Cycle Oregon 2012: Day 2-Silver Lake to Fort Klamath

Monday, September 10, 2012

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Click here to watch a short video of today’s ride

MARSH MADNESS

We all have an internal clock by which we wake up and sleep by. Mines is disturbed by the surround sound effect of all the snoring and flatulent neighbors. It’s a drag-ear plugs really don’t fit and work that well for me. I have another 5 days to get used to all this. By the end of this event, I should be able be sleep through a hurricane!

5 AM-the same alarms go on, it’s time to get up. This morning is so much colder, BRRRR-it’s 30F outside! After breakfast, we lay inside the tent a little longer to allow the temp to warm up a bit before we head out to Fort Klamath. Good thing I brought cold weather gear-base layers, tights, long fingered gloves, booties, skull cap and a wind jacket. I put everything on-even then, it seemed like it wasn’t enough!

The sun is up and the temp has risen 10 degrees to a cold 40F, it’s 7:50 AM by the time we leave camp.

We exit Silver Lake on Hwy 31 and head west on  Bear Flat Ln/CR 4-10 passing the ranchlands of the high desert into the Freemont-Winema National Forest. The climbs up to the top of the ridge has gradient ranges from 5-9%, it quickly warm us up and allows for gorgeous views of the mountain vistas.

Continuing on, we encounter emergency vehicles on the side of the road looking after a small area of smoldering brush.  We arrive at the water stop, mile 12.1 at 8:47 AM-52F. It’s warming up a bit!

The terrain for next 13+ miles on this county road is on a long flat stretches through the open plains followed by a series of roller coaster climbs and descents into Klamath County.

We pass the Klamath Marsh Nat’l Wildlife Refuge HQ and arrive at the next rest stop on the Refuge at 10:25 AM, mile 35.3-63F. The snowcapped mountain peaks are a beautiful back drop for the marshlands that lay before us.

The next 12 flat miles along the refuge gives us magnificent views of Klamath Marsh with its open wide marshes filled with lily pads, meadows and the adjacent pine forests.

The lunch stop is located in an area on the Refuge; bikes are parked everywhere, anywhere there is space! It’s 11:36 AM and a warm 77F-I can finally take off all my layers!

After lunch, we continue on Hwy 97 for the next flat 20 miles; this section of the route has a narrow shoulder covered by old chip seal and a short section of very nice pavement. We are constantly being passed by a lot of traffic; cars, big RVs and big trucks and rigs. Right before the 2 mile descent, there are lane adjustments which provides one designated lane for cyclists going downhill-FABULOUS!

We arrive at the rest stop at Collier State Park at 1:35 PM, mile 68.4. This park includes a Logging Museum with historical outdoor logging equipment place around the park-it’s quite impressive!

Exiting the park, we stay on Hwy 97 for the next 3 miles and bypass the town of Chiloquin on our way towards Fort Klamath via Hwy 422. The short climb and rolling terrain brings us to the last 8 flats miles through meadows and agricultural fields with grazing cattle and roaming horses. The water in Crook Creek is crystal clear-you can see every pebble at the bottom!

We reach our overnight camp at Rodear Arena at 2:50 PM, mile 82.71.

There are cow flops throughout the campground, so we must walk with caution-thankfully they’re dry! The landscapes surrounding the campsite are very scenic.

For dinner, we have smoked tri-tip with a baked potato, salad, vegetables and a berry crumble.

Another day in the bag riding on County roads through open meadows, forest land and marshes of Klamath County. The scenic views are awesome and the once again, we are very well supported by all the CO volunteers. THANK YOU!

VDO Stats:
82.71 miles
2116′ of elevation gain
Avg grade: 2%
Max grade: 10%

Weather: FANTASTIC! Cool sunny morning with clear blue skies. Temps ranged from a morning low of 30F to a high of 81F at Fort Klamath.

Click here to continue on to Day 3-Fort Klamath to Crater Lake & Prospect

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From dawn to dusk, winter to spring, summer & autumn; the contrasts of
nature refresh the mind & renew our sense of balance  ~Phil Harding

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Click here to view the route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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