As Ranger Tommy stated: today was the BIG KAHUNA! The tribe wandered along the west side of the Methow Valley for about 12 miles, then a gradual climb that transitions into the Big Kahuna. 6 miles of 6-7% grade up to the top of Washington Pass. Absolutely the most breathtaking climb that you can imagine. At the top the tribe could look back at their great accomplishment! Then, down down down to the base of Rainy Pass and back up over the top and down down down for about 30 more miles to New Halem, then 17 miles to camp. 98.5 miles in all. AND EVERYONE MADE IT! A few did extra laps around the camp ground to get the infamous century! The last of the tribe made it to dinner at 8:00, cheered into camp by full, tired tribe members.
Dinner tonight: green salad with beets, gorganzola cheese, snap peas & bleau cheese dressing; honey spiced pork chops, russian fingerling potatoes, Indian curried vegetable stew, brownies & sliced fresh cantaloupe. The salad was amazing, and yes, I will post the recipe for the vegetable stew. Yummm. The tribe ate quite well and hit the sack early.
If you're making the loop: the BBQ in Marblemount at the BBQ train is really quite good. We stopped for lunch and had the brisket sandwich & coleslaw. Funny: the boys stopped there too before us and had the teriyaki chicken and loved it.
Tomorrow's ride is a pretty easy 50+ miles. They will ride in my sister's back yard! Mom & Dad will come out to help grill oysters & provide the famous Nana's rum cake. Mom & Dad have been helping with the tours since the get-go. They have followed us through Washington, Utah & Montana. Dad is infamous for his salmon & grilled oysters: Mom for her homemade cookies, fruit sauces & rum cakes. They too have made lasting friendships: one special gent from New York, Ed H. They touch base a couple times a year: usually when we are on a ride and his name comes up or we are somewhere that triggers him into Dad's memory! It is pretty funny: we cannot go anywhere, and I mean anywhere, without my dad knowing someone!
So: on to Bay View State Park and the feast of all feasts: the dinner everyone has been waiting for. Wish you could be here!