river decided to use the road as its bed. I wonder what happened upstream. The river leaves the road to what looks like a forest floor, not an old river bed.

I saw a lot of cabins along the Skykomish river. I wonder how many owners lost access to their cabin.
In the following picture, this is not a trail, it is a dried river bed that ends up on the road. More damage to come next winter.

I left the gate at 10:00, and arrived home at 11:40. Another nice ride. 33 miles.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Next Road trip (Gold Bar - Galena)

Last weekend, I drove through the Gold Bar - Index road, the road described in the previous post. The road has been partially repaired, the section that washed down was rebuilt, but there are still a lot of potholes, and there is a ~ 200ft stretch that is graveled. Still, I can now ride it again.
So that opens the Index-Galena road. Here is a map of that trip. Note that the Gold Bar - Index road still appears incomplete in the map, which is why the itinerary uses a section of Highway 2.

Google says it is 19.5miles, so that a 40 mile round trip. I can't wait to try it!
Galena is at about 1000FT, Gold Bar 160FT.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ballad to the Edelwess Cafe (road bike trip)

This is a road trip I used to make in 2007, before the road washed away during winter storms. This road goes from my house in Gold Bar, to Index. It is a gateway to the galena road and Skykomish upper valley, which I hope to tour once this road is repaired.
Starting point:

May Creek Road:

Mansion on May Creek road (foreclosed in 2008):

Ranch on May Creek road:

Reiter Pit:

Reiter Road:

Creek on Reiter Rd:

Climbing Reiter Rd:

Climbing more:

Top of the World (almost):

Beginning the descent toward Index:

Railroad crossing:

Arrival at Index:

Little cottage in Index:

Little bridge toward Emily's Park:

Read the picture...:

The picturesque Sky river:

Want a retirement home?:

Mt Index cafe and lounge (the Edelwess Cafe):

Read the picture ... :

Surrounding Mountains:

On the way back, Index Doolitle Park:

Reiter pit behind the trees (see the dust raised by the 4X4?):

Sunday, May 10, 2009

2500FT Ascension

Today, I left my home with the 3000FT trip in mind. I left at 8:30, and arrive at Wallace Lake at 10:30. On the way up, I surprised a bird on the trail:

I was told this is a wild turkey.
Once at the lake, I looked for the forest road highlighted in my previous post, and found it easily. The road though, was very steep, no way I could ride the bike, so I walked up for about an hour until I got stuck by this:

I tried to walk in the snow while pushing the bike, but the slope made it too hard, so I turned back at that point. Before starting the descent, I used my topographic map and the compass to find where I was:

2650FT, that's almost 2500FT ascension from my house. Not too bad! I was 900FT above Wallace Lake, but the forest prevented me to see it.
It was 11:30.
I then started the descent, with the intent of taking pictures of what I saw climbing up, but was too focused on my effort to stop for a pic.

Beginning of the descent. The trees help figuring the steepness of the slope.

I crossed many small water falls feeding Wallace lake or North Fork Wallace River, and took a picture of each of them. One of them is visible from my house. It is a very long and thin waterfall, that only flows when it rains, and for a few days after. I hope after the trail switchbacks (area I couldn't reach today), I will have a better view and identify this waterfall. It's fun to identify landmarks I can see from my house.

Waterfall 1:


What looked insignificant at this point, will later become a major problem for this forest road:

A few 100s FT down:

Big erosion:

This hole was several feet deep:

Water dug the road in 2 areas on that section:

Eventually, the water ran out of the road, making a big hole on the side in the process:

Majestic Mount index and Mount Persis.

Waterfall 3:

Waterfall 4:

Last picture, showing the snow level compared to the valley floor, that is how much I climbed today:

I was home at ~ 12:45. This was another awesome ride. Coming home, my bike was making unfriendly noises, that seemed to be coming from the crank bearings. I'll have to send it to the shop for its 100miles free checkup (I put about 60 miles on it).
I will have to wait a few more weeks to reach 3000FT.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Prospective Trips

Looking at Google maps with Terrain option, I can plan future trips.

From Wallace Lake, there are nearby forest roads that lead to 3200FT altitude in a fairly short distance (=hard climb!).

Here is my "3000FT challenge" trip. From the trailhead at ~200FT altitude, to 3200FT altitude:

Wallace Lake April 26

This time, most of the snow was melted. I reached the lake in 2 hours from my house, rode half an hour around, and took 1 hour to go back home.

Around Lake Wallace. This tree, across the trail, was not there at my last trip in February. There are teeth marks on the wood. Looks like beaver work:

Same tree as the pic before. It was cut by a beaver:

A smaller tee, more beaver marks:

That beaver was helped by Mother Nature. The tree broke before the beaver was done:

This was another very nice ride. On the way down, I surprised a bobcat on the trail. He ran in the woods too fast to allow me to take a picture.
Next time I may try to climb higher, maybe 2500 feet? The lake is at 1800FT altitude, my house, 160FT.