Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Forest Road 6700


It was another little red line on a map that brought me here, a tiny series of dashes on page 72 of my Washington Road & Recreation Atlas. Here is Forest Road 6700, a spotted serpent on the map that promises an adventurous alternative route down off Steven's Pass.

And so I pack 280 miles into two days of riding. I carry too much stuff, of course, but that is part of the learning. My camera proves its worth again, while my GPS only tells me useless things like "you are here." I know that, that's why I'm here.

The mountains and the trees are huge, the roads are small and sparse. A view from some summit shows a tiny, sand-colored line far below, the path ahead. It loops back to home eventually.



11 comments:

Big said...

That is some good looking bicycle practice.

chiggins said...

Stunnin'.

So what do you have your pack down to at this point?

Funride said...

The camera is definitely a must, great photos ;)

Have you ever thought about using a bicycle trailer? You would never again complain about too much cargo :D


Thanks for sharing.

Kent Peterson said...

The trailer fell into the "too much stuff" category long ago.

The "too much stuff" is more philosophical than physical at this point. I don't mind the weight of something like a GPS, I just pretty much never use it, so why lug it along?

Martin Criminale said...

It would be great if you posted (even a rough) queue sheet for this route... :)

Kent Peterson said...

Martin, I'm not going to do ALL the work for you, but it goes something like this:

Leave Issaquah via the trail that goes from Sunset to Highpoint. Frontage Road to Preston. Preston-Fall City trail & Preston-Fall City Road to Fall City. Catch the Snoqualmie Valley Trail North to Duvall. Cross the valley, North on Snoqualmie Valley Road. Cross back across the valley on Tualco Road. A tiny bit north on 203, then east on Ben Howard Road to Sultan. Hwy 2 between Sultan and Goldbar. Roads whose names I forget from Goldbar to Reiner Road. Reiner Road to Index. Back on Hwy 2 to Money Creek. Back Road into Skykomish. Hwy 2 from Skykomish to first turn off for the old road/Iron Goat (there's a sign). Up to the interpretive center. Back on 2 for a tiny bit, then back on the old road. Ignore the road closed sign, that only applies to cars. Old road up to the pass, detour a bit to check out the Wellington/Tye site. At the summit head east and down for a mile or two. Take the left on FR 6700. Climb back up to some un-named unsigned summit (a few miles of climbing). Ride the best descent of your life. Take pictures. Ooh and Ah. At junctions, follow signs to Lake Wenatchee. From the lake, follow signs to Plain/Leavenworth. Go through the tiny town of Plain. Climb amazing switchbacks out of town. Chumstick Road to Leavenworth. Hwy 2 to 97. South on 97. Pull over and camp somewhere in the dark. Get up before dawn. Turn right on Old Blewett Road and ride to summit. Layer on all your clothes. You'll still get cold on the descent. Rejoin Hwy 97. Have breakfast at Liberty Cafe. 97 and then backroads (look at a map, you'll find 'em!) into Cle Elum (one of the roads is Airport Road). Follow sign to South Cle Elem and catch the John Wayne/Iron Horse. Head west until Hyak. Frontage road over the pass, then Denny Creek Road Down. I-90 to exit 30something, the first North Bend Exit. Frontage road to Snoqualmie Valley Trail to Snoqualmie. Familiar roads and trails home.

alpka said...

Kent, can you share what gearing you use and is that a 26er? I am looking at riding the colorado trail next summer SS on my 29er and trying to guess a decent gear...

Kent Peterson said...

alpka,

The bike is a Monocog Flight 29er, geared 32*17. My old 26 inch Monocog I also ran with a 32*17. And Chris Plesko, the current Tour Divide record holder also runs 32*17 on his 29er.

alpka said...

Man, 32:17 seems steep. I run 32:20 now and it is great but I am not packing gear and riding 3 weeks straight at altitude...

Chris said...

If Alpka checks in here, 32x22 is recommended for the Colorado Trail on a 29er. And even that is TOUGH.

I ran 34x20 on a 26er in 2008.

joraff said...

A buddy of mine and I just rode a few of the popular singletracks in Colorado: 403, 401, Monarch. He did everything on a 34x20 and only had to walk a few times. I don't see how you people do it.