Sunday, June 3, 2007

S24O:4th of July/Fernan Saddle

Blue Creek Road Isn't Steep, But It Is Unrelenting

I loaded up the Ibis with pannier bags and went for an overnighter with the mission of climbing some hills. After getting off work I road out to CDA and up to the top of 4th of July pass. It was midnight by this time but I felt so good that I thought I might continue on to Kingston but when I got a flat I decided to sleep for a few hours and go from there. When I woke up the first thing I thought about was how I wished I had fixed the flat before going to sleep. I am a proponant of the wake and escape. In the morning I headed back down the pass and up Blue creek road to Fernan Saddle. Blue creek road is new to me and it was a doozy. The road is never steep and the gravel surface was in good shape most of the way but it seriously climbs for 11 miles. Gradual climbing forever. The extra luggage kept my pace around 8 mph but I never got tired just a little bored. After bombing down the pavement from Fernan saddle to CDA I got a quick bfast and headed home via the palouse highway.
I have been fiddling with my GPS to figure out why some of my elevation gain readings have been somewhat high and I feel confidant that the 145 mile roller coaster was in the 10,000ft range. Climbing up 4th of July (3200 at summit) and fernan saddle (5200 at the top) make for a big chuck of the climbing but even highway 27's 600 feet of climbing kept me to my pledge to suffer. All told, if the heat had not shot into the 90's by the time I got home I really would not have had much in the way of discomfort. It is a good sign but I must forge on and seek out that area outside of comfort where success and failure are balanced on the precipice of mental fortitude. To keep the climbing week going I am heading up to Mt Spokane with the Ibis tomorrow. I want to see how the legs recover from today's efforts.

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