Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 14th, 2007 at 2:32 pm
Three years ago, Intel employee Don Bain and his friend James Koski (Chief of Staff for Congressman Earl Blumenauer) took a ride from Durango to Moab on Colorado’s fabled hut-to-hut mountain bike route. They had such a good time, they wanted to do it again. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find any other hut systems.
So, like true entrepreneurs, they thought, “why don’t we just do one ourselves?”
That question will be answered next weekend when, after two years of working with the U.S. Forest Service on permits, Koski and Bain will officially open Cascade Huts, LLC. The company will offer a hut-to-hut mountain bike route along the rim of Mt. Hood.
Bain says they’ve got three huts already built and ready to go. Unlike the Colorado system, which is a one-way route that requires shuttling by car, Bain says their route will allow for a three night, four day loop that will take mountain bikers from the town of Hood River to huts located at Surveyor’s Ridge, Barlow Road, and Lolo Pass.
The route is mostly on logging roads, although according to Bain, there is some singletrack and one small section of paved road.
The 16 by 16 foot “rustic” cabins (which are on land that is being leased from the Forest Service) will come furnished to sleep eight tired cyclists. They also come fully stocked with all sorts of food, a stove, water, first-aid supplies, and so on. They’re available by reservation and the three night, four day excursion will cost $250 per trip per person.
Bain says they’ll be officially open for business on June 23rd and that someday he and Koski would like to do something similar in Bend and Eugene, eventually connecting the hut systems from all three areas together.
If you’re wondering whether Koski used his Washington DC clout to make this happen (I was), rest assured. Bain told me that he and Koski are friends from High School and that everything checks out with the House Ethics Committee.
These new huts are very exciting, not just for the recreational opportunity they provide, but for the serious boost they give to Oregon’s effort to become the nation’s top state for bicycle tourism.