Spring Time – Well, Almost
Carolyn (Bluepoof) is storing her motorcycle in my garage but hadn’t come over to use in the six months it had been here. Well it was finally time to rectify that! She flew up from her warm and dry home near San Fransisco to spend the weekend with me playing in the cold and wet Pacific Northwest. Not wanting to disappoint her I made sure that she had plenty of variety: sunshine, rain and snow. And the riding surface varied from easy highway miles to pot-holed gravel roads covered in snow to narrow muddy trails through the woods. We had a great time.
March 15, 2008
Total Miles: 180 miles, 1 day
Carolyn got in Friday night and almost had to catch a cab from the airport. I had someone over at the house to work on my VW bug that week and much to my surprise, the front wheel came off a few blocks from home. Apparently the guy had neglected to tighten the lug nuts. Fortunately I was going very slowly at the time and was able to retrieve my jack to put the wheel back on with relatively little fuss. Not trusting the car at this point I geared up and rode the BMW down to the airport. I had left Carolyn a cryptic and harried message: “I’m running late and I’ll be on the bike.” Fortunately Carolyn was prepared with all of her gear and she jumped on the back of the bike for the quick ride to my house.
Saturday morning, well, if can you can call 12:30pm “morning”, we headed east to secure chocolate before exploring some forest service roads. We were successful.
Early chocolate shopping at Boehm’s Candies
The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River
Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road
Our bikes, ready to go
It’s always green in the Pacific Northwest!
Heading down the road
Hmmm – ash? birch? I can never remember
A bit of slumping in the road
A slightly closer look at the drop
Stopped by the snow
Whoops. Really, I can ride
No sign of bare roads ahead
We hit snow only 8 miles into this leg of the trip. If it didn’t appear to go on for the rest of the road’s length we would have pushed on, but riding through snow just to reach more snow isn’t my idea of fun (despite what some of my friends say about me). We took a moment to have a snowball fight and worked up a bit of a sweat. Motorcycle gear is not conducive to physical activity; I don’t care what anyone says. Then we turned around (me having some difficulty with my heavier bike and my obstinate belief that I could ride it out) and went to North Bend to try out a recommended lunch spot. Oh did we hit gold!!! The food was oh-so-tasty and filling, the service was friendly and the ambiance was perfect. I’ll go back for certain! I only regret that I only had one stomach to fill, as the menu promised many delightful options.
The Northbend Bar & Grill in (surprise!) North Bend
Carolyn waiting impatiently for her food
The view of Mt Si from our table
Oh my god was this food good!!!
After lunch the plan was to ride a nice mix of twisty back road with a couple of prime dirt sections I knew of. We got most of it done before we had to stop. The first stop was Snoqualmie Falls, looking rather tame I thought.
Snoqualmie Falls in pre-spring glory
Carolyn plays faerie in the azaleas
Baa baa block sheep, have you any wool?
Fuzzy sheep (with her lamb on the other side of her)
Looking ahead at the trail
Carolyn waits for me to take yet another picture
I wish there were more trails like this one
Lots of green, even at the end of winter
Carolyn stops further down the trail to take a picture
Oh no! A new gate has been installed!!!
After the fun and muddy trail we hit the pavement for a little more fun before searching out the last of the dirt for the day. However we were stopped in our tracks by a new gate! The Washington State Dept of Resources had apparently deemed the next section of dirt road off limits to public use. Oh how I love our government! Sighing with rejection, Carolyn and I turned around and made tracks for Seattle, arriving just in time for a big dinner gathering of our friends from STN. What a great day!