The Sand Ridge loop - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

June 5, 2020

The Sand Ridge loop

WFHO, Continued

We have some exciting news to report on this front.  First, as I think you already know, SSA returned my passport last week.  We picked it up from my sister before leaving town, so now we’re prepared to flee the country on a moment’s notice if the occasion arises.

And then, my new social security card arrived in the mail yesterday.  Astonishing that it went so quickly.  I’m really impressed.  It brings that fable cold snap we’ve heard about a full month closer than I’d predicted.

So, now I have access to all the documentation I need to prove my identity to Capitol One.  I need only upload images of this card, my driver’s license, and a bank statement, and then wait for the $,$$$ to arrive in the mail.  I ask Elizabeth to photograph the front and back of the card and send it to me, but opening the mail I’m disappointed to see this:

Drat.  They’ll undoubtedly reject an unsigned card, so further progress has to wait until I actually get the card in hand.  I don’t want Elizabeth to mail it, and it doesn’t make sense to make a 170 mile round trip drive to Portland to pick it up.  It will have to wait until we pass through at the first of next month on our way to Bellingham.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I think we won’t include the number itself here.
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Shawn AndersonThe new cards look so much different. I still have my original SS card from the '80s.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Shawn AndersonAmazing! How do you keep track of it? I probably haven’t seen mine since the 80’s.
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2 weeks ago

So, bad news for those optimistic folks who predicted we’d get our cash back before July.  Losers!

Today’s ride

We have another dry day to work with today, but it might be the last one for awhile.  Thunderstorms are due tomorrow and a steady rain on Sunday, so it looks like we have a few days off the bike ahead of us.  I look at the map for a bit and come up with this loop to the east of town, mostly on roads we’ve never ridden before:

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Doesn’t look too fearsome, but there is that worrisome cockscomb at mile 30 we’ll have to conquer.  Rachael and I look it over and she’s happy with it.  She agrees to load it to the devices while I head out to New Morning Bakery for coffee and breakfast.   At 10:30, we’re out the door and on the road.

This fine tree stands right outside our apartment. It makes a convenient prop to lean the bike against, and gives me a chance to remind myself of the difference between redwoods and sequoias. A redwood, obviously.
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Corvallis is a delightfully bike-friendly town, with a well developed network of bike paths that goes back at least thirty years.   I can remember riding the bike lane north from downtown to Crescent Valley for at least as long as Rachael and I have been cycling together.  It must have been a real vanguard community in developing bike infrastructure.

It brings to mind Salem, by way of contrast.  When I moved to Salem in the mid 70’s, the city had exactly one bike lane.  It extended for roughly a half mile, south from the Amtrak station if I’m remembering correctly, and then just ended in the middle of the block without warning.

Today we leave the city to the east on Highway 34, crossing the Willamette on the old Van Buren Street Bridge.  It’s a steel swing span bridge, built in 1913 to replace the river ferry.  It’s one way, with westbound traffic entering town on the newer, concrete, characterless Harrison Street Bridge.  The bike and pedestrian traffic only uses the Van Buren bridge though, because the newer bridge was built without a walkable shoulder.

I love this lane on the Van Buren Street Bridge. It’s so great that they’ve retained its wood plank surface. It’s fun to bike across, rattling across the planks and looking down at the river.
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There are a number of loops possible to the east, but most of them will start the same way: leave town over this bridge; cross under the highway on a pedestrian underpass; and then continue east on the bike path for a mile or more until coming to a quiet side road to turn away from the highway on.  Today we turn south on Peoria Road, the quiet route to Eugene that follows the Willamette River much of the way.  We’ve ridden this road several times in the past, on our way to Eugene.

Today though we only stay on Peoria Road for a short distance, before turning east on Tangent Road and then southeast on a series of empty farming roads we’ve never ridden before.  This is mostly new country for us.  In the past we’ve only come this way on route to or from Eugene, and the ride is long enough already even with the most direct route.  It’s really nice to be here with the leisure to explore around a bit.

