After 8.5 weeks without a single long day of moving through the woods/mountains, I’ve been feeling sluggish and desperate to get out. The only problem is that my ankle can still only handle a couple miles of hiking (and about 3 steps of running) before it starts to hurt. Luckily, as of this week I am officially back on the bike: not only am I riding outside, but I’m able to clip in/out of my pedals and can even stand up to climb for short periods of time!
I decided to make the most of my newfound freedom and do some exploring on my gravel grinder. My goals were to see some snow-capped mountains, pedal through the forest, and maybe even visit a few places that I usually get to on foot.
Wallace Falls State Park seemed like the perfect destination, especially since they allow bikes on many of their trails. I mapped out a route that started and ended at the Sultan Bakery (because yum), and then away I went on my bike. Wheeeeeeee! (GPX file here.)
I did the loop counterclockwise. I knew the first half of the route, or the southeastern part of the loop, would definitely go because I had run part of it a couple years ago. But I wasn’t too sure about the second half of the loop, which made the whole thing more exciting. (It doesn’t take much these days. 😉 Turns out the entire loop is perfect for a gravel bike, and more scenic and remote than you might expect from a series of active and abandoned forest service roads. I only saw two other people once I left the pavement.