With an Eastern Washington trip long overdue and Don “doser's” post from last year as motivation, I finally got it together and made it happen. The original plan was a 3 day trip ending with a loop around the Duffey, but some last minute things forced me to shorten this to a 2 day report, opting to head straight home from Princeton on day 2.
The maps don't seem to show the right directions for all the connecting roads when used on mobile, but they link perfectly on the laptop, just FYI
With a surprisingly cold morning on Monday, I was up by 430am to make the most of the day and get as much of the first long hours of the “commute” out of the way. Departure at 530am got me into Sedro Wolley by about 7am for the first fuel stop.
I vowed never to take the #20 again towards Marbelmount, taking instead the South Skagit Hwy. It adds only about 10 mins and is less populated and far more interesting. Very much like the road up to Baker as it meanders along the south side of the Skagit River.
It was a chilly morning up til about 10am. Having recently purchased my first heated jacket, I was all too glad to utilize it. Within the first few hours, it paid for itself and then some. I got the Hotwired Evo 2 Jacket with the 12V connection and 3 temp settings. Over the 2 days, it worked flawlessly and loved having it throughout both of the mornings. In the afternoons, it still acted as a great windbreaker. At $160US, well worth it.
A quick rip along the 20 got me into Winthrop in 4h:15min
The sun started to peak just past Marblemount and upon entering the valley into Winthrop, the sun had burned off the cloud and gave way to blue skies. I was feeling better about getting out of bed at 430am.
Due to the washout on hwy 20 between Twisp and Okanogan, I was forced down 153 to Pateros. I’m very glad I was and it was scenic and quaint as you quickly flow alongside the Methow River which ducks and weaves on either side of the road below; sometimes towards the road and at others away. It’s beautiful country side with great rolling hills and landscape reminiscent of home in the Cariboo Interior. The one regret of this trip was not stopping to take a picture of the flowing rapids. It was one of the better sights.
The 97 to Brewster is uneventful, but makes it’s way north beside the Columbia river with orchards popping up from one side of the highway to the other.
The 155 to Nespelem was fast, fast, fast. Not overly interesting, but can make up time here as needed. Due to some roadwork and a 15min stop, I needed it so I set off to make up the lost time
Cache Creek and Bridge creek roads were excellent but tricky. Lots of fine gravel that continued to make the bike feel unsettled beneath me. Difficult to see, and add to that the off camber and sometimes rough pavement, it just couldn’t be enjoyed like I had hoped. I’m not sure if they ever really get clean, which is too bad.
Cache Creek Road
Bridge Creek Road
continued on next post