Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another Massive Transit Experience - Green Mountain

No discover pass required on this adventure. I’ve been planning on this trip for a month or so, but was waiting for an enlightened day to show me its face. 

The Mason Transit bus schedules, to make your way up to near Bremerton, where a little tight - and the buses they use for those back road routes were the smaller “van style” buses.  I have to be honest that I was a little nervous about successfully linking the three routes together that I needed and making it to the origins of each route in time enough to claim my spot on each bike rack.  The routes where limited in that the only one that got me near Bremerton arrived there around noon, and the last one that would get me back to Olympia left the Bremerton ferry terminal at 4pm.  Would I make it? could I pull this one off? what would happen to me if I was stranded in the middle of nowhere without cell service? 

These “what ifs” turned out to be exactly the thrill, and is what made this particular Massive Transit Experience quite the adventure.  Upon further research I realized that if worse came to worse, I could instead take the ferry over to Seattle and either stay with a friend or try to get a late express bus to Tacoma to catch the last bus back to Olympia @8:50pm.

The weather was in the upper 80’s and my ride started with a big sweaty climb.  A layer came off and my black helmet got strapped to my pack as I headed into the great logging wild lands of the Green Diamond Resource Company, just south of Green Mountain.  Lots and lots of clear cuts made Green Mountain come into view fairly quickly, which re-assured me that the 4-hour window would be doable.  NE Bear Creek Dewatto Rd to Gold Creek Rd to the Gold Creek Trailhead. 

Up Gold Creek Trail.

Too bad I was actually going UP this gnarliness.

To the vista.

The top of Green Mountain is a little over 1,600 feet.  Over to the west, the Olympics seemed like you could reach out to them       

and over to the east-north east lie the cities of Bremerton/Silverdale and a little further, a full view of downtown Seattle.  Even further was the slightly hazy cascade range.

It was 2:15, just about the time that I had planned on hitting the descent in order to give my time window a little bit of a buffer zone.  A Mojo Bar and a few pictures later I was prepping for one of the sweetest descents on local DNR land.  The Wildcat Trail is just shy of a 5 mile descent on bermed ATV track.  Of those five miles, just roughly one of them includes flat sections or ups, but the rest is all butter.  I was thankful for those few peddley spots,

 as I was able to get a few more pic’s of that days perfect weather views

and Mt Tahoma was standing out clear, proud and tall. 

3 words described the descent: loose, dusty, fast.  4th word: berms - just bermed enough on the corners to not have to put your outside peddle down, but just loose enough that it was a good safety check too do so.  This trail does not lack thrill or fastness, it seemed like it kept going and going, right up to the point that I had a proper smile on my face, as I skidded my way out a third of the way across the exiting trail head parking lot.


There is nothing like the joy of getting back on pavement on the last leg of your journey, once you have experienced the proper thrill factor of a good descent.  Basically your mind is clear and the sweet feeling of success definitely trumps your earlier day’s anx.  The shoulder was wide on Seabeck Hwy and was mostly a descent along the route all of the way to Bremerton.  The sun was shining at just the right temperature and the smile on my face was shining infinitum.  Thank you Massive Transit Trip #2!

And 12 guidelines I came up with after  traveling through Mason County by transit:

don’t even try it.

home of Simpson Lumber Co, now owned by Green Diamond Resource Co; don't think glamorous.

no one knows where the hell you are if you got dropped off here, not even the bus driver.

when in doubt,  head towards the mountains with the communication towers on top.

when you use your food stamps to buy papa murphy's, make sure to always carry a hunting knife. 

then, when asked about why you were taking pictures of everyone at the bus stop - by the guy with the hunting knife - make sure you assert yourself as a mtn biking magazine editor who is on a massive transit mission.

when you get off from mcdonalds and have to pick your infant up from day care, make sure you are packing your change-a-diaper-bundle-bed for the trip. 

when you work for mason transit, just make sure you smile.  it really doesn’t matter which sign is posting on your bus or if you miss a few stops here and there.

when you are cooking up your meth behind the bushes, make sure you are using a colt forty five flavor blast bottom.

god is watching over shelton.

when you want to get out of the mayhem of the downtown, you sit by the creek and enjoy a  genesee 24oz'r.

When you finally get on board to head back home, you get over the regrets of hanging with the dregs of society on a bus and let humility and camaraderie be your guide.  You give your last cliff bar to the tattered and dirty stranger who just got out of jail, you enjoy all of the banter of the mentally challenged passengers, the kind words from the disabled people and the “sparing an extra smoke too the teenager in the back”.  You become friends with people.  You enjoy that sweet feeling of having conquered one of the most awesome adventures around and the joy that you made it out alive.

massive transit series - part 1 can be found here:


  1. You're killing it on the transit rides! I want to ride down what you rode up.

  2. Most unique rides and reports on the web right now. Very cool - and now with third world, I mean Mason/Kirtsap public transit reports!