On Thursday we made a plan to leave friday after work. This run was thought on while riding the scorching loop and similar to a run a couple years ago.
Day 1 Map
We met in Bellingham to buy some supplies and changed our destination to Kingston after speaking with Rich from Rich's custom seats where we found a beautiful quiet place to camp with access to toiletries and a warm shower. In the morning five bikes showed up to be processed for comfort.
Day 2 Map
The morning started slightly damp as we spoke with the riders coming to Rich's. The shop is incredible and I recommend a visit.
A late start meant crossing through Port Angelas - the place meant to start - around noon to climb Hurricane Ridge above the clouds for breath-taking sites.
We proceeded to Neah bay home of excellent twisty pavement without traffic though I recommend dry pavement.
On account of a late start and poor conditions we cut out most of the coast to find a flat grassy spot beside the Columbia River to setup camp.
Day 3 map
The rain stopped allowing a fresh start with great roads planned. We were behind so we took i-5 home in the evening.
We found smooth though chilly sailing through Oregon and I-5 to the foot of St. Helen's. If you ride the backside of Helens be warned there's frost heaves and dips waiting to bottom your suspension or toss your front end up with a bit of a twist before coming back making for an "interesting" experience.
Windy Ridge is by far the best stretch of pavement in Washington. You're looking at a constant incline with unrestricted sightlines though be wary of washouts and there will be rockslides. If you're going to ride Helens hard at least make one direction scenic as the vistas are incredible. Be warned the northern access road is rougher than the south side.
This was the best St. Rainier ride I have ever done as my memories are entertaining compared to the typical wait behind miles of vehicles. While the weather was subliminal the experience couldn't be better. Towards the peak and stretch returning to Seattle the temperature hovered around 7 degrees with some misting favoring heated gear and large fairings.
It was a bit wet heading home but overall with mostly rain and temperatures from 5 to 20 it wasn't the best conditions but having the roads to ourselves can't be beat.