We started out about 9:30 from the BBC, and we went out through Cascades Park, crossed Old 37 and made the 2nd left going up Hillview Rd. to Audubon, and thus back to Old 37. This is the safest and easiest route up the ridge, staying on Old 37 with its blind curve on the hill is dangerous going both up and down. We rode through familiar countryside, hitting 37 mph coming down Firehouse Hill into the Bean Blossom Valley. We continued along until we joined the 5000 or so other bikers who were turning onto Old 37 from Sample Rd. I can’t imagine the scene at new 37! Anyhow we got in with the crowd and pedaled to Anderson Rd, made the right turn and took it to Bean Blossom Rd.
Bean Blossom Rd. runs through a beautiful valley and then rises nearly 300 feet over 1.5 miles of quiet smooth blacktop. There were so many riders Jojo had to pull over for a minute while climbing, he got squeezed by slower riders to the right, faster ones on the left and then a SAG car came down the hill. I was surprised by the number of folks who just straight off got off their bikes and walked, but there was a much larger contingent who charged up the first steep incline. I was passed by all sorts of folks, but except for stopping to take a video, I climbed the whole way. Although it is a long climb, there are spots where you are on the level, or even on a little down hill as you ride along to the main ridge, but it seems you climb forever.
This is the same road where we found the Yellow Ladyslipper and Geraniums last May. I took some videos at the the top, you can see some folks plodding, others trucking and everyone happy. Note the unicycle on the ground, I did not see him ride, but Jojo did, he made it up everything but the steepest par of the hill, and was doing the whole route!
Everyone has a different attitude on reaching the top.
Hiking the forest trail
The Hilly went west on Forest Rd. at this point, we headed east and had some lunch at the fire tower, then took a short hike along the trail. Then we took Forest Rd. north, we saw no one for miles. After a while we came the Hatfield Ridge timber cut, this just does not make sense, why do we cut timber on public lands? The DNS takes it seriously, the notice we read said you could get banned from the forest if you don’t leave when told to! We then took the right fork onto Rosenbaum Rd, and followed it to Catholic Cemetery Rd, which is a pretty rough surface, and we dropped about 250 feet into a little side valley feeding Indian Creek. I took a shot some cows with incredible black faces and brown bodies, I don’t know what they are.
We turned right (south) on Low Gap Rd, and started up. Low Gap means you cross the ridge at 833 feet amsl, whereas most tops in the forest are around 900 feet. We stopped near the bottom and took some pictures at C.F. Scheiffer’s Sculture Garden, then kept slowly climbing till the last steep grade to the top, where the Tulip Trace Trail crosses the road as it heads along the ridge.
It was a long beautiful ride down the long quiet valley to Anderson Rd. We turned west, and headed back to Old 37, up Firehouse Hill, (it was a good thing we had that 2nd lunch), and we then into town down Hillview Rd. and through Cascades Park. Though I still had some push in my legs at the end, I got home, took a shower, and slept for 2 hours, I felt like a blackboard that had been erased, then washed and left to dry, totally blank, I was lucky to get the recycling and garbage out.
We looked for the last of fall’s wildflowers, here is what we found.