Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Riding the Rectangle: A Photo Journal

Of all the trips I led this summer, my favorite was the informal overnighter that I organized with friends along The Rectangle.

You may recall me mentioning The Rectangle Ride before. In my Bloated Fish & Butt Raisins post from 2013, I wrote about the perfect autumnal ride around The Rectangle. In my Backpacking in Hell's Canyon post from 2015, I mentioned my mid-winter ride around The Rectangle, in which I first saw the aftermath of the Oso landslide. Needless to say, The Rectangle Ride is my favorite close-to-home overnight bike trip.

In mid-September of this year, I rode The Rectangle for the sixth time. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the ride with six friends. This is a photo journal of our trip.

The Gang (from l to r):
Brad, me, Yonina, David, Faisal, Eric, and El Mecánico.

Not long into the ride, we passed through the small community of Oso.
Oso was devastated by a landslide in March 2014 that killed 43 people.

We stopped at the site of the landslide and shared our disbelief
at how massive the devastation must have been.
Construction equipment, signs of hope, and a memorial are all that remain.

One of the tchotchkes at the memorial site was a Rubik's Cube,
which Faisal (aka Smarty Pants) managed to solve before I could blink my eyes.
(Photo: El Mecánico)

Pedaling along the east side of The Rectangle,
we stopped just below the bridge that crosses the Sauk River.
We dipped our feet in the water and then stood around and shot-the-shit.
(Photo: El Mecánico)

Later in the afternoon, we arrived at our campground.
El Mecánico and I set up our tent next to Mr. Sad Froggie Stump...
(Photo: El Mecánico)

...while Eric claimed his spot between two trees.

El Mecánico showed us how Squishy Bowls resemble breasts...

...but fortunately his creativity was soon diverted into making a campfire.

Yonina whittled marshmallow sticks... 

...while David prepped the sticks for roasting.

Though we were fiercely competitive in showing each other how to make the perfect marshmallow,
we worked as a team to impressively finish off nearly the entire bag of spongy confections.

Faisal proudly displays his marshmallows.
I'll take the one on top -- thank you very much!

The next day we visited the Baker River Hydroelectric Project.
Though the Information Center was closed,
Yonina and Eric took turns reading aloud the outdoor signage
for the educational benefit of the rest of the group.
(Photo: David)

Shortly thereafter, an apple tree was spotted in the parking lot.
It didn't take long for everyone to knock down their favorite apple from the tree.

Brad's apple-of-choice sits atop his saddle.
(Photo: Brad.)

And then we entered the lovely town of Concrete...

...where we snapped a group photo,
thereby capturing a concrete memory of our weekend together.

As we rode through town, we noticed hardly a soul.
Seeing the signs that proclaimed "No Skateboarding, Bicycle Riding, or Rollerblading,"
we wondered if all the towngoers had been prisoned for breaking the rules.
(Photo: El Mecánico)

The fence posts surrounding a community space in Concrete
were decorated with colorful birdhouses.

We stopped for a group photo on the bridge spanning the Skagit River.
Can you see us?
(Photo: Faisal)

Along the final leg of the Rectangle,
we hopped on the Centennial Trail at the Nakashima Farms.
While David and the rest of the group were intrigued by reading about the history of the farm...

...I was intrigued by how the signs were cleverly recycled.

We were all intrigued by how Brad's drivetrain tattooed a perfect pi symbol on his leg.

Exhausted by our exhaustive intrigue (and maybe the miles, too),
we got our lazy on...
(Photo: Faisal)

...before cycling the final few miles back to whence we began.
(Photo: David)


  1. These are some excellent photos, I particularly like the Skagit river shadow photo! Looks like yall had a blast.

    1. Thanks, Tony. Can't believe fall is already here -- wish there was more time to keep having this kind of a blast. :)


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