Sunday, December 29, 2013

Off The Grid - Lower Chehalis State Forest

With some talk about riding in the Lower Chehalis State Forest going around, it was time to go check it out. An epicish day of touring some uncharted(for us)(and for most)
forest roads with half a map and some rumors for navigation was on the menu.
Expecting the unexpected. 

The new Capitol Forest map app is by far the best map product to come out of DNR, ever. 
Unfortunately, half of Chehalis Forest is covered up.
Our route map right here

 Beginning and End. Garrard Creek/V-Line RD's intersection.

A long, long way from C-Line.

Misplaced the road? Maybe. Did we know where we were going? Kinda. 

 Stay left here. 

This is why. Back tracking. 

Quite a few of the roads were closed to unauthorized vehicle traffic. The lack of vehicle traffic and random gunfire from all directions(I'm looking at YOU Capitol Forest) was noticeable and added to the remote feeling of the place. During our entire time in the forest we only saw a father and son hunting by bike, and two trucks full of bow hunters. This place is quiet, remote and big. Very cool. 

Capitol Peak from Minot Peak. 
Someday some fool will connect these two in one ride. 
Peak to Peak. 

1768' Minot Peak is what drew us far into the depths of this forest, and way past turn around time. Maybe we'll start earlier than 1:00 PM next time. Maybe.

 This was the last time we saw the sun. At the summit of Minot Peak. 4:30. And we had another 20 miles to go to get back to the Van. 

Final photo. Hoods deployed. Cold. No lights. One Gu, one bar and a handful of gorp left. 
Getting dark fast and uncertainty about getting out of here was on our minds. 
This is when the real adventure began. 

After chasing a herd of Roosevelt Elk in the dark(this was an unreal encounter our bonked out and fatigued brains could barely comprehend, I thought I might be hallucinating for the first few seconds of the chase) and miles and miles of pitch black roads we made it back to the Van. We stopped for onion rings and burgers in Grand Mound and then purred TD's diesel Westy back to Oly. 
There are many more adventures to be had in this soggy, lonely and grey-green corner of Grays Harbor County.  Come and get 'em.


  1. I saw a flyer at a couple local bike shops saying there was going to be an un-supported ride through that area on Sunday January 12th. It sounded like one of those ridiculously long, might-not-make-it-back-alive kinda rides that starts near the Porter Tavern at 9 am. If anyone has seen any more details about this they should post about it. I'll see if the posters are still up. I think it was called "Minot Make It"

  2. I like the sounds of that . Ill be out if town that weekend. Hope to see more info and some reports from the survivors.

  3. absolutely loving the vibe of this adventure. esp love the pic of "Capitol Peak from Minot Peak"