The road continued east along the top edge of Swift Reservoir before crossing the Lewis River just as it entered the lake.
Closer inspection of the GPS trail showed that I could cut the 33 km loop in half by getting Valerie to shuttle me up the road to the Lower Falls. We lunched in the very dark & tree-lined parking lot before heading out to check out the falls. Once again, the river was high & the falls were interesting as the drop curved around to be mostly parallel with the overall flow of the water.
Still rather chilly, I had to put on all my long-sleeved riding clothes before heading down the trail. The river only had a gentle drop along the length I was riding & it didn’t really feel like I did an overly large amount of downhill. In fact, there was quite a bit of climbing amongst all the moss, trees & ferns. It was nice to have decent bridges that didn’t require dismounting, although some were a little slippery in the damp. Annoyingly, the dogbone on my bike snapped early on so I had to do most of the ride with my bottom bracket (& therefore, pedals) floating around. [This part has been quite difficult to find a replacement for, I may have a bodge job that will do the trick for Canada.] There were occasional pretty glimpses of the river & creeks flowing in to it. The short pinch climbs kept coming, but I was soon meeting Valerie at the pick-up point.
|This bridge wasn't so great, showing the signs of such a damp climate.|
It was very well-timed on our part that the road along the east side of the mountain was opened the day before our visit. We got a few glimpses of Mt St Helens & the reemerging forest along the drive in to Seattle.