andres' life

Living the Dream

Chelan, WA to Hood River, OR

Pedals crankin’, sweat dripping into my eyes and the speedometer barely measuring 5 MPH, I silently curse this damn mountain pass. I look ahead and barely catch a glimpse of Josh’s rear tire as he disappears behind yet another curve in the road ahead.

“Damn him and his 700c wheels and bamboo bike swiftness. And damn his sexy calves too…”, I find myself thinking as I settle in for what will prove to be another loooong morning and early afternoon of climbing YET ANOTHER mountain pass.

General Patton once said, “Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory”, and he could not have been more spot on!

The route we have chosen, ACA’s Sierra Cascades Route, has us heading up and over a pass almost every single day which has afforded us some fantastic sights in the beautiful Cascades but also has proven to be a real chore. With names like Rainy(4,875′), Washington(5,477′), Blewitt(4,102′), Elk, White(4,500′) and Oldman they sound benign enough but all told they really do add up. At least we have ended every day thus far with a white knuckle descent down winding mountain roads watching out speedometers spit out scary speeds as we hurl our masses down the inclines with shit-eating grins on our faces.

Finally after 5 days of mountain pass riding in the 80+ degree heat we find ourselves in Hood River, having cycled 695 miles thus far in the trip. A rest day consisting of coffee, sitting by the Columbia River, coffee, a Full Sail Brewery tour, food, and seeing some old friends is long overdue.

The previous few days have proven to be a real challenge cycling-wise but have also helped us settle in to our daily routine (prayer,ritual?). When not enjoying rest days like this one, we find ourselves waking at 6:30, shoveling oatmeal and coffee into our face holes, riding up and over mountain passes with frequent food and water breaks, shoveling dinner food into our faces once again then finding a nice quiet(ish) place to sleep for the night. It sounds monotonous but when you’re doing something you truly love, it really doesn’t get old.

The cycling itself from Chelan onward, mountain passes aside, has been a most pleasant mix of seldom traveled mountain roads (all paved), beautiful tree draped roads, river views and downright jaw-dropping sights of all the glorious Cascade mountain gems. We have now intersected the PCT 3 times and marveled at the various hikers’ commitment to a 3-4 month long hike while they do the same to us. Funny, eh? We have also heard rumors of a cycle tourer who is just ahead of us, maybe we will see him one of these days.

For now our immediate future (past today) involves 2 days of more passes and mountain riding before a visit with another friend in Bend and, what the hell, another rest day!

For now, enjoy the photos, leave comments and have a wonderful day to each and every one of you!



For those interested:

Chelan to Ingrall Creek Rd.     60 miles

Ingrall Creek Rd. to Selah     83 miles

Selah to Rainer Jct.     68 miles

Rainer Jct. to Swift Creek Reservoir     72 miles

Swift Creek Reservoir to Hood River     68 miles

Total thus far     695 miles!

This man here is my campaign manager!

…if only.

One of many passes thus far.

The roadside produce has been amazing, thank you farmers!

Beautiful mountain riding.

Another pass.

Mt. Rainer in all her glory. I was stunned at the sheer mass of it all.

Mt. St. Helens from afar.

Brook, I heart you.

St. Helens


A gift from the road gods (aka, roadside trash!).


11 comments on “Chelan, WA to Hood River, OR

  1. Banana!
    September 8, 2012

    Love the hat!

  2. Matteo Fiori
    September 8, 2012

    Battle Kitty ready to bow up St. Helens! Dude, were you drooling over that granite at Washington Pass? You’ll have to get back for some more up close mountain magic. Enjoy the ride ! ! !

    • Andres
      September 10, 2012

      The climbing potential everywhere I have ridden is jaw-dropping. I need to bring my climbing gear on my next bike tour!

  3. Xavier
    September 8, 2012

    Diggin the hat! Great shots too! Oh and by the way kitty is looking rather dishevelled. Maybe you should cut each day a little shorter.

  4. Ramon Estrada
    September 8, 2012

    i like the road signs. Easy Street is the life we should all lead!!

  5. Mara
    September 8, 2012

    Do you know how tempted I was to ride through Oregon with you and Josh & Kitty? Since being gainfully employed is no longer an issue, I only decline the offer as I am so much slower than you (oh yeah, I also want to stay married ;-).

  6. Carol Elwood
    September 10, 2012

    Nice to meet you today at Cow Canyon rest area! Sorry I said “no significant hills” to Bend…have to admit I haven’t biked it so saw it with new eyes from the car today. It’s inspiring to see your past expeditions and current aspirations. There were a couple of other bike tourists ahead of you today, maybe you caught ’em.

    • Andres
      September 10, 2012

      Thank you for the kind words. We had a tail wind the last 40 miles so it all worked out just fine. We even made it here in time to enjoy beer and burgers at Deschutes. We might see you around town tomorrow.

  7. Mooska
    September 13, 2012

    Deschutes downtown? Sweet! they have veggie option as well. and some sweet ass beer!
    Keep having a blast guys!

    Elect Esparza!

  8. solhigh
    September 18, 2012

    So awesome guys!!! 🙂 The writing and the photos are such a joy to read and see. Keep it coming! 🙂
    What’s your elevation gain thus far? I bet it’s ridiculous!!!

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This entry was posted on September 8, 2012 by in Uncategorized.

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