Sunday, May 07, 2006

North Cascades - Season Opener Ride

It was a cold and stormy night. Actually, it was none of that.. but I was up late the night before. Regardless, a 7:15 am departure was made, for points north and hopefully to still catch up with the main body of the group in Arlington.

Seattle to Arlington
Our small group of 4, Fritz, Pete, Chris and myself endourted the uber-alb of I-5 for what seemed like hours, evntually arriving in Arlington. Weather was not bad, a bit chilly. The rest of the group was going to meet us here, an hour earlier. Fortunatly for them they did not wait around for us.

After a quick break and purchasing some supplies we were OFF!
Arlington to Darrington

Once off I-5 the roads were a lot more interesting, not great but interesting. Heading east on SR-530 towards Darrington the payment previous night indescressions (it was Cinco de Mayo afterall) was finally over. Fritz was riding point a spirited by appropriate pace, getting us to Darrington in good time.

It would be another 70+ miles until the next services. We feuld up the bikes while making a quick trip to visit with the Wizard of Ooze.

Some of the trips highlights!

  • Darrington to North Cascades Highway
  • Meeting at Washington Pass
  • Ripping the road fantastic
  • Burgers in Winthrop
  • Wind dancing along the river
  • Blown on Blewit
  • Thick as a missed Brick

In the end... we rode 450 miles, home by 5:30pm. No tickets, no downs and despite man valiant attempts by deer to commite suicide-by-bike, none suceeded. Once again the KTM not only performed but performed in an excellent fashion! Two thumbs up.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Back from California

Back from California (Santa Cruz beach)

Wow, what a great wonderful wacky and friend filled trip.

Monday - Left Seattle at 9:30pm. It was dark, rainy and I was in a bad mood from moving out of a really awesome house because my ex-wife up and left me holding the bag. Passed through Portland, OR half-past midnight. Found a motel just 25 miles south of the state line and called it a night.

Tuesday - Got up early to see thick fog and went back to sleep. Eventually got on the road around 9:00am. My mood was much better and quickly found myself in touring mode and loving it (except having to deal with Oregon to get to California). Reached Yreka around 2:00pm and decided I would eaily make Weaverville (my target for the day) so I took a great back road (about 100 miles or so) through the Trinity Alps, over a 5400 ft. pass covered with snow, and down into the valley. It was wonderful. Found a really comfortable hotel in town for $60, went to the only bar in walking distance and got a good buzz. Called it a night around midnight.

Wednesday - An old friend met me at the hotel around 10:00am and we sat and had some wine, talked about good times and bad, laughed about the silly turns life takes and just enjoyed the company. Checked out at noon and ripped along the river canyon out to Eureka on the coast. Yee ha! Headed south into Avenue of the Giants where I took some pics, tried to buy a sticker (no luck). Needed gas by Leggit and ended up paying $3.50 a gallon for it! %(OI*&(I&#$. Once out of the park it was 101 all the way to San Francisco. Reached the city by 7:00pm and managed to get clear of that cluster-**** and to my destination of the night (San Jose) before 9:00pm. Stayed up talking until midnight.

Thursday - Off to Santa Cruz and meet my buddy John at the beach. His kids were at the boardwalk riding rides and he'd staked out a nice central location on the beach to have a few beers and take in the sights. Yee HA! We dropped the kids off at the condo with is wife and went down to The Ideal for some dinnner, which turned into a night of Jeagermiester shots and we all know how those turn out. Met his very very cute neighbors. Had a lot of fun.

Friday - Woke up early (as I always do) but a bit sluggish from the night before. Around noon we took it upon ourselves to quest for some Gerbing heated clothing accessories (I needed a patch cord for my jacket liner so I could use it on the bike). Found those 30 miles south in Watsonville at a Beemer dealer of all places (*puke*). Headed back over the hill that night to have dinner with my family in Campbell and see my nieces.

Saturday - Back on the road again back to Santa Cruz too meet up at the condo again and then out for a ride with Johnny and his brother-in-law Tom. Had a kick-ass time riding those big bikes in the forest, down steep roads, meeting dopers out in the woods and getting stuck in big mud shoots on the older mountain fire roads. Later that night it was off to the Catalyst to watch a Led Zeppelin cover band, get more trashed and go looking for some friends at 'The Red Room'.

Sunday - Up early, again. Everyone was meeting up to hit The Ideal for a killer breakfast but I knew I needed to hit the road to get back here to take care of business first thing Monday morning. So at 9:15AM I lauchend out of Santa Cruz, CA heading north. By 9:00pm that night I had crossed the Oregon/Washington border and was heading north like a bat out of hell. The house where I'm renting rooms was not totally read yet and I needed to be in Tacoma (quite a distance south of the house) so I grabbed a room in Centrailia at 11:30pm.

Monday - Up early on the road to Tacoma. Got to the client's office later than I had hoped but they were glad to see me. Worked a full day, then back on the bike for the final leg home to Seattle.

What a GREAT trip. When I get my home office reset I'll upload some pictures. Sorry none of the neighbors but maybe next time.. LOL.

Maybe I'll see you on the road soon.. I'm always looking for a good excuse for a road trip!