Monday, July 27, 2015

Anacortes and Home

July 27
We’re home! We arrived home late Sunday evening after a short ride to finish then a mega-drive to get back home to Oregon. Here’s the recap: 

July 25 - Marblemount to Burlington
56 miles today. Mostly downhill. Don and Pat, friends and previous tour mates to Roger and May invited us to stay in their home this evening. They also fed us a wonderful dinner and breakfast promised for tomorrow. They rode out to meet us along the route and show us the way through town. Very pretty, typical PNW scenery today, with mist in the mountains and wet roads. 

Ken and Gail drove down to Burlington and bought us lunch, then drove us up to their home in Lyndon. It was fun too see their new home town, and really great to spend some time with them. 

July 26 - To Anacortes and the end.

A short day today, about 15 miles to the pacific ocean and the end of our ride. Once again, Pat and Don would be our guide to Anacortes. We spent some time on local roads, a short jaunt along highway 20, a tall bridge crossing, and then a nice bike path to our finish near the marina. We took the requisite ending pics, and then had a celebratory lunch/breakfast at a local restaurant in Anacortes before we all went our separate ways. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Washington and Rainy Passes

July 24
Today was the last big climb. We are officially on the west side of the Cascades. We started in Mazama with cool, but dry weather, and the climbing began shortly after leaving town. We had a headwind all day today and the air was considerably colder. Mayhap I’m feeling that pacific marine air? Eighteen miles to the top of Washington Pass. The scenery made it worth the work. 

 Rainy Pass lived up to its name, it was raining. Ah yes, definitely feeling that PNW weather. Feels like home. 

The headwind was still with us and made us work on all but the steepest grades. It was a long way down. There were three more “bumps” before our destination. I was getting seriously tired of climbing, really want lunch, really need to get to our stop!! It was 60 miles from Mazama to Newhalem where we finally stopped for some lunch. After we got our soup, sandwiches and what have you, someone asked why didn’t we go to the restaurant next door? There’s a restaurant next door? We didn’t know, so settled for convenience store fare. Thirteen more miles to Marblemount, our stay for the night. The wind had let up a little and it really was all down hill from there. Yay!  
76 miles

East side of Washington Pass

You can see the road up there
Ron on the switchback
Road below and above 

Made it! Last big climb of the tour!

... And then there's Rainy Pass. :)
Hmmm, this looks familiar ... 
Diablo Lake. Beautiful blue color.
Photo doesn't do it justice.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Twisp to Mazama

July 23
Very easy ride today. 26 miles to Mazama, our launch point for our last big climb - Washington Pass in the Northern Cascades. The weather was cooler today. It feels like “something” blowing in from the west. We had a rugged headwind, but once off the highway and onto backroads it didn’t seem so vigorous. Just a few rolling hills and generally gaining some elevation today. We stopped for second breakfast in Winthrop. 

We arrived in Mazama early, but the lodge had our rooms mostly ready. We walked to the local store, a rather fine example with healthy food, organics and gluten-free stuff, some cute teeshirts, outdoor goodies and some housewares. Back at the lodge Tim and Ron tried out the hammock with mixed success, then played a few rounds of horse shoes. Me? I took pictures. :)
Funky mailbox 
and signage
Hut overhanging the ridgeline.
Kind of like the infamous hanging chads
and nearly as controversial.
Tim and Marlene 
Tim and Ron take on the hammock ... 
... with mixed success 
View from our room
Our wing of the lodgings
Horse shoes with Tim and Ron 

And now for the artsy-phartsy stuff ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Okanogan to Twisp

July 22
Up, up, up, 3000 feet. A rather big climb today, though not as big as Sherman Pass. We started early and were finished by noon. Phil and Geneva left us today. They had a reunion to attend and Twisp was as far as they were going. I’ll miss them. They are a nice couple and great ride/sag partners. 

After we arrived at Twisp we had lunch, found our motel and then spent some time shopping in Twisp and Winthrop. Ron found an artsy glass at the gallery in Twisp. No other purchases than that, but had fun looking. 

Leaving Okanogan 
Curtis Sheep Slaughter
Up up up
Summit Loup Loup Pass

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tonasket to Okanogan

July 21
Short day today. We went only far enough to get to the base of the next climb - Loup Loup Pass. We were worried about hot weather today, so we started early and made plans on where to hang out in Okanogan until our rooms would be ready. 

We had 30 miles to ride, mostly downhill with a gentle tailwind. We were on the highway for a while, but later we travelled an empty backroad with lovely scenery and no traffic. In a very short time we were in Okanogan. We had second breakfast in a very unassuming cafe located at the livestock yard. The food was delicious and the portions huge. What would you expect at a stockyard cafe?

After we refueled we headed to the Okanogan County Historic Museum. This is an exceptionally nice museum with a lot of displays on the local area. Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. 

We headed to the far end of town, to our motel. Our rooms were nearly ready. There is a Chinese-Mexican Restaurant on the premises, so that will take care of dinner. Tomorrow we go over Loup Loup Pass. 

Riding out of Tonasket along highway 20/97



Republic to Tonasket

July 20
Yesterday we took a rest day in Republic WA. Interesting day in that we chose the one day in the year when the power is shut off county-wide for general maintenance and repairs. From noon to 8:00 pm the power is off, but the power company puts on a big picnic with hamburgers, hotdogs, music, and games for the kids, so it was a fun and unique experience. In the evening we took a drive out along highway 21 to the little town of Curlew, not far from the Canadian border. 
Curlew Lake State Park

Today was another climb over Wauconda Pass, elevation of 4310 ft. It was about a 1400 ft climb for us then a long, hot downhill into Tonasket, where we are staying the night. We went from the cool, forested areas down to hot, arid Tonasket. Tonasket is more like what I expected of eastern Washington. I didn’t stop for any photos today. Hopefully Roger will send me the group photo taken up on the pass. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Colville to Republic

July 18
Colville to Republic
Last night we didn’t have internet service, so no post. on Friday, July 17 we had a steep climb of about 1100 ft. Otherwise it was a downhill day. Those 1100 feet were tough. 

Ron and Roger climbing

The artsy shot
Dian and Tim with Phil, Geneva and May in the background
Today we had our biggest climb of the trip. We started out steadily downhill to the Columbia River. From this low point, around 1290 ft elev., we climbed 20 miles to the top of Sherman Pass, elev.: 5575 ft. That’s a bit of a climb!

After that it was downhill all the way to Republic. Okay, there were a couple of bumps to climb, including the one into Republic, but otherwise it was a screaming downhill. 30-35 mph. More than fast enough for me.

Tomorrow is a rest day. Takin’ it easy in Republic. 
Tim and Ron crossing the Columbia 
"Wildlife" at the top of Sherman's Pass.
Oh yeah! 
Waiting for everyone to show up
Phil, Tim, Dian, Marlene, Kari, Roger, Ron
Sherman Pass, 5575 elev.
The Descent