Posted: Wed May 09, 2012 3:40 pm Post subject: My Bad: Snoqualmie / Iron Horse tunnel still closed 5 May.
I ski. I camp. I ride. I've wanted to combine them sometime.
Here's my ride. 1991 or 1992 R&E Terra Navigator; a gift to me in 2005. Over 100,000 miles on it now. 700c, 36 spokes, Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Weighed in at 109 lbs on return with all the food and water gone but with a soggy tent, bedroll, sleeping bag. Viable on the rollers loaded like that, it must be fit for the open road.
Friday morning 5 May: on the ferry to Fauntleroy ... this trip still seems a bit big for my britches.
Over the hill in Burien; south around the lake through Tukwilla / Renton; east to Maple Valley on the Cedar river trail and then some; north to Issaquah; east to Preston; north to Snoqualmie; paused at the falls; then on through North Bend to the Iron Horse trailhead.
Friday night twilight I made camp on the Iron Horse trail. Nice campground with a composting toilet and prepared sandboxes to pitch a tent on. Alice Creek campsite I think it was. 85 miles for the day. Good enough for me. Planning for the morning: six miles to the tunnel, which is said to open on May 1, a little more to Alpental. I'll probably not get first tracks, but a nice day on the lifts.
Saturday morning I met the snow first around the Carter Creek campsite. Not enough to block the road yet though.
I switched out of my Sidi carbon road bike shoes with speedplay cleats into my Alico double leather duckbills for off and on riding / walking / heaving the bike through corn. The snow got only heavier. It was deepest here by what the signage calls "Avalanche Alley", just east of the avalanche shelter.
The old train tunnel runs right under the powerlines on wooden poles that you see while driving east on I-90. I'm almost there!
I made it to the tunnel shortly after noon.
My Bad. The tunnel is chained & locked with a nut and bolt ... I have tools ... no. The gap in the gate is too narrow for my handlebars or bucket-panniers ... Someone stripped the barbed wire off the top long ago ... bungies & bucket by bucket, wheel by wheel, over the fence & reassemble & repeat at the other end of the tunnel ... no. Andy was his name: showed up on a light mountain bike while I was eating lunch and verified there was in fact a lock on the gate and it wasn't my imagination.
Trudge trudge trudge back to the campground for the night.
My buddy met me at exit 38 in the morning with hot coffee and we skied ever deepening thaw 'till mid day. Thank you so much again.
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