So I have to back up a bit to talk about our first 10,000ft day back on Saturday, March 30th. Mostly because I was so proud that we accomplished it, and it was a big deal for me!
We knew wanted to do a double sport day and combine both biking and hiking to start getting the feel of working through two sports. As previously mentioned I’d never done a double Dog Mountain day, so that seemed like a great place to start. Paul has always wanted to take me up 7mile hill in Mosier via bike as well, so since we’d already be in the Gorge we figured a few laps there would round out the day nicely.
The night before we packed everything up, which involved a fair amount of stuff since it was March and we knew there was a chance of snow but also of 70 degrees:
I was a little nervous about how sore and tired I would feel. Was I in shape enough? Was that niggling pain in my calf going to be an issue? What would it mean if I couldn’t finish?
We woke up around 5:30AM to get up, pack up, get the bikes on/in the car, plus grab some breakfast and tea before heading out in the early morning light.
We made it to Dog Mountain and started hiking around 8:00AM. It was relatively quiet for the first lap, and we worked hard to keep a steady, even pace. My main goal was to not burn out too early. It wasn’t hard at first, since both our legs and lungs rebelled a bit at the quick gain in elevation early in the morning. But soon we were warmed up and cruising up to the top.
After a brief rest up top we hit the parking lot again, and spent about 5min at a picnic table grabbing snacks and water. Then lap two! It was a bit more crowded at this point, especially at the summit, but we were feeling strong (and I was PUMPED to be feeling good!).
After a steady down we again landed at the parking lot, making our total time 4:30 car to car (to car). We took a few minutes to grab more snacks and shake out a bit before jumping in the car and driving 45min to Mosier. We changed clothes in the parking lot, topped off our tires with air, and headed out on the bikes!
The climb from Mosier is fairly gradual, but it still took a while for our legs to get into bike mode. Eventually we hit the top, and stopped for a couple minutes to grab water and eat more. And then we got to cruise down full speed off the other side. The view was spectacular and the cool wind felt awesome.
The plan from there was to head back up the side we just came down and back to the car. But at this point it was mid-afternoon and even though it was still March, it was HOT. Plus, this was the steeper side, gaining the same elevation in about 2/3rds the distance.
However, this is some of my favorite riding. Well, wait, not the heat part, I actually hate heat. But the long, hilly up. I like moderately steep hills that just climb. I’m a typically a really solid slow and steady climber, usually happy to pop my bike in my lowest gears and climb for hours. I’d actually prefer that to rolling hills where I’m constantly switching gears and losing time on the flats where I’m not as strong.
Paul’s a strong climber, but the heat was starting to take a toll, as was a lack of calories. I’d been EATING non-stop. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way — long days are no time to cut calories. Paul ate a ton too, but he was also burning way more calories. So despite having a lot of snacks, it still wasn’t quite enough.
We made it up again though, taking a moment to rest at the top before cruising down into Mosier.
We knew to hit 10,000ft we’d have to climb back up again. Even though Paul had bonked a bit, we turned our bikes around and headed up one last time, taking a long break at the top to enjoy the view and the breeze before flying down in what, to me, felt like the BEST downhill. Big open road, no potholes, no hairpin turns, and miles of DOWN! So. Good.
3.5 hours after we started we were back at the car, cleaned up a bit, and treated ourselves to tasty dinner (sharing a burger, tots, and a beer!) before driving home.
By the numbers:
Hiking: 11miles, 5,500 ft of elevation
Biking: 37miles, 4,800 ft of elevation
Total: 49miles, 10,300 ft of elevation
Happiness level: 100%