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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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

https://goo.gl/maps/Vtb9sJYndHvZHaNP6

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.


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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

#155
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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
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Bridge Creek Road
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I reached the ferry at Inchelium just a few mins before departure to Gifford. A quick 10 minute crossing and I’m on my way to Chewelah via the Addy Gifford road to Blue creek road which shoots you out at 395.

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A quick jaunt south and you arrive in Chewelah. I had arrived so early that I decided to go up the famed Flowery Trail road then instead of in the morning when the pavement would undoubtedly be cooler. The road itself is simply full of twists and turns as you’re constantly asked to transition from side to side. A few laps of this will ask the most out of your quads. Alas, the fun factor was limited again by fine sand through many of the corners. This road more so than others seems especially bright or “white”, even through my dark tinted visor it felt like a glare from the afternoon sun wasn’t helping my visibility. If they sweep this section later into the summer, it could be a lot more fun.

Flowery Trail

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View from up top passed the Ski Resort
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I stayed at the Nordic Hotel for the night. A bed, nothing special for $65 but a good deal nonetheless. . Selkirk in Colville seemed like a good deal as well, but was booked up. I had dinner at Sporty’s nearby. Typical American burger joint with plenty of fried food. They have a local wine bar that isn’t open on Monday’s if you feel like yuppin it up. Also a few Pizza joints that seemed respectable.

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
With means to depart by 6am, the chilled air of the A/C unit kept me under the covers until 7am, putting departure at 730am. No matter, the temperature outside read 18degrees by then, and although the air was chilly, the heated jacket was put to the test yet again.

https://goo.gl/maps/LyMExwvzoSG3g2wt7

Set off for Colville with a drone up the 395. Ventured up Aladdin Road for the route up to Northport. This was a fast, clean and mostly smooth section of road and one of my favorites of the trip for the variety of twisties from slow 30mph to bigger sweepers with excellent visual exits – a great combination to get the juices flowing. But as you move through Colville National Forest, some areas remain hidden from the morning sun and the cold pavement will force you to keep your wits about you. Next up, Northport Flat Creek Road down to the 395.

Aladdin Road
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With the positive reviews of Northport Flat Creek road, I was looking forward to this and it didn’t disappoint. Marvoulous views of the Columbia River as you moved down to water level and up into the forested sections with plenty of corners to keep you occupied. This road too reminded me of home where I grew up in the Cariboo Interior. It must have been the abundance of pine trees that surrounded you as you weaved your way along the river. A great flow to this road.

Northport Flat Creek Road
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
From the 395 I connected to Boulder Creek Road. Don is right, as you ascend up towards the mountain pass, the sweepers come fast and furious and you can easily take them at speeds up wards of 150kmph +. As I reached the top the crew was working diligently sweeping away the sand and gravel from the winter passed; if only I had come a day later. There is the sight of burnt out trees that occupy the road side for a few miles and up the hillside for 1000s of meters in some directions. An eery but very cool visual.

Boulder Creek Road

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Boulder Creek brings you into the town of Curlew. The Curlew Store used to have gas but no longer. A lovely older couple pulled over and pointed me towards the CFN across the bridge located along hwy 21. Its just the pumps and a card reader that allows you to fill up and be on your way. They have 87-92 premium, and I would assume with that set up, they are open 24/7. You can take Boulder Creek Road all the way to hwy 21 intersection, make a right and the gas pumps will be a minute up the road on your left. Make your way back to the same intersection and take a right for Kettle River Road.

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Discussion Starter #5
Kettle River is another fine road, but once again, cautious with the center line and corner gravel throughout. The road works its way through some flat farm lands with acreages scattered through out. Very scenic valley.

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I was trying to make friends, but the growling exhaust note had them running!

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Always interesting buildings, plenty of these types throughout the journey

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Kettle River turns into Toroda Creek Road and descends south. One can opt to take Chesaw Road directly to Oroville, or keep south and connect to SR20 at Waucanda. Don’s report from last year stated that Chesaw was pretty rough in some lower sections so I opted to connect back to the 20 and make my way west to Tonasket. If not for the plethora of tar snakes spewed about, the 20 would be a very fun road with a variance of 30mph corners and big fast sweepers. The nice thing about this part of the highway was the way that the sections were so well strung together with 7-8 30mph turns all put together followed by 5-6 fast sweepers. Easy to get into a nice flow, but had to keep a tight line dodging those snakes.

Oroville brought me to an extended break for fuel and rest. Stopped by the American Family Diner. Keeping with the namesake, it served family friendly plates ranging from wraps, burgers and sandwiches to salads, deep fried baskets and chicken specialties. The Club was good, but the milkshake was great! (about 20+ flavors to choose from!)

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I carried on my way to Nighthawk Crossing via the Loomis Oroville Rd – Similkameen. I missed the road to connect to the border crossing and went through Nighthawk along the Similkameen River about 20km too far before I knew something was amiss. Lost in my own thoughts I suppose. But for those who wonder, its much like hwy #8 from Merritt. Very brown and desert like, sharp blind corners and plenty of dung to keep your eyes peeled. Doubled back and crossed over into the homeland.

I had considered whether or not I would prefer going south from Tonasket and coming back via hwy 20 through Winthrop again. Although I knew it was longer, I felt like the ride back would be far more interesting and thus would keep me more interested. Frankly I was right. They continue to work on the highway between Hope and Princeton, and even for a weekday, the delays piled up the cars. Myself and another biker used the passing lanes (at slow speed) even through the construction zones to get ourselves to the front of the line (nobody seemed to mind, passing lane was open) and rode back to about Manning Park before he made a stop. That kept it interesting for a bit, but overall, the Osoyoos to Princeton to Hope is a fairly boring ride for me these days, except for a few 40-60kmph sections between Princeton and Hope where you can really have some fun (as long as its clean).

Had the 20 been open between Twisp and Winthrop, I would have likely ventured back home that way. Back onto the 1, I found a willing rabbit (Jeep) that had no problem pushing the limits of impound speeds. I was happy to keep up and chew through the 150km back home. At about Cloverdale we parted ways on the freeway and as I pulled up next to them, it was a middle-aged woman and what looked to be a early teens daughter. Kudos Maam! I got a peace sign thrown my way and after a salute back for acknowledgment, I was on my way. Home in about 10 ½ hours despite the small detour, a cold shower and one final picture for the trip below.

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Gas Stops for those wanting to know. I usually can do 170km before the light goes flashy, but that is supposed to indicate the 1/4 tank left...

Sedro Wolley
Marbelmount
Winthrop
Nespelam
Chewelah
Northport
Curlew CFN

Waucanda Café has gas – fyi - I didn't stop here, but the big purple building is hard to miss

Oroville
Princeton
Hope


THE END
 

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Good on you for getting out and exploring, looks like you had some fun, dry weather and free reign of the chosen roads.

Makes me want to do a few day road trip too.....big time!

That heated jacket appears a good find, was not familiar with that specific model and watched some vids and read reviews, looks
like a great piece of gear and well designed with the controller built in and the little flap with button that sticks out, smart design.

Thanks for taking the time to share!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good on you for getting out and exploring, looks like you had some fun, dry weather and free reign of the chosen roads.

Makes me want to do a few day road trip too.....big time!

That heated jacket appears a good find, was not familiar with that specific model and watched some vids and read reviews, looks
like a great piece of gear and well designed with the controller built in and the little flap with button that sticks out, smart design.

Thanks for taking the time to share!
Yeah, super glad I got out and explored. Hardly any traffic and the only LEOs I saw were one coming into Marbelmount and one coming out of Hope.
Great roads and I'm sure many more in the area...that'll be next time.

The jacket is a high recommend. Not as pricey as some of the other guys, so we'll see about longevity, but the design is great. The 3 temp settings is awesome. The built in controller with the button is simple. It hangs below the waist line of the jacket for easy access and its easy 1 touch button for choosing the temperature. Red = high, Amber = Medium, Green =low.

It also has connections in the sleeves if you ever wanted to run heated gloves. Cords tuck away nicely into zipper pockets. Very happy with it so far.
 

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Fantastic report. Really gives me the itch to get out of my local area too. Thanks for taking the time to post and with all the pics too.*
 

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sounds like a great trip. thanks for posting. yah, it's early season and the roads are still gritty, but it's still superb to be firing a bike thru that terrain, isn't it!
 

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Nice trip, and fantastic write-up Bobby. I wish I had been able to join you. Although I was in that same area on the weekend (it was 36 in Bridgeport on Saturday).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Fantastic report. Really gives me the itch to get out of my local area too. Thanks for taking the time to post and with all the pics too.*
You're welcome....Do it! I put it off for too long. I mostly ride in Western WA anyways as local roads don't really do it for me too much, but WA has tons to explore. I think next on my list may be the Kootneys region though through BC.


sounds like a great trip. thanks for posting. yah, it's early season and the roads are still gritty, but it's still superb to be firing a bike thru that terrain, isn't it!
Thanks Don! Your trips always serve as motivation. Now I just gotta get you out to the track this season right?
Yes the roads were gritty overall, I thought they would have cleaned up by now. But I guess that means another trip perhaps in August.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nice trip, and fantastic write-up Bobby. I wish I had been able to join you. Although I was in that same area on the weekend (it was 36 in Bridgeport on Saturday).
Thanks Scott! Yeah I ended up leaving on Monday instead of Sunday, but figured you weren't ready to take off so quick after just getting back from your trip. But let's get together soon, even for a day ride. Cheers!
 

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Thanks for sharing! I'm planning a ride to Montana later this summer and am looking for new roads to try! My first leg is to Spokane.
 

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Thanks for sharing! I'm planning a ride to Montana later this summer and am looking for new roads to try! My first leg is to Spokane.
Spokane, from where? you looking for secondary, twisty routes, i presume?
 

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Thanks for posting this. I'm riding to Langley from Yakima on Thursday and your day two gives me some ideas for some roads to try out that I'm not sure I've ridden before.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hope it helps. The quickest and still fun way would be to come up the 97 and then take 20 west. But if you have the time, always worth to explore!


Thanks for posting this. I'm riding to Langley from Yakima on Thursday and your day two gives me some ideas for some roads to try out that I'm not sure I've ridden before.
 
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