Update 21-Sep-2009: The Twin Tunnels trail opened today! Life is good.
Here are two emergency changes to the Bikenfest 2009 route. I've been holding off posting these changes hoping road conditions would return to normal by October 3rd. In case road conditions don't change in time, here are the route accommodations. These changes decrease the total elevation gain by 500 feet. The route is still pretty nice even with the reduced elevation gain. A revised route sheet has been posted.
On August 24th the Mark O. Hatfield State Park was partially burned by the Microwave Fire noted at the time here. The park and trail are officially closed and Oregon State Parks issued a press release today saying the park is still closed until further notice due to hazardous conditions. The recent fire has destabilized several steep cliffs and hill sides along the trail.
The alternative to the trail is to use 5 miles on Interstate 84 between Hood River and Mosier. The freeway is the only realistic route between Hood River and The Dalles. The other alternatives involve long distances, really steep grades and mountain bikes.
In addition to the Mark O. Hatfield State Park closure, there is also a construction project on E 2nd Street in The Dalles. The original route used this part of E 2nd Street departing and returning to The Dalles. The pinch point is on the east bound lane where the road revision has shifted the roadway and consumed the eastbound shoulder. The westbound route is pretty good for bikes since an entire westbound lane is barricaded for exclusive use by construction equipment. There should not be any construction on Saturday leaving the construction lane open to bicycles.
To new route circles through the orchards south of The Dalles crossing US-197 on Columbia View Avenue before rejoining the original route. The route revision avoids the eastbound road construction on E 2nd Street and adds several miles to keep the total route distance at 201 kilometers. The route revision adds a control at Dry Hollow Road. This will be a water stop where you can refill water and fire up. Get ready for the Oregon Trail east of The Dalles.
Bikenfest 2009 - Columbia Gorge SE Alternative Route
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Route Profile (elevation gain 6,450 feet)