Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sunrise Bike Ride

Some friends and I road up to Sunrise this summer. It was a beautiful day.

Don, Pat and I met at 6am at Federation Forest State Park. After figuring out parking we got on the road about 6:15 or so. The road is State Highway 410 and at that time in morning there was not much traffic, but even so we had a very nice wide shoulder.

We made a stop at a rest area with a nice view of Mt Rainier, it was the first view of the mountain on the ride.

After a bit more riding we made it to the entrance to Mt Rainier National Park just past the turn to Crystal Mountain ski area. Before we knew it we were at the fee station collecting fees for entrance to the National Park. $5 each and quick rest and then we set off for the real climb. Actually just after the ranger station the road goes downhill for about a mile.

Still no view of the mountain. We climbed and climbed, not too much traffic, not much shoulder, but riding with friends help visibility with drivers. We kept climbing, eventually we came to the turn of the final switchback and this turn is on its own peak with beautiful views all around. As we make the turn we got an excellent view of the mountain.

After this switchback, it is about 1 more mile and not much more climbing. We rolled into the parking lot at about 9:55, parked the bikes and saw that the grill opened at 10:00 am, so we each got a burger and some rest for the fast decent.

What a great ride!

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