Sunday, April 17, 2011

When it rains...

it pours, and what do you do when faced with a rainy Saturday? If you're ambitious you go for a ride like real motorcyclists. But I come home with wet gear nearly everyday from my commute.

So instead, we explored our favorite roads in anticipation of summer. We had lunch after our usual Saturday morning coffee and decided to run up Mary's Peak in the car to see if the snow level had receded. We made it to the second gate before we ran into snow. Unable to proceed any further without running the risk of getting stuck, I snapped a few photos of the car.

The road up was littered with debris from the trees this winter, overhanging birch trees make a terrible mess. Conifer needles carpet the corners and gravel lay in wait for the highway maintenance crew to sweep up this Spring. It may be several weeks yet before the road to the top is clear.

On our way down the mountain we decided to take the journey over to Harlen via the National Forest Road 3000. It is just a gravel road but there are a couple of side roads to throw you off if you don't know where you're going. Having only taken this road once before, several years ago I cheated and plugged in the GPS to have tracks to follow out, just in case.

We found a couple of camping spots, discussed how we would camp including sleeping arrangements and are now saving our pennies for a rooftop tent. This made the most sense as we can camp anywhere the car takes us, mountains, beaches or WalMart parking lots. We don't have to sleep on the rocks or the cold damp ground and hopefully will be a little bit safer from things that go bump in the night.

We found our way out easy enough, I knew not to get too far off the beaten path of our spontaneous adventure as we didn't have food, water, shovel, map or even a full tank of fuel nor did we tell anyone where we were. I'll be adding those essentials to the blanket, flashlight and minimal first aid kit already in the trunk.

We had fun and stayed relatively dry.

Now we're looking forward to exploring more dirty roads in both the car and on the bike.



  1. I liked this excursion off road better than the last one you wrote about. I'm glad you didn't encounter any little gray haired old ladies while out in the woods.

    Seriously, the rooftop tent sounds like a great idea.

  2. What a cool tent setup - have never seen one before! We're not precious about going exploring in our 4x4 either, despite comments from some idiot riders that we're not "true" bikers!

  3. I find it a great idea to scout the tracks by car, especially when the weather still throws some of the white stuff at you. There will be plenty of opportunity to go up there again by two-wheeler.
    As for camping... nope not for me. Been there done that.

  4. Nice images from Mary's Peak and the coast range. Pretty waterfall. I didn't recall there was one up there. We haven't explored too much of the coast range, but it's a beautiful area.

    I like the roof top tent, best view in the campsite. Not sure how it would be on a windy night! :)
    Our camping trips tend to turn out like our biking trips...wet.

    lol - just realized the link. Some of us don't know when to come in out of the rain! Hey, this week maybe you won't have to dry out your gear!

  5. What a great excursion! Great clearance on the car.

    I still can't get over that Dept of Transportation in other states actually clear the mountain roads of gravel. Ours don't. :(

    Love the tent. Know someone here that has one and he really enjoys it. Does the car have a hitch to pull the bikes and camp??


  6. Troubadour:

    It's great to be out, whether on 2 or 4 wheels. You might need a set of aggressive off road tyres. We used to travel on these less travelled roads when we had our Jeep. That rooftop tent looks precarious perched up there, just don't roll off

    Riding the Wet Coast

  7. We saw the tent in the showroom and were able to climb up and lay inside it. We'll wait for an outdoor tradeshow and hope for a discount.

    Mary's Peak is a popular bicycle road so somebody goes up and sweeps it, I assume its the DOT, maybe it's volunteers.

    The car does have a hitch, the main reason we bought it so we could haul bikes and bark mulch.
    We were discussing buying a couple of dirt bikes to haul up the hill and go riding.

  8. I've always wanted a rooftop tent and thought I should just make my own since I already have a tent. After reading the other post on the lazy susan I'm sure you could make one too. A couple pieces of plywood hinged to fold onto the roof and latch down then just unfold, throw the tent up and a collapsable ladder and you're there. I think we have a couple of years before Faith will be camping for real, until then "2nd Thought" is plenty close enough to camping.


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