Posted by: angrybeesound | September 17, 2008

Me and Paradise

over the last month ive been to packwood, wa twice. once for RAMROD, once for HPC, neither of which i have written about, i plan to but havent. both are climbing cenetered rides. i had a good time with both, i had a few days off so i headed back down for some solo riding.

first off, dont eat at the pizza place in town, it almost killed me last night. the bbq chicken wracked me with all manner of bubbly badness all night. it was a good thing the packwood hotel was damn near empty, otherwise my excess time in the (shared) bathroom might have been a problem. but at 30 bucks a night for a queen sized bed with room enough to park my bike inside ill take it.

so i got a late start. i parked just outside the park entrance by highway 123. on the bike at 1015.

i paid my 5 dollar entrance fee. i started climbing at 10:16.

literally, this is how the day went. little up, little down, big up, big down, dorritos and a coke, big up, big down, little up, little down.

i was in no hurry, so i stopped alot. i took pictures, ate some homemade banana bread courtesy of heidi (ah..heidi, but thats a different post on a very different subect). look pictures

oh look, pretty!

my dinged and dented old school canon elph is messing up the pretty blue sky these days, maybe i need to drop it again, fix it up.

so i went up the backside of the road up to paradise, lounged around paradise, walked up to observation deck, no easy feat in bike shoes.

then down the road climb that you climb on ramrod. i turn around and as i have to at this point i go back up.

yes, i own jerseys that arent pink.

i stop at a waterfall named after my sister, it sure is nice, good cool air. i hit the top again and start back down, a loooong sweet descent

bikers appreciate shots like these

now comes the fun part of the story for which i have no pictures, youll have to take my word.

i was working up a hilll, zoned out and listening to my ipod.  and i look up the road and see what i think is a big black dog, it was walking away from me i thought that was weird, this is a national park (rainier) wtf is a dog doing wandering around by itself. then the ‘dog’ heard me, i was about40 feet away and turned around. it was no longer a ‘dog’ but a bear. it wasnt really big, but i stopped the bike and almost shit my bibs.

to me it looked like this

i had one of those ‘humm, what am i going to do, hit him with my bike?’ thoughts, then i thought, really, what i am i going to do, its a bear.

then, about 4 years later i hear a vehicle approaching, it was a truck. i wave it down and pedal over to the drivers side. and calmly informed the driver that – ‘there is a mother fucking bear on the fucking side of the gods fucking road’

i hung out on the other side of a 3 ton truck for a minute or two and the bear, who when i had the truck inbetween me and it kinda looked like this-

the driver of the truck said that it was a yearling and i was never in any danger of an aggressive response, but the young ones do like ‘to play’ great, i might have been a chew toy for a bear. this is appropriate, like all the pictures in this story i stole them off the internet.

oddly seeing a bear makes you ride faster and be super observant, esp to the side of the road for at least 8 miles.

at the top of blackspire pass, a little pain in the ass 1000 foot gain that is just in the way i turn around and grab this shot

lots of dust in the air.

i had planned on doing cayuse and maybe chinook pass, but it was getting late, so i said screw it, stopped at a dairy queen and came home.

day over.

by the numbers

72 miles

14.6 average, 44.6 max

11,488 feet of climbing


  1. […] goal of the first climb is paradise, but you skirt it on the ride. since ramrod ive gone back to paradise and i climbed it alot better. it really paradise, it is a series of high meadows on the shoulders […]

  2. […] started is a town called packwood. i wrote about packwood in an earlier post, but its neat as it is equal distance from 3 of the big mountains in the state – rainier, st helens […]

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