was just as enjoyable, experiencing a new angle on the scenery than on the ascent.
The air was chilly up top, but not so bad as to turn the heated grips on.
There was a lot of ice on this lake for July!
A comparison picture, from the last time I was there, about the same time of year
I was a little bummed we didn't have time to head to the West side of the park, but the WABDR had shown us a great time so far and we planned to stick with it. We dropped down out of the park and headed East on Rt. 12 for a stretch.
Where we were rewarded with even more beautiful scenery.
Rapidly leaving the snow-capped peaks behind us, the temperature rose and the landscape changed drastically from lush forest to ponderosa pine and an arid climate. We had only climbed 1000 feet and traveled 25 miles, but the mountains now separated us from the rainy climate of Western Washington.
At the very East end of Rimrock Lake, we picked up the trail again and began a gravel switchback climb that would bring us 3000 feet higher onto a ridge.
The climb was steep and the road was one giant washboard. At times I just had to keep in the gas, ride the shoulder, and hope for the best. Shawn had a really difficult time just making forward headway here, having to crawl up in first gear. I think he later found the rear suspension setup to be a bit off.
The significant climb provided us with excellent views along it's entire length, cutting back and forth up the ridge.
An awesome rock from a lava flow
Almost to the top, the views were incredible. We stopped for a minute, just to take it all in. Visible was Mt. Adams, our campsite from the previous night, and Mt. Ranier - where we went sledding but a few hours ago. Now we were in the sagebrush and 90 degree heat.
Loving every minute of this
We sped East along the ridge as the forest road leveled out, stopping occasionally to reflect on the the beauty of it all. It was incredible, and for the next hour I would just be awestruck at the scale of it all.
Not a lot was said for a few miles
We rode East.