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After Costa Rica we flew up the western sea board to have a little ‘back to Kate’s roots’ trip. We hit up Seattle, sampling much food, Pikes Place, ferry trips and superb Happy Hour Apero. People are very friendly. Love it there.

We then rolled down the highway to Portland where Kate and Mom jumped on a boat to roll down the Columbia River to Ilwaco, I meanwhile,  would spend some time with my good man Michael Keep. A spot of hanging in uber cool Portland and then out to a place called Sandy Ridge for some tyre rolling. My head, legs and lungs seem to be on holiday so I was in the red the whole time but it was great fun and a great place. Lovely forest.

We then went to Hood River and basically drank a lot of coffee and enjoyed a very leisurely breakfast before heading out to hit the trails. There were many options but after all the travelling I just wanted minimal hassle so we went for local trails called Syncline. An stunning hillside which is cut open by this great big basalt columned canyon. The wind was as fierce as the singletrack climb was but it was A+ stunning with volcanoed back drops.

We hit up some lovely flowing singletrack that seemed to make the very most of the hill before climbing back up to drop into The Shit. Coyote Canyon must be an overused name for trails but this was sublime. Fearing Poison Oak we donned full length clothing and ripped our way down. So good and completely different to trails I normally ride. A very happy camper I was, we then had local beers and a burger made with peanut butter. Happiness complete!

An early morning drive from Hood River to Ilwaco and I was reunited with Kate. The constant Fog had descended but gave it an very atmospheric feel. A very true fisherman port on the edge of the Pacific, quite a place. We spent time with family, went to Cape Disappointment which was definitely not disappointing and I took a run through original old growth rain forest which blew my mind.

Having spent a year in Whistler I had forgotten just how stunning the Pacific Northwest is. I can’t wait to return.

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