50 States Day 56, Marysville to Winthrop, WA 169 miles
"Do or do not, there is not no try."
First I wish my wife a happy birthday. Score one for me, as I bought her a present when in Anchorage. You would want me to tell you her age.
The previous Alaska trip felt totally different from the 50 States Adventure, as I flew solo, rode a (PP!)BMW GS650, and travelled in a foreign country (it sometimes felt that way!). So when we fired up the (PP!) Gold Wing today, it seemed like we restarted the Adventure.
Since the in laws are so wonderful - no pun intended- we dawdled and enjoyed the morning together as we packed. Finally at 11:00 a.m., we launched. Thanks to Phil and Amy for being great hosts! My dad and sister hooked us up during our Washington stay too, so kudos to them as well.
Washington hurdled and cleared the beauty bar, handily. From the first miles on Highway 9, through Highway 20 and the North Cascades all the way to Winthrop, we gawked at incredible views, and paid the price with an incredibly slow pace. Who cares?
"Oh, stop here," Quilter Girl would say. We'd pull in and overlook thundering waterfalls, thick mossy woods, and... well, gray skies. The lush landscapes come with a price and that price is rain.
Huge rivers crashed through ravines or cascaded down the sides of cliffs and meandered through lush green woods.
At the stops, we would end up in conversation with others, usually bikers, and talk about the trip. We met Tim Trapanier, who is doing the 50 states-on a bicycle! His saga is a three year journey, and he's just gotten the first year done. You can check him out at www.myspace.com/enterthewild.
Back on the highway with mountains looming on either side where the elevation climbed and the temperature dropped, from seventy- one to forty- five, and we had just removed our cold weather gear. Next it rained. Surely it wouldn't last, the sky looked clear ahead. Fortunately, it cleared up.
Then as we approached Winthrop on our incredibly long journey today, the rain fell, the wind blew, and lightning flashed ahead. We found a motel for the night and by the time we sat down to dinner the skies cleared, the wind ebbed, and we felt like cowards once again. No matter, the place is quaint, western and homey. Not homely.
Great to be back in the saddle again- that is, the traditional saddle.
Stay tuned for the Church Surch tomorrow.
MUTTERINGS, MUSINGS, RANT AND RAVES:
Seems like more rain and horrible weather yields more beauty. Alaska and Washington receive top scores for dazzling the eyes.
ALL WEEK I judged the approaching weather correctly and donned the gear or didn't and nailed it every time. Amazing.
I have always bagged on dual sports because they are bikes that do two disciplines poorly. Yet riding the BMW GS650 proved to me that they can do both... okay.
(PP!)Alaska Motorcycle Adventures rocks! Great place to rent a bike. Happy to have returned it having never dropped it.
What's with roundabouts? They seem to be the new chic road fad.
THE STUPID DRIVER OF THE WEEK
You. Driving the Conestoga wagon, the pickup with a camper hanging off every edge. Do you have rearview mirrors? Eight people are behind you, and with the winding Alaska road, are unable to pass you. I don't care how fast or slow you're going, MOVE OVER! For a sacrifice of thirty seconds, others can go at the pace they'd like. I did the math and you held us all up for a cumulative time of two hours. We don't need another sign, we don't need another law, we need you to be courteous.
2,494 Miles on the rental bike in Alaska
2,450 Miles they allotted. Got my money's worth!
7,212 Miles on the (PP!)Gold Wing from start
9,706 Total miles so far, for people keeping track on the Guess the Total Mileage
3 Total wild animals spotted in AK, all moose
1 Wild animal spotted in WA this week, a deer today
1,000,000 Population of Alaska, less than Hawaii
9.2 Richter scale of earthquake in '64, Anchorage, one of highest recorded
Finally, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the deer today, for remaining on the side of the road.
And thanks to all of you, for following.