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Friday, July 9, 2004

My morning starts out rather badly. How so? After waking I take a minute to inventory my trip-critical possessions, you know, cell phone, van keys, laptop, digital camera, wallet, ummm.... where's my wallet? I can't find my wallet! I tear apart all things great and small, search all nooks and crannies, what do I find? Sigh... nothing, absolutely nothing. I'm such a MORON! Perplexed, I review yesterday's events, which soon leads me to wonder, did my wallet fall from my pocket yesterday? As I hopped in and out of the van while snapping pictures during my scenic drive, did I manage to lose my most important possession? No wallet means a major trip delay. Certainly the worst thing to lose and it seems I lost it on my first day out!

I don't panic. Instead, I just feel really, really annoyed. What can I do other than give up looking. As my gaze slowly lifts from a position of despair (head hung low) to the top of my bed I see my wallet partially hidden in the bedspread. I hadn't looked there, it was too obvious. With now unburdened spirt and happy heart a great celebration ensues where many thanks to Great Creator are offered. Life is good once again, the trip will continue forward uninterrupted. The misplacement of my wallet is only the start to my losing things today however. This truly was a day of lost-and-found.

After a big breakfast of oatmeal, I prep my mountain bike then jump into the saddle for my first biking adventure of the trip. For today's ride I've chosen the Lewis River bike trail. I pick this trail because most of the others in the area are to technical for my infantile abilities. Although I'm not thrilled with the distance on this one, weighing in at a hefty 22.6 miles, this one I believe probably won't kill me.

At present I'm not in the greatest of shape, I didn't train at all for this trip. But, I figure if the trail prematurely wears me out I'll just cut it short, although deep down inside I know I will complete it, come hell or high water. Why you may ask? Well, mainly because I like the challenge of pushing my physical limits, although, I have to admit, sometimes it teeters on the edge of stupidity.

Case in point. This spring on my first day out riding my road bike I trekked 100 miles. The terrain was flat (Sauve Island, OR) and scenic but the distance was anything but easy. Saddle soreness ensued around the 30 mile mark and cramping in one leg started around the 65 mile mark. But I persisted and completed what I had set out to do.

On the way home from the long ride I had a big revelation. For a long time I had been stuck in a rut (career, love relationship, spiritual, etc.) and in great need of something different in my life to really shake things up. Since I love to bike I thought why not take a long road trip that's centered around biking. What a great idea! I figured if I can peddle 100 miles on my first bike outing of the season then I could pretty much bike anything if I put my mind to it.

So on this sunny day of July 9th I find myself at Lewis Creek, ready to start my biking adventure. The bike trail itself is half singletrack (meaning it can serve only one bicycle in one direction), half road and starts at the Lower Falls section of Lewis River.

Having camped at the Middle Falls, I first bike downhill to the Lower Falls. The trail, promising to be as scenic as it is challenging, runs on both sides of the Lewis River. The singletrack side starts at Lower Falls and runs downhill to Curly Creek Falls. The trail then crosses over a bridge then travels uphill back to the Lower Falls on FS-90, a paved road.

Although the ride turns out to be as difficult as I had imagined, I complete it, and as luck would have it, I manage to escape unscathed on the ride's most difficult section, the singletrack. My strategy? I'm just really careful and take my time, snap a lot of photos, and generally have a positive experience.

Click here for more details and pictures of my mountain bike ride at Lewis River.

After returning from the bike ride, I decide to stay put and stay another night at Middle Falls because the bike ride really wipes me out. In a semi-conscious state, I fix dinner and generally veg. I turn in early, tomorrow will be a road trip day, I have plans to drive to Crow Creek Campgrounds in preparation to bike Fifes Ridge.

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