Mount Hood Scenic Byway Loop

Day 2 : Cloud Cap Inn

The main reason I wanted to see the cloud cap inn was not to see the inn itself, but for the road. In the map when I was looking for points of interest, I saw the route and it was a beauty full of curvy roads. I expected that since Cloud Cap is at an elevation of 6000 ft, it would be quite a fun climb. Oh! How wrong I was.

I was tempted by those curvy roads!

It is 12 miles (~19 kms) from OR-35 to cloud cap inn and it was all fun and games for the first 3 or 4 miles (8 km) and then the fun stopped. The paved roads suddenly stopped and I was presented with a narrow gravel road. Painful! That was the experience. I had this naive expectation that the road would get better as I go on, but I was wrong. It got worse! Much worse!! Initially, the road had a layer of fine gravel on it which made it somewhat smoother though a little bit annoying as NineT was struggling to find grip in the loose gravel. But around midway of offroading, oh the pain began. The gravel stopped and it was just rocks on the way. My nineT is not equipped to handle these kinds of roads with grace and it was making its discomfort known. I could feel every bit of bump on the road. 

But there was something else that kept me going. The scenery got better the higher I climbed. I could see another mountain peak up far which I presumed to be Mt St Helens and it looked amazing from up there. The scenery changed from greenery to more of a barren burnt kind of landscape. On the way, I came across a guy on Harley who was riding his way up and I followed his tracks. Around an hour of climbing later, we reached the Inn. The nineT was dusty and looked like it needed a bath. I talked to the guy on Harley for a bit and mused about how painful the ride up was. After exploring the inn for a bit I rode down the same painful route. 

Made it up here… somehow!
The Inn

Getting off that gravel road, I felt like I gained a new appreciation for paved roads. My body felt like I had gone through a beating. With aching back and sore bum, I pushed on. Next stop, Lost Lake. Ouch!


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