First off I have to say this was some of the best riding I've ever done. Here's the map of the entire first day's riding:
Burnaby to Palmer Lake
Day 1 started off with the ride out to Palmer Lake for the weekend and a friend's stag. Palmer Lake is about 20 minutes west of Oroville. After dealing with a work snafu I finally got to hit the road at noon which sucked because I knew the border lineup would be the shits. Turns out it wasn't too bad and it only took me a 1/2hr to get across the line. Initially I had planned to do a lap up to Baker as well but I put the kaibosh on that as I was already running late. I did do the Silver Lake loop though before heading south on the 542. As luck would have it just after I go onto the #542 it started to rain, nothing horrible but enough to make the riding not as fun.
When planning my route maggotbreath suggested I add in Mosquito Lake Road as it was "not to be missed". He was right as the road definitely did not disappoint - except for the rain which had now picked up a bit. After Mosquito Lake it was on to the #9 and south to Sedro Wolley. Another one of maggotbreath's suggestions was to skip the first part of the N. Cascades Hwy #20 and take the S. Skagit Hwy into Concrete and then join the #20. This was another really fun road that was basically empty of traffic and I accidentaly took it a step further when I made a wrong turn and ended going down the Concrete Saulk Valley Rd all the way the the juntion with the 530. While I was anxiously watching my trip odometer and worrying about gas as I had no idea where I was it turned out the mistake wasn't so bad after all. I ended up being okay for fuel all the way into Marblemount and found out on my way home that maybe 200m south of where the #530 joins the #20 is a small town called Rockport where there's a gas station.
Once I was on the N. Cascades Hwy #20 it was basically a straitght shot with a ton of fun twisties all the way out to Winthrop. This is supposed to be the golden section of the #20 and my whole ride, the only problem was the twisties weren't fun because of all the fricken rain and the cold. Going over the N. Cascades in the rain was not a pleasnt ride at all. I had no rain gear but thankfully was wearning leathers. By the time I got to Winthrop I was soaked and cold and seriously considering about staying the night in Winthrop as it was already after 6pm and I still had another 3-4hrs of riding left. I figured I would soldier on though as there was never more than an hour's ride to the next town so I could always bail somewhere.
I continued to have rain off an on all the way out to my destination of Palmer Lake and after Tonasket I was very close to just knocking on the door of the first house with a light on and asking for some shelter for the night. I ended up having to stop at someone's house looking for directions and the gentleman was kind enough to say if I couldn't find the place I was looking for to come on back. I eventually found the lodge I was staying at with my buddies and promptly spent a good 1/2 hour in a steaming hot shower to get warmed up again. What should have been maybe a 6hr ride ended being over 9hrs.
since the weather was crappy for most of the day i only got this one useable pic. i just wanted to see how hard it would be to screw this up. still can't figure it out.