Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 10 - Randle to Eagle Cliff campground

Jerry discovers a flat rear tire as we get ready to leave the Randle motel, a short delay before breakfast at the Mt. Adams Cafe (same place as last night's dinner, great local ambiance) where Dick and I opt for the usual breakfast sandwich but Jerry branches out to a Denver omelet which is too big to finish (I tried to help him a little, being a team player). There is a very steep 2 mile uphill climb out of Randle but then some very nice cruising on Hwy 25 through the Gifford Pinchot Natl Forest. Some of the best riding of the trip. Five miles of steep climbing, then 5 of gradual and the last 4 straight up. We crest Elk Pass at 4,00 feet (the passes aren't even signed anymore so they seem almost anticlimactic).
We then head downhill to Clearwater Viewpoint, where we catch a magnificent view of Mt. Saint Helen's and meet "BMW Bill" who takes the picture and gives us some extra oatmeal. He is a rep for Ortleib bags (panniers) and Cervelo (high end road bikes) and gives Jerry a card to send us some free swag. A little more uphill follows before the hairiest downhill yet, bad sunlight, uneven pavement and 20 mph U-turns; very white knuckle. We find the only campground for miles, Eagle Cliff and check into a great big site and we are the only ones in camp. Again, the other two key criteria are met: easy access to beer and firewood. Unfortunately, Dick thinks the guy living in the converted bus (much like the one in "Into the Wild") has the potential to slice us up and feed us to his dog, so he has a somewhat restless night.

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