Saturday, October 17, 2009

Two Peaks

Portland to the east from Mt. Tabor.

The rain coming to get me.

The tunnel on the way up Rocky Butte.

My first shot with a timer.
Mt. Tabor is part of a network of extinct volcanoes called the Boring Lava field. The next cinder cone north of it is called Rocky Butte and my plan today was to ride to the top of both of them. Mt. Tabor is the main ride that I do so their is a familiarity to it, but I am always struck by its beauty. Depending on the cloud and fog cover, the views of the mountains to the east and the city to the west are always changing. I tried to take a picture of the view to the east with my panoramic feature, but it didn't turn out. So, I took a regular picture because it looked so pretty.
I pounded up the rest of the way to the top mostly feeling excited about getting over to Rocky Butte since that would feel so new and different. At the top I got a shot of the city with DARK clouds looming. "Whoa-ho-ho, that rain is coming to get me, " I said.
As I rode through the neighborhood just north of Mt. Tabor I saw a beautiful rose garden and had to stop. I flipped down my new trusty kickstand and got a shot of all the color. It is the middle of October and this gardener still has plants filled with flowers. Impressive.
Riding further north a couple of cyclists on road bikes passed me at a light. This gave me a bit of a challenge so I turned on the gas and powered past them. It was easy riding through the neighborhood south of the mountain and I glided past the most beautiful park filled with giant Douglas firs.
I turned left and started up Rocky Butte. Halfway up I entered the tunnel and realized that I had to turn around to get a shot of it. The two cyclists passed me as I rode back to the entrance and probably thought I was turning back. I got my shot and rode the the tunnel just as my phone started ringing. Must be Peter. I waited until I was through the tunnel, put on my jacket because it was starting to drizzle and called him back. He wanted to know if I wanted him to turn on the sauna because it was pouring at home. "Great idea," I said.
At the top I tried out our new camera's timer feature and got a shot of me with my bike including the camera strap and some of the stone post I set the camera on. Still, I'm really proud of the moment because the rain turned drenching while I was riding up and I was still having fun.
There weren't any good shots of the view at the top so I made my way back home. It was a warm rain so I didn't feel cold, but my feet were s-o-g-g-y. I definitely need to get some waterproof booties for over my shoes. Even though I was soaked from head to toe I was having the greatest time.
The ride home was uneventful. I noticed that the hospital was more beautiful than I had ever realized. I'm always in a bad mood when I have to go there, but as I rode by it I thought about how pretty it was. I also thought how having a camera with me helps me look for beauty.
When I got home I stripped off my shoes and socks, wrung out the socks and padded into the house a soggy mess. The last four minutes of the Iowa/Wisconsin game was on so I watched it with Peter and drank some water. Iowa won 20-10 so Peter was happy he stayed home to watch the game. Just sitting for those few minutes really made me cold, so it was most pleasant to step into the sauna. A perfect end to my first true rainy Portland long ride.

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