Monday, May 30, 2016

Kendal katwalk attempt and failure

People on the trail said it won't be clear until July
The photo doesn't do this justice
I would call it spectacular, but those words all sound trumpian to me now. Might as well say, 'this waterfall is fabulous.'

Lake Washington corncumnavigation

Aurora


Cavi cone cost $38. $38!!! But it's ok because I'm a writer so I'm ballin



Sunday, May 22, 2016

Pornobomber - Still in tha game

My friend Cristina was cycling past Porno Bridge today and this caught her eye. 

So if there was any question if the Pornobomber was still in full effect, this here shoulder answer it. 


North Cascades Tour Detrius

Mileage: 402 miles
Elevation gain: 26k+
Most elevation gain in one day: 7k - Newhalem to Washington Pass

Top foodz:

I had a craving for family Mexican, which always disappoints, but in Tonasket I had some non-family Mexican, and it was the best I've ever. Drank lots of funky-tasting water mixed with sugar free Hawaiian Punch packets. Got really into this. Also drank Mexican sodas on breaks. Squirt was the best.

Number of Donald Trump signs: 1
Number of Bernie Sanders bumper stickers: 4

Number of 'private property/no trespassing' signs: hundreds
Level of paranoia among rural Washingtonians: high
Friendliness level: high

Shoulder rating: A-
I spent a lot of time thinking about this, what to rate the shoulder of my route, and comparing it to what? I used the Pacific Coast route from Tilamook Ore. to San Fran, as it's the only other longer tour I've done. On that one, Hwy 101 is OK, pretty good in most places, wide, free of debris, but at critical times it petered away, ie, Cape Perpetua, where on a steep climb on a curve suddenly there is no shoulder and you're forced into the lane with raging log trucks and texting RVs. Then Highway 1 has no shoulder and is pretty scary in addition to being very beautiful. Altogether, I would give it a B to B-, mainly because Hwy 1 can be so stressful. So, compared to the PCR, I'd say the Higway 20 (Northern Tier Route) is pretty excellent. An A+ is near impossible, a solid A would mean 99% wide shoulders all the time. So this route, in my opinion, was solid. Only occasionally, when on the highway, was I forced into the lane and only once where it felt sketchy. The only occasions I was without a shoulder, on a side road, doesn't really factor into the A-. Once inside Spokane, it got hairy, but it doesn't seem fair to hold that against thewhole route. As I have just demonstrated, I spent a lot of time thinking about this.

Worst mosquitoes: Okanagon

Ratio of rainstorms I got caught in to rainstorms I dodged damn it: 1/4

Best riding:
1) coming down Washington Pass
2) the rolling hills of Wauconda

Worst riding:
1) coming down Sherman Pass

Days with a tailwind: 1

Wildlife viewed:

1 bobcat, outside Mazama
1 bear, by Omak Lake
Lots and lots of deer
a few dead snakes on the roadside
2 dead turtles, shells crushed on the roadside
half a dozen turkeys
lots of hawks and osprey
so many pretty little birds

Top riding jams:

Solo, lonely at times, nobody to throw my arm around when the sun went down, so I spent a lot of time in my head with jams in my earz.

1) David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust (whole album): Listened to this at least once a day. 'Moonage Daydream" and 'Sweet Head" especially.

'Look south the way your mother dwells
If she knew what's going down, she'd give you hell
I'm the kind of man she warned me of
Till there was rock, you only had God'

2) Diplo and Swick - 'Dat a Freak' - "big big booty but you got a big booty"

3) Drake - 'The Motto' - He tries so hard. Love that guy. Ya'll don't get it, do you?

Drake:
Tell Uncle Luke I’m out in Miami too
Clubbing hard, fuckin’ women, ain’t much to do

Lil Wayne:
One time, fuck one time
I’m calling niggas out like the umpire
Seven grams in the blunt
Almost drowned in her pussy so I swam to her butt

4) Lucious Jackson - 'Naked Eye' - Naked is a state of mind

5) Jimi Hendrix - 'Are you experienced?' - 'Not necessarily stoned, but, beautiful'

6) Velvet Underground - 'Guess I'm falling in love'

7) Joe Cocker - 'Feelin' Alright'

8) Trey Songz - 'Slow Motion'

So, shawty, let your hair down, and take a sip
Go and put this joint between your lips
Baby, why don't you make yourself comfortable
While I go and put this tongue on you

9) Fetty Wap - '679'

"They like, 'Monty, can you be my baby daddy?' I'm like, 'yeah'"

10) Beck - 'Sexx Laws' - The freaky drums on this get to me, the 'cavalry drums,' hijack my equilibrium every time.

