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North Cascades Ride Report

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  • North Cascades Ride Report

    OK, here is my account:

    On Weds 8/31 I did my first ride from our new home in Spokane up to our cabin at Republic. I avoided the busy main route, which starts with miles of stop lights as you go north through Spokane on US 395, and instead headed west out past the airport on US 2. After about 20 minutes I turned north at the town of Reardan on Hiway 231. At this point, the throttle rolled on, as the road was pretty much empty, rural and gently winding. I followed this up to the town of Springdale, and turned west on the Springdale-Hunters road. This is a decent motor road that winds through the low range of mountains that separate the Columbia River from the valleys to the north of Spokane. About 30 miles later I reached Hiway 25, that runs along the Columbia up to Kettle Falls- not much for twisties, but fast and scenic. From there over Sherman Pass, which is pretty fun, to Republic on US 20. Total of 160 miles or so.

    Thursday was my big mileage day. I left early and rode from Republic on Highway 20 for 212 miles over the Cascades to Marblemount and met Bret and Carrie, up from Tacoma. I took a rest break on the way over Loop Loop pass, hidden in the woods, after possibly offending a Washington State Patrolman with a pass that some might have found questionable. I did not really want to discuss it with him. The North Cascades were stunning and the temp perfect; traffic was light until I reached the western side, where patience was required for the final 20 miles down to Marblemount. I was a bit late, but Bret and Carrie had only been there about 5 minutes, so all good. We promptly rode back over the pass to the western town of Withrop, and met Gordon and his friend Florian for lunch. I needed the rest!

    We rolled out for Republic after lunch, but after Loop Loop pass (no issues) we turned SW at Omak and took a slightly longer route over to Hiway 21, emerging about 35 miles south of Republic. We chose that route for the better twisties, and the road was in excellent condition. Not excellent was an RV spewing large amounts of water out at every left turn. We finally got past that mess and made it back to Republic.

    More later
    "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids

  • #2
    I got my Rand McNally road atlas out and following along
    My ol' ZZR1200 pics:
    http://zzrbikes.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=156883

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    • #3
      Continuing...

      I guess I am feeling my age, because after 440 miles on Thursday I was really shot. Fortunately, we had lots of cold beer and good food, and commenced to gather around the fire pit and enjoy both. After dinner Gordon pulled out the cigars and I opened up the fine-sipping bourbon; a very enjoyable evening, I must say.

      Friday Bret and Amanda hit the road early, and Florian also headed back to his home in the BC Okanogan area. Gordon and I headed out to meet Tex in Chewelah for lunch. We crossed the mountains over Sherman Pass and the tried a road I had not ridden before, down the west side of the Columbia from near Kettle Falls to a place call Inchillium, on the Colville Indian Reservation. It was about 40 miles of pretty good, not great, motorcycle road, through a very sparsely populated area with awesome views across Lake Roosevelt. We then caught the small ferry across the river to Giffords. From there we took a frankly boring road through the hills over to Chewelah to meet Tex for lunch. You have all heard about the the call that Tex received while we there, and afterward we escorted our shocked and shaken friend home to his family. Gordon and I rode north from there and met Dave (NDY) in Kettle Falls, where he had been waiting for us for a while. From there we rode over Sherman Pass again to our cabin, for another dinner and camp-fire with bourbon for desert. On the way there Dave's ZX14 started acting up- you may have read about that elsewhere. The next morning we tried several fixes, thought we had it sorted, and he rode for home; we were glad to hear later that he made it in spite of continued gremlins.
      Gordon also rode out for home that morning.

      And so ended our short, bittersweet Mini-Two West 2019. I rode home the next day using much of the same route down to the ferry- but there I encountered a nasty smoke cloud from a large wild fire that had broken out further south on the reservation. It was good to finally get home!

      Sorry about the lack of pics this year!
      "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids

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      • #4
        I posted a couple of pics I took at Greg’s cabin in another thread. In case you missed them there I will post them here as well. He really does have piece of heaven!
        C95B94CB-CEE6-4FD6-8161-5A3BA54FE32E.jpeg7DB2811B-FA06-4BB8-B9D4-6543B5A24916.jpeg


        "I tried being reasonable, I didn't like it!"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by NotDeadYet View Post
          I posted a couple of pics I took at Greg’s cabin in another thread. In case you missed them there I will post them here as well. He really does have piece of heaven!
          C95B94CB-CEE6-4FD6-8161-5A3BA54FE32E.jpeg7DB2811B-FA06-4BB8-B9D4-6543B5A24916.jpeg
          Dave, thanks for posting those pics! Next time I ride the North Cascades Hiway I will take a few shots of the jaw-dropping scenery and post them up.

          G
          "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids

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          • #6
            Clearing out of the city was no sweat, we rode out on Hwy 3 up the peninsula and caught the ferry from Port Townsend over to Coupeville. As we got on the ferry, I looked at Carrie and said once again, I should have got a GoPro....amazing views and crystal clear.

            Greg's rendition from Marblemount to Republic is spot on. And the ride from Winthrop to Republic was stellar. Heat caught up with me near the end of Cash Creek east of Nespalem, and had to pull back on the happy handle. Florian was right behind me and I felt horrible slowing him up. Greg and Gordon left off the the asshat who didn't know how to close his grey water or water service tank on his trailer. Nothing worse than every single left turn getting sprayed with aromatic water....Unless you're on fresh asphalt with water spraying out....Slickery I must say....

            When Carrie and I pulled out of Republic the following morning, and cleared the road construction, it was literally clear sailing with maybe 6 or 7 cars to pass before hitting Cash Creek Rd. From there, over Cash Creek, we passed 2, it was empty fast, and amazing all the way to Nespelam. From there, it was all scenery down past Banks and rest of the way. Weather was stunning from the time we left home all the way. Missed 1 rain storm in Yakima, and then beat feet for the barn over Cayuse and Chinook pass. Stellar scenery and no obstructions of clouds. Heavy traffic built up by the time we got passed the Cayuse, and it was dragging ass slow all the way home. Longest 60 miles home.

            Great meeting Gordon and Florian. Greg and Annette were amazing hosts with a huge spread of wonderful foods. Best wishes to Tyler heading off to school as well. Looking forward to the next ride. All of us must have been good boys and girls....no certificates of speed....that I know of anyway.

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