Friday I rode to a friend's place in Richmond to head downtown to a Soundgarden concert. I parked the bike and we drove to South Vancouver to meet up with friends and walk to Roger's Arena. The walk was good, the concert was fun and we invited others to an after-party on the strip. The night was uneventful and after a few drinks the long hill up to South Vancouver was quite steep, long and tiring. I rolled out a sleeping pad and slept in Richmond just after 3am.
Day 1 Map
I woke before 9am and after breakfast I realized I packed everything except my passport... so back to Langley, lunch, change clothes, setup route, rest and I headed for the 264th st border around noon. I knew a couple that were heading to Tacoma over the long weekend and was had a place to sleep along my route. There was 5 cars ahead of me at the border and with just enough time to make a phone call I had a destination across the Edmonds ferry.
I made my way to Mt. Baker with a bypass along North Pass Road. To my pleasure there were 2 vehicles I met along my trip along Baker and everything went smoothly. I couldn't believe the lowest gate was still closed but judging by the snow level it should open soon. The area just across the border was crawling with enforcement and I think the day tallied to 18 cars, 3 motor officers. Traffic continued in my favor with clear roads through Mosquito Lake and Sudden Valley until highway 20. Highway 20 was busy but I wasn't in any rush and arrived to the ferry in poor time... missing the ferry by 5 seconds... as in I was stopped as they dropped the arm and the car in front made it.
45 minutes passed and I made a call saying the RV for the night went right on 101 and down the road a half hour. Being first off the ferry cleared the road to roll a half hour down 101 only to check my texts and note they setup camp in Port Angelas and my first tank of fuel. I rolled into camp greeted with a barbeque and drinks and others that walked over from nearby. There used to be a pulp mill where we stayed that poluted the ground along the coast. There's a walking path along the coast that goes quite a ways. I called it a night shortly after midnight.
Day 2 Map
I woke up before everyone, substantial breakfast and made a plan for the day. I was originally planning for the RV to be near Tacoma and head south through Ranier and windy ridge to head east along the Oregon border with back-roads near Yakima to end east of Seattle but I needed a new plan. I brought out my destination highways map and noticed a long bridge in the SW corner of Washington. I was hoping to explore the area south of there but didn't have enough sunlight in the day.
I stepped outside to a light spit of rain that continued partway to Neah Bay. Traffic was non-existent and I had a great ride in and out to the 101. The trip down 101 had some traffic and enforcement but everyone was rolling along. There was a bike rally before the bridge that looked like a good place to stop for lunch. Many riders were stopping there for the weekend en'route to Sturgis a couple weeks from then.
The bridge was interesting ending with a lift around 100 feet over the town. The ride along the northern Oregon border had quite a bit of traffic for awhile but a recent accident had a good hour of traffic backed up. I found a service road that bypassed the accident and after minimal off-roading was met with a clear road until crossing into Longview and a blast down the I-5. Highway 503 is a fantastic road with more bikes than cars traveling the length. The day was getting on though so everyone was oncoming without any traffic heading east. I made a stop for fuel in Yale and setup the gopro for the highlight of the trip.
Horizon is the Bridge
Forestry road 90 involved endless turns and perfect pavement. FR90 was in similar condition with endless tight turns and big elevations changes making it my favorite road so far. My favorite road changed to Windy Ridge - FR99 as you rise forever with endless valleys devastated by St. Helens eruption and the valleys that continue in every direction. I did not plan for the low sun though so I took special care working my way up while blinded by sunlight. You must do this ride, it's amazing but the road's dangerous. The views at the end are like nothing else giving sweet icing on the endless windy cliff but the worst of the bumps bottomed out my rear suspension while standing on the pegs and going off the road isn't an option.
I was very concerned leaving the lookout on Windy Ridge. It was dusk, animals would be mobile and there was something wrong with my bike! It was not responding right and I swore the bike that bottomed the suspension, the rocks across the road or something was wrong! I stopped at the first stop and checked my steering and tires only to find they were at a cold air pressure. I realized it was cold and tossed on a headed jacket and grips. Taking it easy for awhile mt tires warmed up and the bike returned to normal before turning onto FR 25.
The decent down FR 25 was good with the same terrible frost heaves since last month. There's signs at the worst sections suggesting 10mph that are quite... violent at ??mph. Arriving at hwy 12 I made a call to see where the RV was. The RV was an hour farther away than expected making for a cautious ride through Mt. Ranier to Snoqualmie. I was quite tired at this point but managed a late meal, drinks and a night of entertainment along the water.