Back from the Cascades!

Vagabiker and I decided to take off towards the Cascade mountains for the long weekend after our initial plans to go dual-sporting in the Peninsula were ruined because of rain. The Cascades go from north to south through the center of Washington state and the weather to the east of the mountain range is usually warmer and drier because the mountains block the rain.

We were intending to leave around 10:00AM but we over-estimated and ended up leaving at a shocking 2:00PM. We both had issues on our bikes that we had to fix before we hit the road. Bad bikers fixing stuff right before a long ride! It’s a good thing nobody else was waiting on us. My Gerbing electric vest wasn’t getting charged from the XT. I couldn’t take the fuse out to see if it had blown, so I swapped it with the one on the SV and it worked. And Sterling’s GPS wasn’t getting charged from his mount anymore. He was unable to fix this and gave up and decided to reply on my GPS and mount. Fortunately we both use Zumos, so we decided to swap after one of them lost charge. It wasn’t ideal but it was the best we could do at such short notice.

We hit the road and headed north. We had plotted our route the previous night, which would roughly take us towards Sultan, then the Ben Howard Road towards Skykomish, on to Steven’s Pass, then off-road on a forest service road towards Lake Wenatchee, and finally another trail towards Lake Chelan, where we would stop for the night.

Day 1 - P1050278

Unfortunately we had such a late start that we made it to Skykomish at 4:30PM. By the time we went over the pass and reached the first forest service road, we found that it was completely blocked by snow. Bummer! It had also been steadily raining and we were cold from going over the pass and reaching 4000+ feet elevation. We decided to continue riding US-2 to Lake Wenatchee and find a campground so that we could set up camp and relax and eat a good meal while it was still light out.

This turned out to be a good plan. We found a really good campsite at Nason Creek campground – the first place we looked. Being back in nature with the familiar camping smells was so fantastic. :) We set up camp and Sterling went out to gather wood while I started fixing our dinner of shrimp pasta. We ate by the fire and then went for a long walk. We didn’t find Lake Wenatchee but we did end up in this woody forested area mottled with pretty flowers. As the light started to fail, we returned to camp and hung out around the fire, sipping wine and scotch.

Day 1 - P1030472

Day 2, we set out on the trail to Lake Chelan. We started on Chumstick Highway before getting on to the first FS road. It was a smooth, easy ride, even for a n00b like me, with lots of pretty views. There were a few spots that made me go *gulp* because of the height and drop-off, but I made it through them. Sterling was a fantastic guide and he kept a good pace that I could keep up with. At times he would take off into the distance, but I knew he would wait for me at the intersections so I kept my pace and went slow. I was probably excruciatingly slow but I wanted to finish the ride more than I wanted to go fast, and riding on dirt is still so unusual for me that I have to completely focus on it and take my time getting used to the feel of the bike on gravel, rocks and mud.

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Bonehead Enduro 2009



Puget Sound Safety Adventure Camp

Someone mentioned that I was on the Puget Sound Safety Adventure Camp webpage and sure enough I am. Makes me feel all mushy looking at the photos and seeing the guys I hung out with there. I’m still in touch with a couple of them. :)

Wish I had taken the class on the snowy day though. O.O That looks like quite something.