This thread is under construction. Please check back later for more reports and photos.
I managed to get a 9-day holiday in late Sep., I went to ride in Idaho and Montana. My original plan was to go to either Glacier Nat’l Park or Yellowstone Nat’l Park. I learned on my 2nd day that pass on Glacier was closed for a construction while I was there, and I’ve spent too much time in Idaho, so I couldn’t make it to Yellowstone.
First 2 days, we were having average fall weather. After 3rd day, we were having a record heat, up to almost 30C everyday, which was great for riding.
Just in case you’re curious, I’ve spent US$230 for towing (see the detail later in my report), US$700 for everything else, such as lodging, gas, food, etc. No contributions to popo, but I’ve got one warning. 4,000km total.
You’ll see my evaluations of roads by 5 point scales: 5/5 being the best, 1/5 being the worst. I tend to give higher rating for roads with tight corners, less traffic, good asphalt, etc. I'll make 5/5 roads in red, if you're after only icing on cake.
All familiar roads from home to Colville, WA today. I met syncro in Blaine for breakfast around 8:30. We took I-5 to Alger (2/5 rating), Lake Samish Rd. (2/5 rating), Friday Creek Rd. (3/5 rating). I saw a WSP sitting at the beginning of Friday Creek Rd., so we were sticking to the speed limit at 35mph for a while until I made sure it wasn’t following us. Then Old WA 99N (2/5 rating), Prairie Rd. (2/5 rating), Grip Rd. (3/5 rating), Bassett Rd. (3/5 rating), then we got to Sedro Woolley.
Syncro wanted more air in his tires, and we didn’t want to pay 50 cents, we went over to Les Schwab 10 blocks away for air. This store turned out to be a great store as I learned later…stay tuned. After that, he needed to hold the exhaust pipe to the bike, so we were off to NAPA. By the time it’s done, it was already 11! He wanted to do S. Skagit Hwy, but told him sorry we don’t have much time.
Then we were off to SR20. For his entertainment, we took Baker Lake Rd. (3/5 rating), then Burpee Hill Rd. (1/5 rating, which is normally 4/5). They were paving Burpee Hill Rd., so gravel was everywhere, and to make matters worse, we were following a slow car the whole time. Not too sure if the paving is now done or not. After looking a map near Concrete, it seems like there are a few other backroads towards Baker Lake, I wonder if they’re paved.
Update: I did Burpee Hill Rd. today on 11/13. The construction is done, the road had some fresh asphalt patches, so it was a little bumpy. It didn't have any dead leaves, this will be a great winter route! It was dark and cold around Concrete, I didn't bother to explore other roads in the area.
We came back to SR20 (4/5 rating), and all the way to Winthrop. The road was dry, traffic was pretty light, we didn’t have to do a lot of illegal passing that I can remember. The fall color was beautiful all the way to Colville.
From Winthrop, we took Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Rd. (3/5 rating), then SR20 from Twisp to west of Okanogan (3/5 rating). From there, B&O N. Rd., (3/5 rating), Spring Coulee Rd. (2/5 rating), Salmon Creek Rd. (4/5 rating), then Okanogan.
By the time we got to Okanogan, we were happy seeing California-like desert scenery and sunshine.
After having lunch, we turned to north. I was allowed to have some peanut butter shake at DQ in Omak! From Omak, we took Koala Dr. (2/5 rating), Old Riverside Hwy. (3/5 rating, I could smell apples as we rode through orchards!).
Across US97, we went through Riverside, then rode Tunk Creek Rd. (4/5 rating). It connects to SR20, but it turns to a gravel road maybe after 20km from Riverside. It’s packed with tight turns, I only wish it was free of sand and rocks on asphalt, and it would’ve been very nice if it was paved all the way to SR20.
We made a U turn where the pavement ended, then back to SR97 (rating 2/5), then to Tonasket. From Tonasket to Republic, then to Colville, I took SR20 all the way (rating 4/5). The highlights of SR20 in that area is somewhere between Tonasket and Wauconda, then Sherman Pass. Wauconda Pass is ok. On Wauconda Pass, we were following a slow Suzuki SUV from BC, but the pass was twisty enough that we couldn’t really pass. As we reached the summit and the road got straightened, then that SUV accelerated so much that we had to go like 150km/h to pass that?!?!
In Republic, things started cooling down, and syncro was amazingly still with me, it was already 5. We split, he started going home, then I continued east to Colville.
It was so cold on Sherman Pass, although I enjoyed corners. I bet it was around 5C, I wouldn’t be surprised if it snows anytime soon. I arrived Colville in dusk.