Southbound on Peoria Road. As we’re biking, I start whistling We Are Marching to Pretoria, because Pretoria and Peoria are so similar.
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Image not found :(
Crossing Owl Creek. No owls today, or turtles either that I can see.
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Jen GrumbyCertainly, on a warm enough day, there are bullfrogs?
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4 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyMaybe, unless the owls keep them at bay. We’ll go back on a sunny day to check though, just for you.
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4 weeks ago
I was too slow to get a really clear shot of this fuzzy trio. They were back away from the road when I biked up but immediately stampeded my way when I stopped. They must get treated regularly, I suppose.
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Jen GrumbyA beige little pony with a wig
Follows two llamas, but no pig
They all run toward Scott
Who is not in a yacht
And beg him for one little fig.
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4 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyThanks for the suggestion. I’ll have to toss a few figs in the back pocket when we go out that way next time. I think three, unless I want to start a food riot. And maybe one for the bullfrog at Owl Creek.
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4 weeks ago
Looking west to Marys Peak. At 4,100’, this unassuming but prominent small mountain is surprisingly the highest point in the Coast Range, and the 12th most prominent peak in Oregon.
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One of the great things about setting off on new roads is the unexpected surprises you happen upon. This is is the Oakville Willamette United Presbyterian Church, a pioneer church founded in 1850.
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We’ll pass many miles like this today: ironed-flat fields blanketed in clover or other cover crops.
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Eastbound on Green Valley Road, another cycling delight. In the distance are the wierd, lumpy hills around Lebanon and Sweet Home.
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As usual, Rachael spins out ahead of me as I stop here and there.  Our agreement is to meet up again when we get to Boston Mills, a lovely spot I remember from a loop ride we took years ago.  I’m beginning to be afraid I’m falling too far behind for social responsibility, when Rachael calls.  She’s on Boston Mills Drive, and cant wait any longer.  She’s near a church and park, and is going to detour to see if she can find facilities.

Looking at the map, I tell her I’m still 1.7 miles from Boston Mills, and pick up the pace so she won’t have to wait too long for me to show up.  Two minutes later I cross Highway 99 at Shedd, see a small church on the right, and wonder.  Just as I’m reaching for the phone to check back, she hollers at me from the distance.  She was on Boston Hills Drive, but not yet actually at Boston Mills.

So we bike the rest of the way to the park together.  It’s as delightful a place as I remember.  And it’s not really Boston Mills.  It’s Thompson’s Mills, situated on the Calapooia River at the site of what was once the town of Boston.  The mill, now state property inside of a small heritage state park, is the oldest existing water-powered grain mill in Oregon.  The mill is closed to visitors today, but we might take a looker later this month.  I’m sure we’ll come this way again, and plan to stop here for a picnic.

Thompson’s Flouring Mills, the oldest remaining water-powered grain mill in Oregon.
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Cayuga Ducks, a striking domestic breed I haven’t seen before.
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What’s black and white and red all over?
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It’s a bit too soon for lunch, so we agree to continue until reaching the high point of the ride, about five miles further to the east.  I’m thinking we’ll find a nice spot to sit when we get there, and enjoy a knockout view while we enjoy our turkey sandwiches.  And I’m right.  We find the perfect spot right at the first summit, and choose our spots on a downed utility pole, spacing ourselves carefully between the pigeon droppings.

Eastbound on Linn West Drive, we enjoy a bit of a view as we cross the freeway overpass.
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A very common sight today. We’ve seen dozens of these bee colonies positioned at the edge of vast clover fields.
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This is the same formation we’ve seen from a distance in photos above. It’s east of Sand Ridge, just north of Lebanon.
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A perfect spot for lunch. Look at that great view!
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I don’t know what we’re looking at here. The old Sand Ridge school maybe?
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After lunch we bike the twenty miles back home almost without stopping.  Clouds are building up, its feeling dampish, and a noticeable headwind is developing.  Time to head for shelter.

When we arrive in town, I stop by the bike store to see about getting my brakes adjusted.  They don’t take appointments, but I can leave the bike with them and I’ll get it back when they can get around to it - in perhaps 2 or 3 weeks.  Guess we’ll be listening to that squeal for awhile.

Northbound on Sand Ridge Road. Those 30’ peaks weren’t so bad after all. It helps tackling them after fortifying ourselves with a turkey sandwich.
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Ron SuchanekI don't know if Velofix services Corvallis but if they do, they'll come to you. We used them a lot in Portland.
https://www.velofix.com/what-we-do/
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1 month ago
Yup. Sand Ridge was definitely a place on the map once. It even has a small cemetery.
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Well, here’s one reason to stop. Our barn of the day is surrounded by a cloud of swirling swallows.
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Jen GrumbyHow thoughtful of that barn to position itself for such a lovely photo!
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4 weeks ago
And a llama.
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And an emu.
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Jen GrumbyWell, there's something you don't see every day.

I wonder if it was Swiffer or Dusty?
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.gazettetimes.com/news/local/swiffer-and-dusty-add-emu-flair-to-farm/article_58f9d7ee-7660-5f2d-a398-291df3e54c39.amp.html
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4 weeks ago

Ride stats today: 50 miles, 600’.

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