Last night in Bend OR tonight. Finished five straight days of high desert mountain biking. did around 130 miles of riding, conditions ranging from sleet and almost freezing temperatures to clear sunshine and 30 degrees. altogether a fantastic holiday in a mountain biking mecca. The best are I found was Phil's Trails, starting from Phil's Trailhead. It's an enormous area, I don't know the length of all the trails, but it must run to much more than 100 miles. The quality is excellent, as I said before the trails are smooth and sandy, every turn is bermed. There are very steep and technical ups and downs, the rock gardens are amazing, so much work gone into this area. Further away are still more of hundreds of miles of trails, just can't do it all in one trip.
There are lots or varmints and critters on the trails, big birds, cougar (didn't see one), deer and thousands of chipmunks, they are everywhere, very inquisitive, though wild, I attracted a couple by throwing pieces of bananas, they are too clever though and just pick it up and run away with it. They seem to come in all sizes, with different stripes of different colours...very interesting
Although its high desert is covered in pine trees, none seem more than 50 years old, there is lots of evidence of forest fires in the past, so I suppose that is how the forest is controlled, at least in former times.
So back to Seattle in the morning and an overnight flight to New York. Trouble is hurricane Earl is also headed there!