We were lucky to be joined on our ride today by Robin Holcomb and Mike McQuaide. Mike is the author and photographer of 75 Classic Rides in Washington.
Several of our rides these past few days were from Mike’s book. Checkout his blog. http://mcqview.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=50
We rode along the border,on the U.S. side for several miles. There were no fences only a small ditch separated the two countries. There were cameras on poles looking down the border.
We continued down the road a couple more miles to the border crossing.
Neal decided he could stand in Canada and it would be fine. NO, the Canadian officer came out and told him to move back across the line.
I went back and got my passport and crossed over into Canada. The officer asked how long I planned on staying. I said only as long as it took to take a picture and ride back. He laughed and sent me on my way.
On my way back into the US the officers wanted to know if I was with that group that was gathered on the Border looking menacing. I of course, disavowed any knowledge of that shaded looking group. I was allowed back in with no further trouble.
We changed, loaded up and headed back to Seattle.
I’m sure we all have gone on trips where one day you just wanted to get there. Today started out like that.
The first 50 miles were just pedal, pedal, pedal. Nothing much to see even when the fog lifted. The mountains had turned to hills and then to farmland.
Then we got to Puget Sound and Samish Bay. The road started climbing and the views were much more interesting. I hope the pictures do them justice.
The tree is growing around the rock.
There is a big ship out there I promise.
Once we arrived in Bellingham, we meet a friend of Vern’s, Robin Holcomb. Robin invited us to his house. He has just finished building a super efficient Eco friendly home. Robin’s wife Annette was making a Rhubarb Crisp. I can’t remember the last time I had rhubarb. It was delicious. We all enjoyed the time we spent with them.
Our goal today was to beat the rain to Marblemount. The rain won. We left the motel at 6:15am.
After a stop in town for breakfast, we were off headed to the Washington pass 30 miles away and topping out at 5477 feet.
The police stopped Vern and Joe, he said they we going too fast. I sweet talked our way out of trouble and away we went.
15 miles in we were ready for a brief stop.
The pass was another 16 miles up the road. We saw snow beside the road in several places. Joe, Vern and I made it to the top.
Joe and Vern started down. Neal and I decided to get into the car. It was cold, misting and full of cars.
After a short brisk descent and a climb to Rainy Pass, Vern decided to join us in the car. We still stopped at several places to take in the views.
Everyone made it safely into Marblemount. Our accommodations were a little unusual, we had two rooms with a common area and a common bath. The floor in the common area sloped to one side and our room sloped from the foot of the bed to the head by several inches. It was the only place to stay for 20 miles.
The sun greeted us again this morning as we left Chealan.
As we passed these cliffs overlooking our route, Vern told us this tale (I can’t vouch for the validity). It seems that when his family was moving west, Indians would line these cliffs waiting for anyone or anything to be left behind so they could claim the prize.
We did see some pretty sights today along the Columbia River and then the Methow River.
Marilyn was trying to get to the bridge to cross it but Joe told her there was a no trespassing sign posted so she stopped. (we all know how much she enjoys riding over bridges)
We arrived in Winthrop and of course we found an ice cream shop, later we returned for dinner at Three Finger Jacks.
We decided to get out of town early today to beat the traffic coming into town on the weekend. The sun was barely peaking over the mountains.
It started out a little cool, temps in the 50’s, but by the time we reached our first stop it had warmed nicely and we were ready to shed clothing.
We were lucky today, as we turned toward Chelan there was a sign that said there was a bike race today and suggested an alternate route. The road was not closed but traffic was way down.
We later found out, there was a triathlon going on in Chelan. The traffic was a mess in town for cars but we were able to get through with no trouble. Chelan is a pretty town, very tourist oriented.
Joe and Vern decided they needed to ride more today. I joined them and we headed out of town in another direction for some extra miles. We rode out a road that was lined by cherry and apple fields. We thought about stopping to pick the fruit but decided it we could out run a truck if we got chased. The terrain beyond the orchards was also very nice.
When we got on the bikes this morning the sun was shining and the winds were calm.
That changed as soon as we left town. The winds picked up out of the northwest with gust up to 25 mph but a steady 15 plus made level ground feel like hills and hills like mountain climbs. 15 miles in we had climbed several hundred feet, but it sure felt like several thousand.
A short descent and we were at our first rest stop.
A right turn and we were out of the wind but onto our 15 mile climb to the Blewett Pass. The grade was never over 7 percent but it proved to be a worthy challenge as the wind started to blow in our faces as we neared the top.
From the top it was a tricky descent with several sharp turns. Joe took off down, while the rest of us decided to put our bikes on the car and join him a few miles down for the ride into town. Luckily the rain stayed in front of us into Leavenworth.
Leavenworth reminded us of Helen, Georgia although a good bit larger with bigger mountains surrounding it.
We left at our usual 7:00 am this morning on what was SUPPOSE to be a short easy 30 mile ride.
The first 10 miles were along the river on a bike path and through quiet neighborhoods. The only excitement was a flat on my bike, that was quickly fixed with help from everyone.
As we started through the canyon we saw
Vern assured us that didn’t mean us. So we headed onward and upward on a nice quiet road with almost no traffic, snapping pictures as we went.
Well it did mean us. A section of the road had been covered several feet deep with mud and rocks from a flash flood Tuesday night. There was no way they were going to let us pass.
So back through the canyon we went and at the other end we met Marilyn. We loaded the bikes on the car and headed into Ellenberg on the Interstate.
Tomorrow is a long day with a lot of climbing.