Snohomish to Seattle 30 miles

8/04/19 

Almost everyone went to Jake’s Café for our last breakfast together.

IMG_0891

I had a small breakfast (yea right) this had to be one to remember.

IMG_0887

All of these meals were paid for by one of our riders, Scott Lods.  He is a very generous man.

Once our stomachs were full we started our last leg of our journey to Seattle.  One we started 69 days earlier and a lot of us were strangers but now family.

When we rode into Seattle we were on a bike trail for many miles but as we got close we saw the mass of humanity waiting for us the end of our ride.  There waiting for me was my lovely wife Kye and my cousin’s wife Jeaneane Hill.  She lives in Seattle.  They were right at the corner where turned to go on the beach.

It was great.  The cheers, the hugs and the stories.

Another ride in the books.  This one was the longest but maybe not the hardest.  Time will balance that thought out.

Thanks to everyone that followed me and supported me on this ride and the 2 others.  I greatly appreciated it.

IMG_0861

Darrington to Snohomish 55 miles

8/03/19  

Started the day at the same restaurant we had dinner last night.  It opened at 7:00 a.m. and we were there waiting on it to open.  Over half of the riders stopped there which again indicated it was time to open also because they had a fair number of local people there at the same time.

Good food, good conversation and back on the road.

It is a short day and our second to last day so most people were taking it easy today.  The view leaving Darrington was magnificent.  The locals get to see this beautiful mountain every day. I bet they barely notice it.

We skirted this mountain most of the day.  Our road had rolling hills and for the most part good roads.  We didn’t rush because we knew we would be camping at a soccer field with no real amenities.

When we got to close to Snohomish we hit a bike trail and followed it most of the way to the soccer field, which was nice.

Once at the fields we setup our tents, showered and went to downtown to look for lunch.  We had many choices which was nice.  We knew dinner was being provided by another alumni.  This just goes to show that this is becomes a family and many help other riders in any way they can.

We also took the opportunity for group pictures.

Image

Now to the finish line.

Diablo Lake to Darrington 55 miles

8/02/19  

This morning around 4 or 5 a.m. it started to rain.  It was not a hard rain but steady so when I got up to go to the restroom around 5:30 I made the decision to go back to bed and wait out the rain.  Since this was a relatively short day I was not concerned.

Ed was not so lucky.  His tent leaked since he had a broken tent leg and a torn rainfly.  I told him what I was going to do but his choice had already been made up due to the leak so he took off as soon as he could break camp.

I started my ride at 8:00 a.m. with Tim Mannie.  Tim had ridden off and on with Ed and I numerous times.  One thing about Tim is that he is always looking for photo opts so I took this opportunity to follow his lead.  Here is one the  pictures I took of the lake we were paralleling at the start of the day.

IMG_0863

The rain continued to come and go during the morning which also gave us a chance to see some unbelievable rainbow pictures in the mountains.

IMG_0867

But there is and will always be the picture that got away.  Further down from the mountain rainbow and just before crossing the lake bridge is where that picture got away.  We were flying down the mountain and just as the trees parted and bridge came into view there it was.  The perfect rainbow that shined right into the lake.  Not only into the lake but beyond the surface of the lake.  It was the most beautiful breath taking site of the whole trip.  It took my breath away and I just couldn’t slow down enough to safely stop and take the picture.  It will forever be in my mind thanks to God.

We rode on from the dam to Newhalem which was a visitor’s center and over 10 miles from  last night’s camp.   This gave us an opportunity to get something for breakfast. I was so cold that one of the items I bought was hot chili.  That may seem strange for a breakfast item but it really helped me warm up.

At our 1st real rest stop in Marblemount we took a back road around Marblemount to hit highway 530 which would take us into Darrington and a Baptist church.

While riding on highway 530 I saw a lady and her son stopped at an intersection and they looked confused.  She asked me if I could help her get to highway 20 and as luck would have it I actually could since that was the highway we were on going into Marblemount.

She noticed my BiketheUSforMS jersey and she told me she had made numerous walks for MS since her sister has MS.  I told her about our ride and her son which I estimated to be about 12 years old.  Her son couldn’t get over the fact that we started in Maine.  Then she asked me if she could give me a $20 donation which I gratefully accepted.  It warmed my soul.

Then Tim and I continued on to Darrington and laundry, tent drying and a large dinner.

Winthrop to Diablo Lake 67 miles

8/01/19  

We had breakfast once again where we ate last night.   We knew once again that we had climbs ahead and we would need the energy.  We also knew we would be camping at a site that had no facilities.  This would be an emergency dehydrated food dinner that I had planned on before packing for the ride.  I didn’t know the exact location just that we would have such a site along the ride.

The climb was long and  fairly steep.

I completed the pass climb on Washington Pass ahead of my normal riders so all I have to show for it is a picture of my bike.

IMG_0850

One of today’s rest stop was on top of Rainy Pass.  This stop had a great view of the mountain range we had just conquered. Views like this makes the climbing worth while.

