This is the first time I have ridden a highway twice. Highway 20 through the Northern Cascades is the number one destination highway in Washington State. It did not disappoint the second time either. I rode east to west in August to finish up my Oregon Coast, California Redwoods run. Ridding from Anacortes up to Winthrop however was a more thrilling route. It could be the fact that I was on the brand new Tiger! The bike was incredible. Everything feels very solid underneath you. The suspension is firm but at the same time you don’t feel every part of the road run right up through your arms. Right up on the pegs and dive back and forth between perfectly pitched curves up an amazing climb from sea level to 7000 feet!
As you come out of Anacortes and gas up the farm land slowly builds up twists as you approach the Skagit River. The highway is like loading a trebuchet (yes I just did that) ready to throw you off the top of the Cascades. The climb twists and turns at a constant climb up through tunnels and by lakes and dams. The sun was shining all the way to the top. Heat vest got plugged in at rest stop just after Diablo Lake and worked perfectly. As I approached the pass a high level cloud created a fog bank which was a little sketchy. I knew that off to my right as I came around a 30 mile an hour hairpin was a several thousand foot drop off. I couldn’t see 10 feet in front of me at this point much less the drop beside me. This lasted about 10 minutes before I dropped out cloud bank and descended into the Methow Valley. The change in terrain is very drastic. One side of the pass is lush green rain forest. The other side is rolling ranch land. It is like a line was drawn across the barrier.
Checked into the Cascade Inn in Winthrop to a rowdy group of Harley riders without their Harleys? The Surrey Harley Owners Group had planned a trip this weekend but didn’t want to ride in the rain! WTF. They were all in cars. Hats, shirts, vest and party at the pool was the only reason I knew they were bikers. Meet some really nice folks though and got given a new ball cap.
Off to Grand Coulee Dam and Leavenworth today…