This trip started as a now annual loaded tour that Don and I have been doing for about 5 years. The original plan was to ride around the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and Steens Mountain. We decided not to pursue that due to the excessive numbers of mosquitoes in that area at this time of the year (not the aftermath of the Bundy boys as some might guess). Rather than skipping this summer I thought it might be a nice change to tour on the west side of the Cascades with lots of water and trees in contrast with the sagebrush steppe geography we have been exploring the last few years. I noticed a nice route to Detroit Lake from the Ripplebrook area that could be continued on Santiam Pass and then connected to the Aufderheide Scenic Byway. The logical direction there was to Eugene and a pleasant Amtrak ride back to Portland. Further investigaion revealed the State of Oregon in all its wisdom had already tagged this as tne West Cascades Scenic Byway.... Eureka!!! The only work now was plotting out the daily rides and camp spots and then making train reservations for the return trip. Don did much calling and checking to see what made the most sense and even put together a map loaded with information far beyond my meager organizing capabilities. With the plans laid out we found 3 riders willing to trust us and we were ready to go. They included Scott Poindexter, Bob Johnson and George Ammerman. The daily itenerary was not too excessive for elevation gains with one exception and we enjoyed great weather to complement the great riding the route provided us. One unintended highlight was the presence of hot springs, 3 if them in fact (Austin, Belknap and Terwillliger). We could have called this the hot springs tour without stretching it too much. With this background here are the daily ride sheets.
Day 1 - Jazzy Bagel to Riverside Campground via Estacada and Ripplebrook Ranger Station.
Day 2 - Riverside Campground to Detroit Lake State Park.
Day 3 - Detroit State Park to Belknap Hot Springs Resort via Santiam Pass and Highway 126.
Day 4 - Belknap Hot Springs to Dexter via Aufderheide Scenic Byway.
Day 5 - Dexter to Eugene via Highway 58 and new Springfield/Eugene bike path along Willamette River. The total distance for the entire tour was 300 miles.