IMG_0855

After the climbs comes the must appreciated down hills slopes.

IMG_0857

This is one of the most primitive campsites to date.  The showers were replaced with a dip in the lake.  This I chose to skip.

My dinner of dehydrated food was acceptable and helped me through the night.

Tonasket to Winthrop 71 miles

7/31/19  

I had another advantage over some of my team members by staying at the hotel last night.  Some of the team got a rude awaking this morning when the lawn sprinklers came on around 5:00 a.m. this morning and soaked them.  Some of the team did not put the rain fly on their tent so everything got wet.  Some were saved from the worst of the spray by putting large rocks in from the water heads and diverted the worst of the spray.

Most of us when to Shannon’s Café for a hearty breakfast in preparation of another long ride with some major climbs.  It was amazing how much food was prepared and served to all of the riders.  Once again it was done with a smile and true professionalism.

During the first 7 miles of the ride the riders at the back, like me were warned about some dogs on the road.  I was fortunate and not affected by any dogs.

The first climbs were fairly high but the grade was more gradual compared to the end the last few climbs which had steeper grades and longer climbs.  I was watching the grade on my Garmin and had his mind focused on the main road so we missed a turn off.  By the time I got a message on my Garmin we were over a mile past the turn.  When we checked google map we found we could just continue on the road we were on and get into the  Omak Visitor’s center quicker.  Missed turn 2 mile benefit.

After the rest we started out and Ed decided he needed a drink of water from a small water hose.

Update 72519

Then the real climb of the day began.  We past a machine that could have made the climb easier but after cutting off 2 miles we thought this might be a stretch.

IMG_0835

Climb, climb, climb to the stop of Loup Loup pass.  It wasn’t that long or that hard but it was still classified a pass.

IMG_0842

We made it to a RV Park camp in Winthrop.  We got to pay $1 for a 2 minute shower, but they were new and very clean.  Towels were also provided. On top of that they had a nice laundry mat.

From the park to the downtown and restaurant we had to take a hidden stairway down to a hotel and the main street.

Food was great with large portions again.  We finished off the meal with pie al a mode.

 

Republic to Tonasket 50 miles

7/30/19  

We once again went to the restaurant we had gone to last night but this time we rode our bikes.  One of the reason we went there again was it opened and 6:00 a.m. which helped us get an early start.  We were concerned about the heat today.

Our day started with a 16 mile climb.  My legs were not responding well after the long hard ride yesterday.  All we could do was keep a steady ride and keeping our heads down.

The pay off for the day was once we reached the summit the remaining ride was downhill.  This was a blessing because the heat we were concerned about hit us square in the face.

Our camp site was the Tonasket Visitor Center.  Only one restroom and a hose shower, but the worse was the 100 degree + temperature.  Also no internet service.

So I bailed out and went to the local hotel.  It was straight out of the 60s.  Shower and sink were both bright green.  But it had an air-conditioner that brought the temperature down to reasonable temperature.  It also had internet service but even that was a challenge.  The owner wrote down the pass word as “red 2C XXXX” but when I couldn’t get logged in he realized he wrote the password down wrong.  It was red20XXXX.  Easy fix.

I am now finished and I can rest for a little while before dinner.  The trip is coming to an end.

Mill Creek WA to Republic 85 miles

7/29/19  

Major ride with a major climb over Sherman Pass 5575’.  It stated with 4 pieces of fried chicken that I bought yesterday afternoon to tide me over until we got to our first rest stop in Colville some 31 miles down the road.

When we started riding this morning it was 43 degrees.  I didn’t wear my rain jacket to stay warm or my full bike gloves to keep my hands warm.  So I took by bike map and unfolded it to put between my jersey and t-shirt.  This blocked the cold wind from my chest.  After about 10 miles of  rolling hills I warmed up and all was good. Our last part of the ride to rest stop 1 was downhill so we made good time.  Once in Colville,  Ed found us a restaurant where we could get a good breakfast.  Also I ordered a breakfast sandwich to go so I would have something good to eat at rest stop 2.

After leaving rest stop 1 I spotted a bunch of turkey.  They are kind of hard to see in the picture but I counted 10 birds.

Our second rest stop was at a convenience store where we could get refreshment and I ate my breakfast sandwich.  We needed all we could get because this as was the start of a major climb that was about a 6 to 8 percent climb over 24 miles to the top of Sherman Pass at an elevation of 5575’.  The elevation is not all that impressive but our total climb for the day was 5,666 feet.

IMG_0801

After the climb was over we had to contend with road construction.  At one point we had to load our bikes on the pilot car and get in the bed of the pickup with the bikes.  We had a long line of cars behind us.

Once out of the pilot car most of the remaining ride was downhill into camp.  We stayed in Republic Fairground Campground.  No internet service was available again, but there was a restaurant back up the hill about 3/4 mile.  It was good.