This Space for Rent

Out on the line

Unger Panorama

I’ve been doing some short pre-rides of parts of my Sellwood to Hood & Back R300, and today I rode the segment from Canby to Estacada, which avoids OR211 by the simple expedient of taking back roads from Canby on east up until the road I chose deadends into OR211 (and forces 6 miles of travel along that road before you reach Estacada and turn up OR224 towards the mountain.)

Unfortunately you pay for the quiet scenic country roads by having to ride on them. And these quiet country roads undulate enthusiastically, plunging down into valleys, then climbing even more steeply up out of them, then erasing much of your progress by dropping abruptly into even deeper valleys. My GPS claims 2800 feet of climbing in the 27 miles from Canby to Estacada. My legs and lungs think it is somewhat more, due to the teeny detail that the climbing came in fits and starts (including a couple of short 20+% stretches along Buckner Creek Road) instead of the sort of gradual uphill that OR224 provides as it winds its way towards Ripplebrook alongside the Clackamas River.

But, at pretty much the top of the hill – ~1200 feet ASL – Unger Road comes out from a wooded section and gives you a spectacular view of the mountains across the fields of a christmas tree farm. And then it’s just a couple of 300 foot climbs (with corresponding descents) before OR211 plunges down into the valley of the Clackamas for its rendezvous with OR224 and the long run up to Ripplebrook, NFD57+5810+5820, and Timothy Lake. But before all that you need to take in the view.