Weekend Getaway for Sept. 11

Tour de Blast

WHAT: Tour de Blast is a scenic but challenging bike ride from Toutle up to the Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The return trip will go much faster. The ride draws 1,600 cyclists each year to tour the open highways and climb more than 8,000 feet over the 82-mile round trip. Sound like too much? There’s no shame in turning around at the Hoffstadt Bluffs Rest Area for a 33-mile ride with 900 feet of climbing. Or turn around at Elk Rock for a 54-mile ride that climbs about 3,300 feet. Or make your own turnaround spot.

WHEN: Saturday, the starting line is open 7-9:30 a.m. The finish line closes at 4 p.m.

WHERE: Toutle Lake High School, 5050 Spirit Lake Highway, Toutle.

GETTING THERE: From Interstate 5, take Exit 49 and follow state Route 504 to the high school.

COST: $75.

ALSO: The ride switched to September last year after traditionally being staged in June when weather is frequently much less forgiving. There is a pasta feed at the finish line from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. There are showers at the high school. Helmets are required for the ride.

INFORMATION: tourdeblast.com