9.1.09 - 9.7.09
Our fall motorcycle trip to the Okanogan region and Kootenay Rockies.
9.1.09 - 9.7.09
journey home alone
9.7.09 - 9.7.09 66 °F
I woke early this morning and watched the sun rise over the Osoyoos valley from my friend's home atop Anarchist Mountain. The internet was still out since his antenna was hit by lightening the night before, but the satellite tv still worked and today's forecast was mixed. After breakfast I headed out around 8:30 for the border crossing and the long ride home.
breakfast with Ajai and Jackie
No fun roads, just a mission to get home after being on the road 7 days and try to get ahead of the weather. I went straight south on 97, to 97a into Chelan. 97a was busy since 97 was closed due to the bridge being out after a bad accident last week. Refueled in Chelan and continued onward and the post Labor Day RV parade was in full swing. Lots of passing where possible, a few radar hits from WSP but no performance awards earned. I was deciding right up until the last minute if I should take Rt 2 or I-90 and finally though I-90 might be better with the extra lanes and normally faster speed on that. So down Blewett Pass I went looking forward to getting on the gas once on the I-90 in Cle Elum, and much to my disappointment as soon as I hit I-90 I was in 10mph bumper to bumper traffic. It rolled back from forth from 20 to 5 with only an occasional full stop, but it was still too damn slow after so many miles over the past week. I couldn't take it so I got off in Roslyn to get a bite to eat and hopefully let the rolling road block thin out.
An hour later I was ready to go again. After lunch it was drizzling a little so I put on the rain gear before leaving. I went back to the freeway and found my plan worked - it was clean and clear! or so I thought. The traffic wasn't really gone, it had simply moved to the next exit. Once I got to Easton, traffic came to a screeching halt again. After a mile or so I saw a beat up old camper in the median on the eastbound side of the road with its side ripped open. Apparently all this traffic was due to everyone slowing to catch a glimpse of the damage, once past the wreck, traffic immediately picked up. All that back up from the looky-loo's going home. About the same time a steady rain started falling and got progressively heavier the close I got to the pass. Over the pass and the rain got torrential. I had no choice but to press on for the next 45 miles downhill. Around North Bend my low gas light came on, but it was so miserable out and I was so close I pressed on until getting to the main drag in Sammamish. I filled up again, then head the few miles home and pulled into the garage with Michelle waiting for me. A quick hug and I was home.
Another trip on the books. I rode some great roads I hadn't been on before, found some roads to avoid in the future, met new riders and made new friendships. Can't wait for the next one!
this was not Cary's day...
9.6.09 - 9.6.09 66 °F
well, today was going to be semi-transit day as we moved from Colville to the western side of the Okanogan valley, somewhere near Omak or elsewhere in the vicinity to allow an early return ride on Monday. But the weather was foreboding, with cold dark skies remaining from heavy squalls the night before. Cary was having more problems with his helmet, yesterday one of the side pods that holds the shield on broke so he had to duct tape it on, today the other side popped off. Less then a mile out of the hotel we had to pull over so Cary could tape the other side pod back on. A few miles later the drops started falling so we pulled over for Jim and Cary to don rain gear (Steve and I put ours on at the hotel).
Cary's problematic helmet
Jim and Cary don rain gear
A few miles later Cary's side pod popped off again, Steve saw it come flying off and stopped to retrieve it while I chased Cary down to get him to stop to re-tape it back on again. At this point Cary was done. He just wanted to go home so we all agreed to stay together and skip the back roads tour and take highway 20 west directly to Tonasket instead. Although it was wet it was still a nice ride across the valley.
Once in Tonasket we stopped at a local gas station to have a snack, and decide what the next move was going be. I had made plans with an old friend who lives in Osoyoos to spend the night with him, so after a cup of coffee and a snack I said goodbye to the team and headed north.
Gas stop in Tonasket
I took a short side trip up Havillah Rd towards Chesaw, then west to Oroville before heading for the border.
The rest of the group headed south and began their trek across the passes to get back home. The weather was very fierce and I'm sure their ride home was not very pleasant. I almost felt guilty for going back to Canada instead west with them, but I'd get my turn in riding in the rain the following day when I headed home.
But, not so guilty as to be so amazed at my friends Ajai and Jackie's home on top of the mountain.
The observatory on the right
the view from the observatory
traditional Indian dinner
Colville local roads
9.5.09 - 9.5.09 82 °F
266 Miles today. Since we were unable to go to Canada, plan B kicked in and we rode a bunch of fantastic roads around here. We rode Aladdin Rd up to Northport, then circled around Onion Creek to Douglas Falls Rd. back into Colville. This was great loop, although the first 3 miles or so were gravel due to construction, the rest of the roads were terrific.
Somewhere on Onion Creek Rd
From here we did Flowery Trail Rd From Chewelah all the way until we hit the chip seal section, then turned around and rode it back. We stopped at McDonald's for lunch because it was there and available.
From Chewela we rode down to Springdale then west to Hunters. Up northeast on Cedonia-Addy Rd, the west again on Addy-Gifford Rd. We took a short break here, for a drink, a pee and a snack.
After our short break we rode north to Rice, took Orin-Rice east to 395, then a short counter clockwise loop on Old Arden Rd to 20 and back into Colville for the end of the ride. I did get separated from the group at the last turn because I stopped to take a picture and Jim missed the turn according the route we discussed at the rest break, I guess I should have just waited to be found, but we were close and everyone knew where we were supposed to be within the next half hour so I finished the ride alone and met everyone in town. Oh well, it all worked out.
some pictures from after I got seperated from the group
All in all a GREAT riding day on FANTASTIC road local roads.
OK Check - Marty
Nearest Location:not known
Time:09/05/2009 22:41:14 (GMT)