Have had many days w/o internet access at our campsite, so getting 3 blog entries for the price of 1!
First off, I have to make sure Kim knows that we’ve been gone longer than 4 days…that was how long she thought we would last before we gave up and came home
Got to take another shower this morning…the advantage of staying at a hotel. We got things packed up and started out on the route just outside of Cashmere. First off, we were headed up Chumstick Mountain. Some really cool terrain, roads weren’t too bad. Here is picture of the mountain as we are about to make the ascent.
After Chumstick Mtn, we descended into Ardenvoir to get some gas and lunch. Had to get some big vanilla ice cream cones while we were at it.
After this stop, we went up a cool paved road through a canyon on our way up to Baldy Mountain. The pavement didn’t last long, and not far after hitting the dirt again, we saw our first deer of the trip. Should have some good videos on the helmet cam – probably won’t be able to check them until I get home.
A little further up the road, we stopped and talked to a guy on an F800GS and his wife on a F650 Dakar that were coming the other way. they said that the road to Lake Chelan was pretty easy…it turns out that they were right. Nothing wrong finishing the day with a bit of an easy ride. Here is the top of Baldy Mountain.
Heading down into Lake Chelan is the famous “jungle” section of the route. Unfortunately, we missed the turn and didn’t realize it, so we ended up taking an easier road down.
We are staying at a small forest service campground (Snowberry?). We went through it on our way down to Lake Chelan to check out 25 mile creek state park…it was basically empty and a pretty nice campground. The state park was almost full, and only had lame sites left, so we looped back to our current spot.
No drops today! Hooray!
After much debate, we decided to continue on the route as planned. Over the last couple of days, we’ve talked to people who hated this section (and told us a cool bypass), and another who said it was the best part of the trip. Due to conflicting feedback, and that other people are going to ask us about the route, we decided to stick w/the original plan.
Quite a bit of pavement to start the day. We departed the campground and hit the slab out to the town of Chelan where we fueled up for the day. Talked for a bit with a guy and his girl riding a Harley at the station – riding a fully loaded adventure bike starts lots of conversations w/bikers and non-bikers alike. After fueling up, still went for quite a ways on the pavement before heading up, up, up into the hills on dirt. At this point, the roads seem to be getting easier, or I’m just getting to be a better rider (or both).
It didn’t stay super easy, but didn’t get particularly hard either. As the day progressed, we saw thicker and thicker layers of dust on the road. It was real fine, like talcum powder. Coming down a steep descent, I almost crashed because the layer of dust would hide the obstacles in the road. The main reason the people (mentioned above) didn’t like this section was because of the dust. As we came around a sharp turn, there was a cool creek that we stopped at to eat lunch.
There were tons of butterflies hanging around as well…after some lunch we took off again. The next interesting bit of riding was about a 100 yard stretch of the nasty dust – it was a flat section, but it was deep – I could feel my foot pegs dragging through it. I was leading the way, so it had to be awful for my dad. Almost bit it once, but kept on the throttle and powered through.
Later on, we were climbing again, and I went through a particularly nasty section, so I waited for my dad to catch up…he never did. So, I turned around to see if he was ok. Sure enough, he dumped the bike. So, I helped him pick it up so we could continue on our way. Here he is packing the bike back up after moving it up the hill.
Here is the view back down the hill where he dumped it.
And we were off again! The next incident occurred when I was going down/around a corner in the deep dust and I got the bike turned sideways to the trail – jumped on the throttle and got it straightened out – don’t know how I didn’t dump it!
We also came down a nasty steep hill – don’t recall exactly where it was, but I have it on my helmet cam, so I’ll be able to check the GPS data when I get home. It was steep, loose rock, a narrow road, and right along side a cliff. Really wasn’t that difficult, but kinda scary.
After we got off of the steep hill a bunch of turkeys ran across the road in front of me…hopefully got them on the helmet cam.
Tonight we are staying at Conconully State Park. The site is decent. We are right on a creek, which is cool. But, we are near the main road coming into town.
Of course, this is the only site where we’ve seen wildlife.
Also, at dusk, there were a ton of bats flying around. Tomorrow should be our last day on the route. We are debating on whether to go into Canada and loop home, or if we should drop back and take the North Cascades Highway home. I guess we’ll decide when we get to the border tomorrow!
Got a fairly early start today. Was on the road by 9:30a, for about 2 minutes, then we stopped for some fuel. Did an experiment with the helmet cam today – instead of taking video (and me having to constantly turn the camera on and off), I had it take a still picture every 5 seconds, and I just left it on all of the time…I’ll take a look at the pictures when I get home tomorrow.
This is our last scheduled day on the route. It is a fairly short run of 70ish miles or so, with pretty big chunks of pavement. The first part of the route took us to the highest elevation of the trip ~6700 feet at Lone Frank Pass. There was a huge forest fire in this area about 5 years ago and you can really tell. Didn’t get any pictures though.
Then it was on to find the official WABDR geocache. It is at a picnic area (whose name I can’t recall right now) that is located at a fairly high elevation ~6300 feet. We utilized the picnic tables for lunch before heading off to find the cache.
The geocache was fairly easy to find once I calibrated the compass on my GPS.
On the way back to the bikes, we ran into a bunch of grouse
Coming down from the Geocache was the last of the dirt, and it was the most challenging of this section. A logging truck just about took me out as it merged into the road we are on, I had to hit the throttle to get in front of him. Coming down of the hill was steep and a bit loose, but made it down without issue. Once off the hill it was pavement all the way to Canada.
We debated on our route home…Our original plan was to go into Canada and loop west to Sumas and come down highway 9 (which goes all the way to Woodinville). On the trip, we started to lean toward going back to Hwy 20 and taking it west. Well, we decided to stick with the original plan. Crossing into Canada was a no brainer – I have my passport card with me (the first time I’ve ever used it). At this point, we are officially done with the WABDR! We did it!
We cruised up to Hwy 3 and started heading west. We are camping in Manning Provincial Park at the Mule Deer Campground. The site is really nice – right on the river. It is a bit close to the highway though. Hopefully the traffic won’t bug us.
Should be home tomorrow, at which point, I’ll finally be able to upload all of these .