Thursday, July 12, 2012

Over the Top

Bright and early up in the sky: happy tribe members getting ready to head out for a long day: pics from the climb: tribe members at the top: Aaron off the bike after the climb: pics from the top: lunch at the top: Keilan at Diablo Lake Overlook

What a day!  Day 5 is the longest of the rides for this tribe.  Everyone was up EARLY.  Fortunately Jack and I had the sense to get even earlier and have coffee and breakfast ready to go by 5:45.  I think everyone was out of camp by 6:30.  With 95.1 miles and two mountain passes to ride over this was a good idea.  Plus, they were trying to beat the heat.  It wasn't as hot today, but still in the 80's.

Today's route took the tribe West out of Winthrop along the Methow River, a gradual uphill to the base of Washington Pass.  Then the fun began.  A 10 mile climb of up to 8% grade and topping out at 5,477 feet.  Lunch was at the camp ground at the top and the tribe got to go out to the overlook and see what they had just accomplished.  Good job tribe!

We stopped in Mazama on the way by, and if you are on highway 20 ever it's a great little time out.  They have a fabulous general store and deli and a new sports outfitting store with bike rentals, maps, hiking & camping gear.....worth the time off the road.

A funny thing happened at the lookout.  Our friend Jim from Baltimore, who thinks it's a vacation to take time off from work and wash dishes on our rides, walked out to the lookout to take some pics.  A couple was there with a minister and some friends and asked him if he wanted to witness their wedding!  Of course he did, and now he has another story to tell!

After the tribe left the campground they had a screaming downhill for about 10 miles, then another shorter climb up to Rainy Pass, elevation 4,855 feet.  After that it was downhill most all of the way into Newhalem, with a stop at the Diablo Lake overlook. (Except for Jim from ACA, he didn't want to waste the downhill by stopping!)  From Newhalem it was another 25 miles into camp, riding along the Skagit River into Howard Miller Steelhead Park.  Our last rider came in at 7:30 to a round of applause from the whole tribe!  It was a gorgeous day and a fabulous ride.

Dinner tonight was a pasta feast to refuel the tribe.  Linguini with meat sauce, Orzo with pesto cream sauce & sun dried tomatoes, sautéed zucchini, green salad, and Aaron's Oreo pudding surprise for dessert.  (The surprise is that it didn't end up on the floor of the truck as it has in the past!)

Lot's of beer and lot's of stories tonight then everyone was off early to bed.  Tomorrow is and easier day into Bay View State Park.  Everyone is eager to partake in the seafood happy hour and the salmon bbq.  I'll let you know how it goes!

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