Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Olympia,WA & Peoria, AZ, , USA
Take a lap....
Hated those words from the coach when I was a kid. Now it's not so bad.
The wife and I were planning a ride to Jasper and Banff and had planned to leave this week. Things changed so we went for a lap around the border of WA last week. We started out going north to pick up Hwy 20 in a light intermittent rain. This is a must do road for anyone that comes to WA. As we gained elevation the rain showers turn to steady and by the time we hit Rainy Pass, yeah, it was raining and hard. Water was cascading over the road surface so we stayed at posted speed until we got to the eastern side of the Cascades. It warmed up from 52 at the pass to 68 by the time we got to our lodging. It is good to be warm and dry. We spent the night at Freestone Inn located in Mazama. I would stay there again and recommend it to anyone passing through.
Day 2 we continued east passing through Tonasket. Stopped at Sarge's Burger Bunker for lunch. Food was very good and the inside is decorated in a military theme. We were told by the waitress that Sarge has two sons, both infantry, in Iraq. Continued on through Republic and ended up in Colville for the night. This part of WA is an area we have not been in before and enjoyed exploring. The terrain in this region of WA is more rolling than the vertical mountains of the west side. The thick Douglas fir forests give way to the more open Ponderosa pine forests.
Day 3 took us up to Metalline Falls and a ride along Sullivan Lake back into Ione. We took a break for a snack in Ione. This part of WA is composed of small towns of 150 to 700 souls. Many of these towns take great pride and have tidy homes with wonderfully decorated front porches. Flying the flag in these parts is the norm and it just looks right. After our break we headed for Sandpoint where we stopped for a ice coffee. It seemed a bit strange to be in a high traffic/population area and we were happy to get back out and away. Continued south and ended the day in Moscow, ID to visit my daughter.
Day 4 and the wife and daughter went shopping, so I had the day to myself. (What corn is to Iowa, wheat is to this area. Miles and miles of wheat, just incredible what these farms produce). I tried to make the most of it and headed north to Wellpinit. I had planned on doing a large loop through this area, but there were chip and seal projects in the area. Turned the bike back south and headed for Lewiston. Stopped at Mac's BMW to get a fresh pair of gloves and get some relief from the heat. It was reading 97 degrees according to the GT. Chatted a bit with Jim and got directions to the Rattlesnake Hwy (129). I was warned that there is a state patrol now assigned to the area and to resist the urge to do a high speed sprint up on the plateau. The road up out of Antone is a very nicely banked series of twists, then hit the flats at the top and come to Rattlesnake Summit. The ride down into the valley is nice. I didn't have any traffic in front of me and arrived at the oasis at the bottom. Famous milkshakes and good food. On the ride back up, I did catch one car and he pulled over for me. Headed back to Moscow after about a 450 mile day in 90+ temps, sure beats shopping.
Day 5 and we are beginning the trip back home. We start this day heading toward Lewiston so we can ride the Spiral Hwy. Fun ride with lots of turns. This will be the only real twisty road for this part of the trip. As we head west the roads become very long and straight. The weather was predicting cooler temps to the west with mid-70's in Stevenson, our destination for this leg. We said our goodbye to our girl and left late morning. Went through Walla Walla and the temps were climbing, back to the mid-90's. We continue down to Hwy 14 and ride along the Columbia River. Great scenery along the river. The problem is the temp continues to climb and there is no shade for relief. It never did cool off and stayed 97 - 100 for hours. We did take a break at a small park along the river and then pushed through with thoughts of cools drinks with little umbrellas dancing in our poached brains. We arrived at the Skamania Lodge in Stevenson and took long cool showers before heading for the patio off the bar to enjoy the view with a beverage in hand.
Day 6 and final leg home. Head out to Carson and pick up Wind River Rd. This ride makes up for the long boring ride from the day before. This road is about 80 miles from Stevenson to Randle and has it all, straights, sweepers, tight switchbacks and miles of it. Today the road was all ours. This route will take us by the road that leads to Mt St Helens where you can look into the crater. I passed on going to the volcano, after all, how many times do you need to look at some smoldering rocks. Although the road out to the crater is nice, the traffic can really be nasty. Got to Randle and had a bite to eat and then it was only a bit of a jaunt home.
Total miles were just shy of 2k. Almost all miles were 2 lane highways and country roads. Awesome ride and thankful my better half likes to go with me. This was the longest 2 up trip for us and we had a great time. Mostly the GT was flawless. I did experience some high idle for part of day 4 that I attribute to the hot ambient temps. Upon start up the next day, still had high idle issues however, it cleared up by the end of the day. Looking forward to another short 3 or 4 day trip in a week or so. Hope all of you are getting out and riding.
'06 GT - Blue
85K on the clock
_'07 GS - Yeller
Another Dopeless Hope Fiend
Last edited by slowflyn; Jul 25th, 2007 at 2:35 pm.