Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Giving thanks for mountains, friends, and bikes.

This weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving, which for some reason is a different weekend to Thanksgiving in the US. However, we went to the US and celebrated Thanksgiving anyway. Confusing.

Paul, Jacek, Angie, Lina, and I drove across the border and across to Mazama, near Winthrop WA. We met up with Chris, who Jacek and I met on TransRockies and who's parents happen to have built a very nice house out there. The trails and dry climate of the Okanogan didn't disappoint and we had sunshine, clear skies, and fast, dusty trails. Summer is definitely losing its grip even in the interior and the ground was a beautiful carpet of leaves in places, with a little snow high up too. As usual I was amazed how a few (well, 6) hours drive from home can change the landscape so much.

Lina in full Steed Cycles regalia.

After a short, but fun, ride around Buck Mountain on Saturday we spent the evening cooking a massive Thanksgiving dinner and playing on Lina's slackline. Paul too photos of all that stuff, which are on his blog here. Sunday we were due for our epic ride... which is why we went all the way to Winthrop after all. Starvation Mountain didn't disappoint. A huge climb, followed by a huge traversing descent, views, lots of broken bike parts, crashes, ice, sand, mud... we had it all. Jacek put in a heroic effort running the uphills and scooting the downhills after his freewheel exploded. Amazingly Jacek still seems to be quite fast even when his bike won't pedal...
On Monday we went back to Buck Mountain to do a variation of Saturday's route so we could ride down the trail we came up before. Jacek and Paul's bikes had been combined into one working bike and Paul ride a fine vintage Klein from Chris's garage. 
Paul on the vintage Klein.

The Thanksgiving collective, in some bushes.

We made it back to the border (via some very tasty Thai food) with my car pouring smoke... which upset the border guard a little. Thankfully we got home and my car is now fixed (again). Thank you everyone for a great weekend... let's do it again next year!

My photos are here, Paul has a blog entry here, Lina has one here, and Jacek has photos here.