Sunday, September 13, 2015

Forest Service Road 41 loop

Up at 7am, on the road at 8am, headed to Easton for water, then planned to loop through the woods on FS 41. Had to ford Cabin Creek at the washout. 
Left the easy grades of the Iron Horse. Here is some wartime propaganda at the spigot.
Lots of washouts. Almost all required dismounting and walking, tho I rode a few, out if impatience, which was kind if dumb, considering I was alone and it was a pretty remote stretch of road. the section from the creek ford to the intersection of FS 4110 is pretty shitty, about 4.5 miles. Really beautiful, but ungroomed and treacherous. 
Past the 4110 turnoff surface conditions improve, until the switchbacks to the pass. On the final ascent it's loose gravel, washboard ridges, headwind and steep grades. But once you go over the pass, about 10 miles from the ford, it  becomes so gorgeous. 
This was the prettiest thing. Those mountains in the distance, the North Cascades, I've never seen them naked of snow, even in summer. I figured the loop would take me a couple hours. Actually, it took almost twice that. 
The gate to hell!! From Hyak I hauled ass. Made it back to North Bend in about 1.5 hours.

Iron Horsing Around

Solo overnighter to commemorate the nigh end of summer. Hadn't been up the Iron Horse this year. Huskies were playing Sisters of the Blind. The weather is just too nice for football. 
Lake Keechelus is low. 

The low water line exposes the stumps, like bodies of murder victims. 
I like this one the best. 
Although the low water level may be an ominous result of our snowless winter, it's kind of neat. 
I got my water for coffee and oatmeal from this creek.
Leaves are starting to turn
Surface conditions deteriorate after Snoqualamie Pass. There are deep snowbanks of gravel that catch your front wheel and throw it to the side. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.

Monday, September 7, 2015

It feels heavier when it's all packed in a box

Northern Centurions: Better ask somebody

We started at 6am from Everett, in the dark. Fishermen and fisherladies were the only other people up and awake and high. First stop, Lake Cassidy for a Double Delicious joint after cruising through a dimly lit Snohomish. 
Coconut water. The shit. Low winds, temps in the 60s and then 70s. The leaves are green and still cling to their trees, but with the windy rain storm it feels like fall. 
 We headed to Arlington on the Centennial Trail, then over to Conway, up to Mount Vernon for another joint. After scoring, we lobbed ourselves across the Skagit plains to La Conner, where we ate pot candy and foods and drank beer. That was about 60 miles, and we mistakenly believed we were more than halfway 'round. It was not to be. Next we pushed into Stanwood, but traffic picked up, and instead of coasting into Marysville, and on into Everett, we scooted up the other side of the valley, and mobbed south on the ample shoulders of Highway 9 back into Arlington. The map showed an intersection with the Centennial Trail, but it was actually an overpass. We climbed down to the trail, no prob, lugging our bikes on our shoulders. By the time we got back to Snohomish I had bounced back from the nausea and lightheadedness. Euphoria bubbled up from my armpits. I might have lost my mind a little. We stopped for much needed snacks. Chocolate milk. Chocolate motherfucking milk, brah. 
Rangers at a park busted us for smoking pot and ran our IDs for warrants. No puffing in the park, they said. You're not my dad, I said. 
The car parked next to us got prowled. The owners stood around the pile of broken glass, sad. Nobody touched my hooptie. 122 miles, 9 hours in the saddle.