Fortunately, we didn't receive any torrential rains this spring to cause any new washouts. And thankfully, the washout that was previously on Route A has been repaired. 2018 Edition users can now ride over Rocky Brook pass as was the norm in the past. 2017 Edition users can continue to ride the loop that was created last year in place of riding over the pass, bypass the section that goes up the Dosewallips altogether, or Keep Left instead when they get to waypoint RA29TR and just stay on that road until reaching highway 101 where they'll rejoin the route by turning left.
Currently, there's just one item that may require a detour to deal with: A washout on Route E.
So let's get on with the updates to the 2017/2018 Olympics Loop GPS Tour!
For those of you who purchased the 2017 Edition of the tour, I'm happy to report that the route is virtually the same this year, but read on for closures and detours. For those who awaited the 2018 Edition, you will be rewarded wih several new Points of Interest that were added to the tour, a couple of new Side Routes to interesting places, and an updated list of camp sites, including several great new locations to set up for the night.
All waypoints in our tour have names with only 6 characters, so if you notice the aforementioned problem, there are two reason this may have happened to you. The first possibility is that you did not delete all of the waypoints from a previous version of this tour (or our Baja GPS tour) that you had on your GPS. You cannot have two GripTwister GPS tours loaded onto a GPS at the same time. In fact, it's best to backup your GPS and then delete all of your waypoints before loading the tour. Then you can add back your essential waypoints like HOME and such if you still have room.
The second reason this could happen, is that you have waypoints from a previous version of this tour or our Baja GPS tour in your "Library" within BaseCamp. It's necessary to make sure that if you have other GripTwister GPS waypoints in any folder within the "My Collection" folder of the "Library" in BaseCamp, that you first delete them before importing/opening the GPX files from the CD into BaseCamp. If this is what happened, you will need to delete all the GripTwister waypoints from "My Library", including (and especially) the "Unlisted Data" folder near the bottom of "My Libray", and delete all the waypoints off of your GPS again to start clean. The proper method to delete the old files from BaseCamp is to right click on the "List" item in the "Library" that contains the other GripTwister GPS tour, and select "Remove and Delete Unique Content". Once that is done, you can import/open the GPX file for the tour in BaseCamp and download it to your GPS.
The reason is that the default setting for some GPS receivers and/or software is
to not have individual tracks automatically "Show on Map". It is a good idea to
check to see if they (the tracks) are all set to "Show on Map" after you download the
tour, and to manually change them if necessary. Different models do this
differently so check your instructions, but here's how to do it on the Garmin
Montana (and may be the same or similar on your model):
Select "Track Manager" from the menu screen.
Scroll down to the track you would like to see and select it.
Press "Show On Map". If "Hide on Map" is displayed, it is already set to show, so do nothing more.
Press the back button (curved line with arrow).
Repeat for the other tracks
Well, something had to give, and the result is better than the other alternative, which was full decommissioning of this road. The FS sent a contractor up this road with heavy equipment and pretty much restored it to a condition such that it's not much of a "challenge" any longer. While that's bad news for those looking for a challenge, it's good news for the general public and everyone else, as anyone can now ride or drive up to the top and indulge in the views. Once again, we will be seeking a replacement for Route W in the future, for those die-hard riders looking for something intense to ride. For now, if you've got the fuel for it, head on up and check out the views. And there is still a short section at the very top that hasn't been opened back up, so there's still a little "challenge" left up there if you're up for it.
The washout on Route E, marked with waypoint RE10WO (or RE09WO for 2017 Edition users), is being repaired. When I went by it on August 16th, the contractor allowed us to pass through, but it may not be passible as the progress of the repair continues. At this time, I don't have a completion date, but it looked like a two to three week job at minimum. If you don't have the time and fuel to risk being turned back, or just wish to avoid it altogether, then you'll want to instead stay straight on the mainline road when you reach waypoint RE02TL, and continue for approximately 5.2 miles to the junction with road C-200, where you will bear left and go another half mile to rejoin Route D at waypoint RE11TL (or RE10TL for 2017 Edition users) by keeping to the right at the waypoint instead.
It seems that the Forest Service has decided to close the river ford found at the end of Route G to vehicular traffic for the time being. This has made the approach a little steeper and the crossing a little rougher, due to the lack of four wheeled traffic wearing it in, but it's still quite doable on a bike. You may need to look downstream a little ways from where the road meets the river for the best spot to ford now. If it looks like too much for you or you don't wish to risk getting your feet (or worse) wet, just take the bypass, which you'll find in your tour package. There are often people camped here and on the other side of the river where you'll be crossing, so be considerate and check it out on foot first and let them know of your desired intentions before riding through their camp.
Here's what to do to enjoy the trip in the off-season:
Follow the instructions in the tour booklet for avoiding the water crossing on Route G, which you will find on the "Route G--Quinault to Wynoochee" page.
When you arrive at the closed gate, turn around and activate Route H and
continue on. That's it! Now enjoy the tour any time of year,
weather conditions permitting.