April 23, 2012 | Posted in:Uncategorized
Well, another weekend has come and past. Much too quickly if I might add. It was one of those beautiful sunny weekends in the PNW where it is impossible to get any work done and everyone is out enjoying the weather in one way or another. I decided to enjoy the nice weather by heading out for a tour in the Tatoosh Range. For those of you not intimately familiar with the many different mountains that make up the Cascades, the Tatoosh Range makes up the mountains just south of Mt Rainier. They are accessed from within the park and make for stunning views. I don’t think it is possible to get any closer to Rainier without actually climbing it.
Yet again I managed to meet up with some strangers I met online. I am still getting familiar with the area and it is nice to go with other people who have a better sense of where to go than I do. I have had great success in the past and this trip was no exception. The riding was not exactly great, but I wasn’t expecting much. The temperature was expected to hit 60 up at 10,000 ft and we weren’t planning on going anywhere near that high. So we knew it was going to be a warm, wet day. With the sun shining and the clear skies, none of us were really complaining.
This was a much more mellow tour than the last couple weekends. None of us were intimately familiar with the terrain and the Tatoosh’s have a ton of terrain to ride. We ended up playing the by ear and doing a lot more exploring. It was one of the guy’s first day on his split, so we were more taking a leisurely stroll through the mountains. We still managed to hit the saddle from Pinnacle Peak, Castle Rock, and Manatee Mountain. Not too bad for a leisurely day.
We stopped at the top of Manatee Mountain for a late lunch and a few beers. The view was spectacular. Not only was Rainier right in your face, St. Helens was in clear view to the south and Adams was just a stones throw away to the east.
When we were done enjoying our beers, the view, and getting absolutely fried by the sun, we had a fun ride back to the car. The one downside of where we were, it was about a 2 mile skin out across a lake and down a road. In all it was a great day in the sun, with some of the more spectacular views I have seen in a while. Did I mention Rainier is an impressive mountain that I will never get tired of looking at?
To celebrate a successful day of touring, we stopped at a local restaurant just outside of the park. One of the guys pointed it out on the way up, claiming it had some of the “best burgers ever.” I still stand that it doesn’t matter where you go after a day in the mountains, it is going to be delicious. But my biased opinion is that they were in fact, pretty damn good. Oh, and we ate a whole fresh-out-of-the-oven blackberry pie.