A sunny day in February is hard to come by so we decided to do a little dirt riding. We departed out of the Issaquah Egg and Us and headed east on I90 to Ellensburg to catch section 2 of the Washington Backcountry route. This section holds the nasty rocky section know as Bethel Ridge, what better combination is there than nasty, rocky, hilly, baby head size rocks and huge adventure machines. There isn’t one. We gassed up and headed towards the hills to tame the beast. We were one short of the adventure foursome this weekend due to some domestic duties (family wedding) that Tamara was tending to, she was missed but she probably didn’t miss Ol’ girl Bethel.
All seemed easy breeze for a while, easy rolling hills and great views. After a while of standing and not paying attention to the GPS I noticed we missed a turn and were not on the right road, rookie. We took the opportunity to take a break and get down on some steak strips, dried mangos and valdosta pecans before doing some recalculating. We found a connector road that met up with the trail and pressed on, only to find out its freaking elk migration season and a large locked gate. Whomp Whomp. This gave us the opportunity to head back and ride what we missed on the little “adventure cut”.
Soon after turning back we found what we were looking for on Ol’ lady Bethel, the riding changed drastically from rolling hills to ruts and rocks galore. There were some spills and some big bikes taking small “naps” but we made it out and back to the highway without too much damage, bumps or bruises.
We decided to catch section 3 from Ellensburg to Cashmere to avoid pavement to Leavenworth. All was good till we ran into reality of winter in February in the Pacific Northwest, snow blocking the road and 31°. After frantically donning the heated gear we blasted over Blewett Pass north to find some beer and brats in little Bavaria.
Now for what turned out to be the roughest/stupidest part of the day, tempting fate on two wheels crossing a mountain pass at night in the winter. 45mi of clenching later the temp was rising and we were in the home stretch, a warm shower felt pretty good. 376mi, 14hrs, a few doritos locos, quesoritos, 3 brats and a ton of mud later it was a good pretty good day or riding.