GSP, Brian and a Couple of VFR's Go to Washington (and Oregon and Idaho)
Day 1: Chilliwack to Clarkston, WA
I might have titled it “Making the Grade”, but 3 of the “grades” we'd planned to ride...well, we never got to them. But despite having travelled these areas a few times before, the roads ridden remain worthwhile, and roads newly experienced demand further exploration.
And so it begins...with waiting in Van Zandt.
I dare you to cross my path. Hey, are you sticking your tongue out at me? .
It turns out that the Peace Arch crossing was closed for some reason and Brian, despite having Nexus, rolled in an hour late (which allowed my being 1/2hr late to go unnoticed).
It should be noted that it annoys Brian that people always walk right past his immaculately maintained—yet invisible—VFR to look at the classic VFR “fridge” that I ride.
Today's ride had us making a diagonal crossing of WA to Clarkston via the North Cascades. It was only 775km, but neither one of us has done much riding in the past couple of seasons, so it felt like a long day. There were several bikes at the gas station in Marblemount--including a few squids—so we were reasonably sure that any wayward highway patrol officers would be occupied by the time we came through. Ticket avoidance takes on increased importance when you're broke.
Not to worry, though. There were plenty of bikes, no speed enforcement (less of a concern as I keep getting slower), and typical courteous US drivers that actually use pull-outs to let faster traffic get by.
Plenty of bikes on the road. One group passed us several times. They'd come flying by, stop, we'd pass them, repeat.
Winthrop had the typical weekend traffic jam, and was one of the few places that was really hot. We spoke briefly with another lower mainland rider on a tricked out Z1000. Despite all the commotion, there were deer right behind one of the stores on the main street. After a short break, we gassed up and headed east.