I want to defy
The logic of all sex laws
Let the handcuffs slip off your wrists
I'll let you be my chaperone
At the halfway home
I'm a full-grown man
But I'm not afraid to cry

11) Led Zeppelin - 'Hey Hey What Can I do?' - Keep ballin'

In the evening when the sun is sinkin' low
Everybody's with the one they love
I walk the town, Keep a-searchin' all around
Lookin' for my street corner girl

12) Whalebones - 'City No More' - More than anything, this song, by my friend Justin

I want everyone to see the mountaintop
I want everyone to see the desert sky
all of my family, friends and i
altogether now leave the city behind
swimming in the river, hot sun in the sky
my friends my family my baby and i


Friday, May 20, 2016

Spokompton

Spent about 40 miles paddling down US 395, all with a sweet tail wind. At times the log trucks and pick ups got to me, but still, finally having a tail wind was pretty sweet. The shoulder is wide, there were many places to stop and have Mexican cokes, and one gigantic huckleberry milkshake. Best of all, I got to leave colville. Veered onto back roads shortly after loon lake and did the conclusive 30+ miles on county two lanes. Spokane has grown so much. Aunt Judi's house used to feel so rural when I was a kid, now the suburbs have enveloped it on all sides. Tomorrow it's back to the west side, and then Monday back to the mines. 
Despite all the open space, there is precious little public space. In 70 miles I didn't pass a park until I was inside Spokane. While still on the outskirts, I came across a little cemetery. Inside I found this grave. Just a marker, no tombstone, no indication of when or how, just an unknown human.

On this trip I learned that the world is getting more crowded, gasoline engines are almost inescapable, and even if it's driving sleet at the mountain pass, and you are soaked to the gills and borderline hypothermic, if you just keep pedaling you will dry off and warm up and everything will be ok.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Holy shit, Sherman Pass

Can't really tell from this photo, but after three hours of cranking up a freaking mountain range, into increasingly cold and rainy and otherwise inhospitable conditions, I arrived here amidst a driving sleet and rain storm.
Usually it's a pleasure bombing down the other side, but instead it was harrowing and terrifying and really scary. It felt like somebody was shooting me in the face with a slurpee made of birdshot. I was not properly equipped. Colville tonight. Riding into Spokane tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ferry County Fairgrounds

This might be my favorite hiker biker site of all time. First, the shower? On point, totally legit. The type of shower that makes you forget where you are. 
It's been looking like rain, and when I ride in, the guy working here suggested I set up in the sheltered area, as I am the only human using the campground. Cost was $10 for the night. Electrical outlets and water spigots on hand. Sure enough, thunder and lightning, then it just poured.
The place is empty, so I got to walk around, look at interesting stuff.
Like this sign. 





Waaaaaaaaaauuuuuuconda!!!

There's a lot of climbing to climb over wauconda pass, but just before the final ascent, highway 20 flattens out ...
And it felt like I was riding my bike into heaven. 
Tougher than loup loup, if only because of that darn headwind, but not bad. 





Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tonasket, don't ask it

Tooled up the valley to tonasket from okanagan, bypassed omak and jumped back on highway(s) 97/20 in the tiny, slow motion village of riverside. It was warm and sunny today. I wanted to appreciaye this day, as it was one of the flatter stretches of 20. 
Fire ripped through these parts last year. 
Although I spent most of the day on service roads, I did ride the highway for a chunk in the middle, and that wasn't optimal pleasantness. But the view was pretty amazing. 
The little visitors bureau in tonasket has a bicycle tourist camp area. Basically a back yard. Nice restroom.
Crossing wauconda pass tomorrow, heard mixed reviews of the shoulder. Is this a rattlesnake? Should I get closer to find out for sure?




Monday, May 16, 2016

Loup Loup was a can of soup soup

Left Winthrop for twisp, first, and then up and over loup loup. I found this archeological garbage heap, complete with rusty cans and sherds. 
Sherds is a word I just learned while reading about treasure hunting. A sherd is a fragment of pottery. 
Check out all these fucking sherds, man
Unlike the passes on Saturday, I had a tail wind all the way up. It was glorious. Which allowed me better to appreciate the majesty. There is so much majesty out here these days.
Fires tore through here last yeAr
Even tho I had a tail wind, I still took lots of breaks. 
Once at the top I ate crackers and sardines and cheese and as I plummeted back down to earth, jimi hendrix's 'are you experienced?' Came on the jam box and I was all like fuck yeah.
Imagine these things covering whole hillsides.




Sunday, May 15, 2016

Methow Valley

I just want to eat all of Winthrop 
I saw a bobcat!

Washington Pass

Look at those shoulders!! So much luxury!
Look at that headwind!!
Look at those north cascades mountain vistas !
Look at that incline 
Middle of nowhere, junkies still fucking shit up. 
Getting to this point was the hardest. I took breaks every 30 minutes. Then every 15 minutes. 
Bombing out of this pass was maybe the most beautiful, most exhilarating thing ever. Screaming through the hairpin at 30 mph, with kangaroo ridge rising up to the sky, it literally took my breath away. I had to remind myself to breathe. 
Average speed to the pass. Most of the time I was in my granny gear, choogling along at 4mph or less. 
Lone fir campground wasn't open for the season yet, but nonetheless it was mostly full. No water, no toilet paper, plenty cold.