June 17, 2013, we began the day at Newport, just inside Washington, across a river from Idaho. Washington State Highway 20 begins there. We came this way so we could ride through the Northern Cascades west bound. We came through east last year.
We didn’t want to get out the foul weather gear. Even though we got rained on a half dozen times before lunch, we stayed in light gear.
Up at 5:30 a.m. and on the road by 7:00 a.m. gave us our earliest start of the trip. We didn’t make it ten minutes before we had a light rain. Another ten minutes found us at the Cross Roads Café having hot coffee. Checking our iPhones didn’t give us much information about the weather. One of the locals told us that we would have rain until Wednesday. Yah, right what did he know? He was right.
This was typical of the scenery we were forced to endure throughout the day.
Are you curious about the High Kill Zone? Before we got too many miles outside of Newport, I saw a sign that identified the area as having an extremely high number of deer killed annually. They had a sign listing the number killed in 2012 and the year to date number. I was going a little fast to read the numbers.
We saw a number of D.E.E.R. on Monday, but only two are noteworthy. The first was a large doe that had an encounter with an eighteen wheeler. The truck was parked at the side of the road with the hood up. We couldn’t tell if the rig was damaged or if the driver was removing deer parts.
Later in the day, during another light rain, we encountered a tight curve. One of those where the 30 MPH warning sign means, thirty. As we reached the apex, the pavement was wet and slippery, we espied Ms. D.E.E.R. standing at the side of the roadway munching on grass. The doe looked at us but didn’t move. We were lucky. If we had been forced to take evasive action, the chance of kissing the pavement would have been great.
The Northern Cascades were as beautiful west bound as east. There was plenty of snow still covering the ground.
What I had forgotten were the curves. I call this marching. When marching one counts cadence, left, right, left right. These curves follow one side of a river canyon. One leans left, and before finishing the curve, leans right into the next curve. Back and forth, for anywhere from a quarter mile, to miles. Coming down Washington 20 we experienced at least a dozen of these sections. Once again, it only gets better.
Once we were clear of the snow, the temperature rose rapidly.
Coming down out of the mountains, we stopped for fuel. Jim wanted to call it a day. We had covered 332 miles. Both of us were hot and tired. He said, “Let’s go back to the Buffalo Inn.”
I said, “Works for me.
We back tracked only to find that the motel had gone out of business.
Back in the saddle, we rode another one-hundred miles before stopping for the night at the Auld Holland Inn, Oak Harbor. The town is on Whidbey Island.
We spent 11½ hours on the road and were exhausted.
Dinner at Flyers and in bed by 8:30 p.m. While waiting to be seated an elderly couple struck up a conversation. Jim and I may be bad bikers, but everywhere we stop, someone starts up a conversation, more often than not women. They always want to know where we have been and where we are headed. “Where are you riding?”
Jim has the best answer. “Our wives gave us two weeks probation. We just ride, turn, and stop whenever we want.”