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Little Switzerland – 56 Miles

I’m not one to make excuses, but I haven’t written anything lately because I’ve been in Switzerland. The big one. I was there researching this ride in Oregon, the little one, the one you’re reading about right now. It was a long flight just to check facts that I’ll be fabricating anyway, so now I’m jet lagged and nothing I say is going to make much sense. But what I learned is that there are big differences between big Switzerland and little Switzerland. This is how they compare.

First, big Switzerland is in Switzerland. Which makes sense. But little Switzerland is in Oregon. Which makes less sense. This little Switzerland ride, the one in Oregon, is called little Switzerland because, like the big one, it’s green and beautiful with vistas of snow capped mountains. Also, it wears leiderhosen and chooses not to get involved international disputes. It focuses its time and energy on watchmaking and dairy products and multifunctional cutlery. It is attractive and blonde and can play the alp horn. It dips bread in a pot of cheese and calls itself “dinner” regardless of the questionable nutritional value. It will launder your money for a percentage. Also, little Switzerland has never financially assisted the Nazis in any way.

These parts of little Switzerland are exactly like big Switzerland. Except for the Nazi thing. And in big Switzerland the mountains go much higher much faster. Mathletes call this the grade or incline or gradient or pitch or slope. I was never a mathlete, but I do know of another group of people who used words like that…. Nazis. And I don’t know anything about this hate filled science. But I do know that when I finish a ride in little Switzerland I go out and eat hamburgers and drink lots of beer and come home drunk and happy. But In big Switzerland I go to the grocery store and buy little cups of yogurt and a loaf of bread and I drink water from the tap and it costs me roughly one million dollars but I still go to sleep with a big hunger.

Little Switzerland = Big Meals
Big Switzerland = Little Meals

This is confusing. I know.

In big Switzerland I slept on the floor of a college dorm room. In little Switzerland (Oregon) I would have slept in a bed. But in big Switzerland (Switzerland) I was on a floor. Because big Switzerland is made for people who work in finance and wear nice suits and use product in their hair to make the front part look wet and stick straight up. I don’t know how to do any of those things, so I slept on the floor of a college dorm room. My host made me a giant bowl of yogurt and musli and fruit and said that it was a traditional meal called Beirchmusli. It looked like what I eat for breakfast when I’m alone and feel too lazy to cook. But in big Switzerland you can eat this at any time and call it “traditional food” and you’ll appear nationalistic rather than lazy.

This route map isn’t really the entire little Switzerland ride, so it’s more like little little Switzerland. But it’s the good parts and enough of it to be amazing. As far as I can remember, it’s the Marmot Road section that really starts to get crazy beautiful. The elevation profile below is a cruel joke. This ride is not pancake flat. It has hills. Not big Switzerland hills, but hills nonetheless. And really, does anyone actually look at my maps anyway?

Elevation Profile
04_28_2009_route