Saturday was the Main Event in Oregon, the McKenzie River Trail (MRT). Becky flew in the night before and my truck was transferred to Charles so he could set a shuttle the next day.
The MRT is one of the few trails that everyone seems to be able to agree on. It’s a great ride, following the McKenzie River and Highway 126 for 25+ miles. The trail crosses volcanic rock outcrops in several spots giving it significant technical challenge. As you descend, the challenges lessen and the speed increases as the trail winds its way through the dense forest.
For all the appeal of the tread, what makes the MRT so notable is the scenery. The McKenzie River is wild with clear and pristine rushing waters. There are two large waterfalls that this year were pumping particularly large amounts of water into their moss covered chasms. Further down the trail, the river disappears altogether, only to reappear in a spectacular aqua blue pool several miles later.
Charles and Sean rode the MRT as a loop, riding up Highway 126 to the trailhead from the parking spot at the Ranger Station near the bottom. The rest of the group took advantage of Charles and Sean’s efforts by letting them drop a shuttle vehicle at the bottom of the trail.
When we all converged at the top, we had 11 riders ready to do the drop (Charles, Berry, Sean, Nigel, Leslie, Bill, Melanie, Becky, and myself came from Bend; Geoff Fanning and Alan came down from Portland for the day to join us.)
Getting ready for the ride, the rear brake on my bike developed a non-quickly repairable problem. I went to Plan B, borrow Josh’s bike (Thanks, Josh). In the action, both Charles and myself rode Josh’s Flexible Flyer down the trail with some extra credit adrenaline charged moments. As a result, I have developed extreme respect for Josh’s riding in BC as he was riding much bigger and gnarlier trail features there than I was or could on his bike on the MRT.
In the end, everyone finished the ride alive with the drop taking about 5 hours to complete for the group. Charles and Sean took off for the Bay after the ride; Geoff and Alan left for Portland. The rest of the group headed back to Bend for food and recuperation after the long ride. As usual, MRT did not disappoint. This is a great ride.
A link to last year’s trip weblog: