Lake Pleasant

After the big race, I decided to stay in Arizona for a few more days.  My parents drove their RV down from Seattle to find the sun, so I hitched a ride on their couch for a few days.  We stayed at Lake Pleasant Regional Park.  This is a big park around, surprise, Lake Pleasant.

The campsite was on top of a small hill overlooking the reservoir.


We brought kayaks along, and my dad and I spent quite a bit of time fishing. As much as I hate to admit it, I did not catch any fish while my dad caught a nice Largemouth Bass and a decent sized Striped Bass.

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I love stargazing while I’m out camping.  Unfortunately, the moon was out making things difficult because it is too bright.  One night, Jupiter was very close to the moon (the picture came out surprisingly well for being a handheld photo).

jupiter and the moon

There is really only one short hiking trail in the park – a bit of a disappointment given the size.  I spent one afternoon with my Mom following the trail through the desert.


There were a few critters around, but not as many as I expected to see.  There were a few rodents and lizards around, and the coyotes would howl like crazy at night.



Overall, the park was ok – it would be better for a one night stay, there just aren’t enough activities to keep things interesting longer than that (unless you want to fish all of the time). This was a great extension to my trip, allowing me to hang out in the sun and relax while my legs recover.


The Rally in the Gorge–Day 1

Today I rode down to Stevenson with my Dad to do The Rally in the Gorge.  We are attending for the dualsport track of the rally.  There are a bunch of seminars along with several self guided rides to try out.  Should be a ton of fun.

For the ride down, we took the same route as we did on the WABDR.  Going from Renton->Ellensburg->Packwood->Stevenson.  This is a fun route, particularly the windy roads between Randle and Stevenson.



This is the rest stop just south of Packwood – my Dad is looking for the correct slope to park the bike…the KLR sidestand is notorious for being too long, and once the bike is loaded down, the problem becomes worse.


We got some great views of Mt. St. Helens along the way.



This is the “campsite”.  Basically a huge field (soon to be) full of tents.  Setting up the tent was a bit challenging in the 25 knot wind.   Once it was set up, it handled the wind just fine.

After getting camp set up, we cruised into town for a pizza dinner…good thing pizza is on my diet! (or not).  After dinner, we came back to the fairgrounds and attended a seminar that served as an introduction to the rally.  The oncoming heat wave was one of the topics discussed, which prompted me (and my dad) to buy evaporation vests (my tent is dark right now, I’ll post manufacturer details later).  Basically it is designed to be soaked in water and worn under your riding gear to keep you cool.  It was only $40, so I’ll give it shot and see how it works.

As the sun went down, the moon came up.  I tried to get some cool pictures w/my point and shoot (which I’m carrying because of size and weight).  Unfortunately I was a bit slow with the controls and didn’t quite get the shots I wanted.


This one almost worked – the moon was rising over a ridge and I wanted to get the trees silhouetted in front of it, when it was about half up.  Couldn’t figure out the manual setting on the P&S fast enough to get the picture I wanted…You can sorta see the trees at the bottom.


Reflection of the moon in the water…might try to clean this up a bit in photoshop when I get home.