Sunday, September 7, 2008

Iron Horse

Rode the Iron Horse Trail from Cedar Falls to Hyak on a beautiful early September Sunday. 50 + miles on a gravel road, a former railroad right-of-way with a relatively easy climb along the north side of a ridge.

The trail crosses a series of ravines and creeks over old railroad trestles. It being a Sunday, the trail was well populated with mountain bikers of various experience levels, many traveling without helmets in early preparation for organ donations or at least testing their chances for a Darwin award.

The clear highlight of the trip is the 2.5 mile trip in total darkness through the Snoqualmie Tunnel. Dark. I mean, real dark. And damp. And cold. Water dripping at both ends. Can't tell if you are going straight. An occasional rider coming from the opposite direction provides some light, but difficult to tell if they can see or know what they are doing...

Once on the other side, at Hyak, the air is drier, the sky more blue, and an overriding sense of relief at having made it to the top.

Interesting to poke around Snoqualmie Summit during the off season. We haven't boarded there for a couple of years, although it's where we all learned. Looks like new activity at the Silver Fir chair. Rode over to the base of the trail to the Mountaineers Lodge, where Cub Pack 144 held Sno-Camp for the years we were members. The Lodge burnt to the ground a couple of years ago, and hasn't been rebuilt. The trail to the lodge site was blocked off and No Trespassing signs warned against the hike up. I was in cleats and pushing the bike, so didn't venture up.

The return trip was much quicker, totally downhill!

Others have blogged about the trail, including Biking Bis and Keith.

My photos are here.


rpd said...

Let's see, PuddleThumper and I did this a little bit ago and it was rainy, windy, sunny, rainy, windy, sunny, warm, cold, rainy, windy, sunny . . .

The downhill was a blast, although I cannot imagine doing it on a Bleriot (I had my trusty Gecko to bomb the trail).

Now, why is it that people put their heads down, ride on the wrong side of the trail, and don't pay attention to what is coming right at them, at speed?

Andy said...

I put the WIDE tires on the Bleriot. 26 x 1.5". Worked great.