Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Hidden Lakes of Woodinville

Our Saturday morning started off under grey skies and a light drizzle. Hard to believe we're into May and still experiencing weather that looks more like March. Jim Nelson led our devotional and prayer, which is our usual beginning to our Saturday rides. I enjoy our time gathered around our bikes in this informal and brief time of prayer before we ride. Many times, this short devo gets our conversation for the ride started. And many more times, our prayer has proven to be heard by Heaven when we return free of flats or mechanical problems.

After rolling down to the Sammamish River Trail, we reached Woodinville and made a quick stop at Bryant Sabandal's home. We don't typically stop at the home of missing riders to hassle them, but couldn't help ourselves today since our route when right past his street. He wished us well... in the rain... and about to climb the hardest hill of the day. I referred to it as "The Wall." This climb parallels NE 171st Street--a busy road east of Woodinville--and goes through the Reinwood neighborhood.

We huffed and puffed our way to the top and soon downhilled past Lake Leota, our first hidden lake of the day. Next, we passed Bassett Pond--not officially a lake, but a hidden body of water at least--and then turned into the Cottage Lake Beach Club passed Cottage Lake (our third lake for the day.)

A brief ride down busy Woodinville Duvall Road took us to W. Snoqualmie Valley Road where we turned north. This stretch of road is popular with cyclists and takes you past dairy farms (advertising "aged cow manure") and rural homes overlooking the valley. After passing Crescent Lake (#4 if you're keeping track), we took High Bridge Road around to the northwest which offered a few more climbs until we turned south on Welch Rd. toward Lost Lake--also known as Devil's Lake (Lake #5).

Here we stopped for a rest break while we watched a dump truck and trailer navigate a hairpin turn, back up over a hill, and drive in reverse all while the driver talked on his cellphone. Impressive. Couldn't do that on a bike...

After Lost Lake, we rode west toward Echo Lake (Lake #6). This hidden neighborhood loops in a circle around the lake, which we did as well. Then rode north in the increasing drizzle toward Hwy. 522 and the remainder of our route. Most of this route so far was brand new territory for us. But, now we where coming into more familiar roads as we continued west toward Woodinville proper.

Our last lake of the day was Crystal Lake (#7). Crystal Lake sits at the end of a long, quiet stretch of roadway--past the "End of county maintained road" sign--where a lovely log-built community club sits and homes dot the banks of the shore. The rain increased as we finished our ride. When we reached downtown Woodinville, we were soaked.

Our ride covered plenty of new roads and neighborhoods, seven hidden lakes, not a single flat, but too much rain. We need to make sure we add that to our pre-ride prayers next time... "Lord, keep us dry... Amen."

Riders: Jim, Kristin, Brenda, Bruce, Jay, Bob

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