Mark Janeba and I successfully completed the Hot Springs 300K pre-ride.
We started in the darkness at 6:00 am by having our brevet cards signed by the folks at Dutch Brothers Coffee around the corner from the Travel Lodge. They were open at 5:00 am and I enjoy a cup while I got ready for the ride. The weather was a bit chilly, 40 degrees F. and there was some light fog. Riding toward the Willamette River, our headlights lit up the fog more than the road, or the water droplets was obscuring my vision. The road way near the bridge over the Willamette River can be a bit rough. Traffic was very light but none the less, I was happy to be wearing my reflective vest. The fog got a little worse as we approached the Willamette River making the crossing somewhat interesting. However, the fog turned into a light mist after we pass the river, and stayed with us as we pass Champoeg. We did take a short break at Champoeg to check the status of the restrooms. The gates to the parking lot were closed, but we took the MUP next to the entrance way and found the restrooms open and warm. Leaving the Park, we climbed our way up the shelf above Champoeg, where the fog/mist left us and we were in the clear. It was here that we saw the sunrise.
The roads were very quiet as we rode toward Gervais. We arrived in Gervais at 7:30 am to find the market closed as it opens at 8:00 am on the weekends. We could not find restrooms in Gervais. However, we came upon a coffee stand with porta potty at the intersection of Silverton Road and Howell Prairie. There, the young lady filled my water bottle when I politely asked. The weather had cleared but was still cool. The sun warmed me but I was not ready to take off my arm/leg warmers
When Mark and I came to Highway 22, we took the frontage roads instead of the highway. So, we crossed over the highway and continued on into Aumsville. In Aumsville, we turned left onto Mill Creek Road. This took us to Golf Club Road where we turned to the right and rode through Stayton to Old Mehama Road and then Ferry Street into Lyons. After stopping at the market/control, we continued on Lyons – Mill City Drive to Mill City. Once in Mill City, we finally go on Hwy 22.
Highway 22 was not busy, and there is at least a 2-foot shoulder and the shoulder is much wider than two feet most of the way to Detroit. The biggest climb of the day seemed to be the climb up to the second dam at Detroit Lake and then a short ways beyond. The clouds persisted in the canyon, but we were never cold. When the sun poked through the clouds we welcomed the warmth. We saw a few boats on the lake, but nothing like a busy summer day in August. The roads around the lake had some traffic, but nothing very heavy at all.
Turning northward on Breitenbush Road and into a v-shaped, forested river canyon, we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Breitenbush River. Here, we felt alone as we saw very few cars. The climbing was easy and enjoyable and soon we began to see snow along side of the road and in the shaded forest. As we climbed, the snow increased. At 2,000 feet of elevation, snow lined both sides of the road where the road was shaded. The snow was completely gone when the road was in the sun.
We passed the side rode to Breitenbush Hot Springs and continued on. We located the informational control and duly noted it on our brevet cards. I would not be surprised if the snow along side of the road was gone this weekend.
We followed the same route back to Newberg. We stopped for food in Mill City, for a snack in Lyons (control), for french fries in Stayton and a snack at the open market in Gervais. Be aware that the market closes at 9:00 pm! If you are middle to later in the pack, you might find it closed. Best to stock up in Stayton or detour into Woodburn if need be. There are services (read restrooms) less than one mile down the road if you turn right toward Woodburn at Hwy 219/214.
The sun set on us as we left Shaw while we were on Howell Prairie, but it was not dark, dark until Silverton Road. After leaving Stayton, the only traffic we saw as around Gervais. Once we left Highway 219/214, the roads were very quite and crossing the Willamette River was not an issue.
Mark and I finished at 10:39 which is a bit longer than we do the Three Capes Loop, but not that much longer.