Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mosier Twin Tunnels

Today's adventure took me to a place I had been to before, but this time I used a different mode of transportation and traveled more miles. 

The place: Mosier, Oregon's Twin Tunnels trail 
The mode: cruiser bike
The miles: almost ten? 

This is a really nice paved trail that used to be part of the original Columbia River Highway. It cuts a path through the mountainside by way of two consecutive tunnels. It offers sweeping views of the Columbia River below. There is a fair amount of shade from the fir and pine trees that line much of the trail west of the tunnels.

The last time I explored this trail, I walked. It was spring. I enjoyed the views of the wildflowers and took time to linger at the river overlooks and marvel at the construction of the tunnels. I watched as bikers passed by again and again. I wondered how far the trail went. I thought, hey, I want to come back sometime and bike this trail. I recalled the trail being relatively flat.

A few months ago, my husband got me an awesome new cruiser bike. Oh yeah, old school style with no gears, pedal braking, cushy seat, wicker basket, and a bike seat up back for baby. I convinced a friend to bike with me and convinced myself that the cruiser bike would be much more comfortable than dragging out my old mountain bike. After all, the trail was pretty flat, right? Except for that hill at the beginning, my husband reminded me. Bah, I was in shape and could do it. An extra 33 pounds behind and an extra 3 in the basket? No problem. I learned that it was only ten miles round trip. So, maybe there would be a hill or two, but I've got true grit. And I could walk on any big hills and ride the rest. It's only ten miles.

We packed up, drove to the parking area, paid our $5, ate a picnic lunch, cruised down the hill to the trail head, and started pedaling. Oh, there is a hill at the beginning. And all the way to the tunnels. It was hard. Too hard to keep pedaling, so I walked, pushing the hefty cruiser bike plus baggage. And more hills after you get through the tunnels. Then there is a huge downhill, which I tried to enjoy while my mind kept telling me that the trail is out and back and this downhill would later be uphill. At about what ended up being probably a half mile from the Hood River end point, but before another downhill, I suggested turning around. My daughter was hunched over for a cat nap in her bike seat and I was feeling the strain. It sure seemed a LOT faster to get back to the car. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the downhills, feeling good about myself for pedaling and pushing as much as I did on the way up. I enjoyed the sweeping views and marveled at the construction of the tunnels. I was worn out and very sweaty. Yeah, great cardio workout today! But next time, take a bike with some gears, silly. Remember - this trail is hilly!

Entering the tunnels from the west.

My daughter and friend being silly while I catch my breath.


Monday, August 13, 2012


I am thin.
I am strong.
I am not an athlete.
I can paddle a canoe.
I can hike.
I cannot do a handstand.
I am insecure.
I am lazy.
I am not a couch potato.
I can walk.
I can run.
I cannot do a handstand.
I am flexible.
I am open.
I am not a gymnast.
I cannot do a backbend.
I cannot do a double flip.
But I can do a handstand.