I was finally cleared by my docs (kinda) to return to riding my bike. I did so a few days ago and it felt fantastic! I not only enjoyed all of the work I did over the winter, but it just felt flat great to be in the saddle (a new corbin.) I had planned to visit a friend on the other side of the state today and based on the fun I had around town, I began to considering riding. It's only 6 1/2 hours by car, thought I, so it couldn't be too much longer by bike. I was wrong.
So at 0500 this morning (35 degrees,) she was loaded and ready to roll:
I started down the road and made it a whole mile before realizing I forgot my fender bag containing spare tube and tire irons. Rewoke the wife as I pulled into the drive. Not good.
Anyway, about 2 hours later, I pulled onto the Bainbridge Island/Seattle ferry. I arrived just as the ferry finished loading so I ended up at the rear of the deck. Not a bad view, however: good bye Olympic Mts.!
Here's my parking space for the 35 minute ride:
Heading toward the emerald city:
As soon as I hit Seattle, guess what began. Yep, rain. It wasn't raining hard all of the time, just most of the time. At least the temperature was climbing: 39 degrees! Rain kept with me as I rolled into North Bend on the Western slopes of the Cascade Mountains:
At this point, I was about 25 miles from the pass. Oh yes, a pass. Folks were talking about snow or mixed snow/rain and I was nervous. Well, there's nothing for it, so off I did ride. Arrival at the pass, 3100 feet, showed 33 degrees with rain:
Whew, the worst must be over. I am still dry, the rain surely will stop soon and it will be getting warmer. Hope is kindled:
However, soon the East side of the Cascades began to reveal fog. Freezing fog. Never been in freezing fog on a bike. It's pretty cold. The fog hits the bike, gloves, helmet shield, etc., turns to droplets then freezes! I was in that lousy stuff for just over an hour. Those heated grips were paying dividends! One of the rest areas:
The fog gave way to overcastskies and really cold air. Tolerable, however. Soon the scenery began to improve. I saw some wild horses:
and made a new friend at a coffee stop:
Soon I hit the fertile flatlands of the palouse. I smell cows.
Eventually, I made it to Spokane, pulling in at 2:00 this afternoon. 9 hours in the saddle all in the 30's. I think a heated vest would have been outstanding today. Fortunately, KLRGunn couseled me to layer up. I wore more than I thought I needed and found it not enough. Plan to meet up with Mr. Gunn in the next couple of days then heading to Oregon. I will post more here as we go!