MacKenzie Pass day ride

Sierra Cascades

We decided to spend an extra day in Sisters to ride up to MacKenzie Pass, which every year is closed to motor vehicles until the highway is completely clear of snow. That means cyclists and hikers have a short window of opportunity every spring to enjoy a quiet piece of road without the motor menace.

Despite the ferocious headwind, the 11 mile climb was fairly easy. The highways rarely exceed six percent grade.

Local firefighters have been doing controlled burns on the pine forests at the base of the climb to MacKenzie Pass.

We rode through lots of pine forest, and then as we neared the summit, fir forest. There’s not a ton of biodiversity in this area because of the volcanic soil, so says Carrie. I only noticed the change in trees by their smell. The firs smelled like Christmas.

When we got to Windy Point near the summit, it was drizzling and cold and very windy. We really wanted to check out the observatory at the top but figured the only thing we’d be able to observe was the gray bleakness of the clouds. Plus, we both couldn’t feel our fingertips anymore. It was a sign to turn around.

As we zipped down to lower elevations our only thought was how to get our bodies warm again. The answer to this was of course pizza. Pizza has otherworldly powers to aid a weary traveler. It is the cyclist’s super hero. We found our super hero and his side kick Pint O’ Beer at a Sisters pizzeria. After that meal we were warm and fuzzy again.

25 miles
Food $19.45+2.99+27.02
Camping $10