May is the time for flowers. This weekend my friend invited me to go up to Rowena Crest to enjoy the sunshine, stretch our legs and lungs, and see the blooms. We drove a bit over an hour to the town of Mosier, Oregon to get up to Rowena Crest. You can see more about this area on Oregon Hiker's Guide here.
When the clouds allowed, we could see Mount Adams across the river. As we hiked up the trail, Mount Hood stood shining and we were so elated to see the peak. After the rainy winter, it's such a treat when the skies clear enough to see the mountains.
The trail wasn't too difficult, but did make us huff and puff a bit at first. The views were definitely worth it, though, and the overall hike didn't take too long. We picnicked at the top with melty brie cheese and berries.
On Sunday, we headed back out to Alpenrose to see the races. We were a bit late so we didn't catch as many of the races, but we did manage to see our friend race! Even though it had rained the night before and a bit that morning, it was rather dusty on the track still. We went straight to a corner of the course, after getting tacos, skipping the stairs and barrier sections.
We took a friend who is not in the cycling scene at all, so it was neat to see her reaction to the races and the whole environment. We watched some of the hard climbs, but settled mostly right next to a hard drop off that had a bit of a hole, which caught some riders off guard and even made some do a little ~tail whip~ occasionally.
Honestly, I don't know many of the riders out here and we didn't stay to watch the podiums, so I can't tell you who won in their respective races, but I did manage to get a few decent pictures.
Last weekend Sam and I went to the Alpenrose Dairy to watch the River City Cyclocross Crusade. It was the biggest cross race I'd ever spectated. It was neat to see so many vans, tailgate tents, and people of all ages. We ran into a few friends, got some tacos, and settled into a few spots to watch.
I love the energy at cyclocross races. There's funny shouts, cheers, and silly comments, but there's so much support for racers of all levels. This course was neat with a good set of stairs, some pretty steep descents and a few hard climbs, and the end was on the velodrome.
My favorite part about cross races happens when the fields string out, so if you don't know the racers you can't always tell which race they're riding in. They all overlap so there is almost a constant stream of racers riding past you.