Working on getting myself in shape for next years summit attempts should be a bit more fun and entertaining now that I've started learning the trails in McDonald Forest. The area stretches from Oak Creek Rd all the way over to Highway 99W at Adair Village, and is covered with old logging roads and trails. The forest covers an area of 7,250 acres, not sure of the total miles of trail, but enough to keep me busy and to where I won't be repeating the same track every time. The other day I took the Uproute-Extendo Loop trail which is 4.5 miles total from the parking area with about an 800' vertical gain. The trail time estimate is 2.5 hours. Well, I blew that out of the water at a hour and thirty five, but paying for it a little bit. Seems that my shoe problems are still plauging me even though I pitched the Merrells. I was just using my Asics runners, and somehow managed to kind of dislocate something in my right foot. Its not that bad, just annoying. I really need to get in and get the Danners resoled.
McDonald is a great place for mountain biking as well, so I've been on the lookout for a decent used bike. I haven't owned a bike since I was probably 14, so I've had to do a bit of research on the different brands out there. One hike I've looked at, which I really think will help with training for next years climbs is going to be the Oak Creek Quarry loop. Total length is 8 miles with a vertical gain of 2000'. Other than the elevation here, it will be a good training hike for the first part of South Sister or Mt. Adams. Xeroxed copies of the trail maps are available at most trailheads, or the fullsize maps are available at Peak Sports and the local FS office. The map is a double sided with the Mary's Peak trails on the opposite side.