Bald Mountain (aka Monmouth Peak) is the saddle-shaped peak with the huge clearcut on the E face, lying WSW of Monmouth. At about 3200′ elevation it is a locally dominant peak and a pretty obvious objective. This was The Logging Road Cyclist’s first or second ride, done back in the mists of time (ie. 20 years ago) on his first off-road bike, a Trek aluminum mountain bike with a 7-speed cassette. TLRC and his oldest buddy of them all, Stumpy, took off to do this. It was Stump’s idea, since he lived in Monmouth at the time and looked at the peak everyday it wasn’t obscured. TLRC had just gotten his bike, and he convinced his future second ex-wife to lend Stumpy her bike (it being the case, as the name suggests, that they were both pretty short), so off they went. TLRC recalls almost nothing of the trip except for three things: 1) They started on the Valsetz Road, 2) That they wandered around until finding a trail that they pushed up to the summit, and 3) That Stump (who knows a thing or two about such things) explained why peaks like Monmouth (Bald), Mary’s etc. have bald spots with meadows. Or maybe it was why no one knew why this happened. Oh well. While writing this, it occurs to TLRC that Stump might remember something about these things, because TLRC doesn’t. What TLRC does remember is the big eastern clearcut wasn’t there. Bald Mountain has been lying in the back of TLRC’s consciousness, but he hasn’t gone back there, mostly because he thought that the clearcut had pretty much wrecked things. So, beyond some idle map-looking, he has stayed away.
But recently, TLRC’s riding buddy D. (and the Missus !) went for a ride up there, and D. came back full of praise, giving the final irresistable hook that it was “new country”. Now, D. has a pretty good eye for this sort of thing, so TLRC took him at his word. Unfortunately their schedules haven’t meshed for this, so TLRC just up and went there. His first attempt was a pretty miserable FTMO, but it was fun anyway. There will likely be a few rides listed for this area in the future.