Day 1 Everett, WA to Williams Lake, BC
When some plans fell though on another trip the gang and I settled on plans to head north and see as much as we could in 9-10 days, and boy did we. We headed out from western Washington mid-day on a Friday, blasted the interstate to the US-Canada border after a quick lunch stop in Bellingham for cash and Port of Subs. Soon after crossing the boarder the weather turned to stifling as we sweated our way through the city core of Vancouver before heading up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler. After the fast S turns of the Sea to Sky we stopped for a quick water break in Whistler before setting out sights on Lillooet for the next fuel stop. Since this was all familiar territory we wanted to make it as far north as possible to keep the future days more manageable. Continue reading
Took the two strokes out for a little Sunday ride in Cle Elum. Epic. This could be one the the best areas that I have found in WA thus far for single track riding. Of course no video, too lazy to deal with the GoPro but today would have been a ride to record.
Here is the GPX tracks of the ride
We headed out Friday afternoon with a destination of Harrison Hot Springs to camp where ever we could find. We stopped at Bob Burgers and grabbed a burger before hitting short line at the border. Right after crossing the boarder we hit a fresh market that had a great selection of snacks for the night. After loading it all in the Zega’s we pressed on to Harrison to look for a camp spot. Sasquatch was the intended target but luck was not playing in our favor and it was packed. We did find a provincial campground on the way up the forest service roads before the last gas stop. While it was a decent camp spot they have a screwy way of charging. We had 1 spot with 2 tent and 4 bikes, which all fit inside the same site… They charged us for 4 cars so lucky for us we just set up in a $70 campsite. Naturally the host was a rule czar so we payed and bitched and moaned while we cooked dinner.
We left camp mid morning and headed up the West side of Harrison Lake, destination was Pemberton for dinner and camp just north of town.
We made it up the lake and river without any issue except for a flat on the Sertao about 15km from Hwy 99.
About 15-20 min and a gallon of sweat later we were on the way with a cold beer in Pemberton waiting. We fueled up, filled the water bags and headed toward The Wood for a great meal. The food never disappoints and is a must stop when we are in Pembe. After dinner we headed up Portage Rd looking for a camp spot near Gates Lake. About 10 min outside of Birkin lake I lost Morgan in the mirror and pulled over to wait, thinking god he is slow today I turned around. Turns out he blew the front shock on his water boxer and it was making some cool noises on the rebound. We limped it to a great spot Whispering Falls Resort good views and hot shower that we were not expecting. After a late night with Lagavulin we got around made Bacon and left over french fry breakfast burritos and headed toward D’Arcy for the Highline Rd to Lillooet.
We assessed the shock situation in D’Arcy and decided to split up and meet in Lillooet we take the dirt and Morgan and Tamara will take the scenic section of 99 and we will take the dirt. The dirt was good and the scenery was amazing, the views are stunning. The road winds up and gives some great overlooks and then drops down into Seton Portage.
From there it winds up and over the mountain and comes down on to Carpenter lake. By this time the storm was almost in full effect and we were pretty deep in the woods.
We crossed the dam, took some pictures and saw a bear. After a few distant pictures of the bear we pressed on though the rain.
The road from here is pretty much a gravel road that over looks the river on the east side. All was good and Lillooet was in sight on the GPS and out of nowhere there was a hooded figure on the side of the road. We slowed to get a better look since it was quite a way from town, glad we did. When I lifted my helmet she happened to look up and was all bloody, her truck went over a pretty steep ledge about 500m down. She was ejected from the truck and somehow climbed back up. We rendered first aid and debated how we were going to get her into town. She was in what appeared to be shock and was bleeding from a few spots on her head. Considering the conditions and remoteness we thought about moving bags and letting her hitch a ride on the back. After more thought we decided not since she could pass out and fall off, making things worse. Luckily a interior road crew truck was coming up the road to clear a mudslide and he happened to have a radio to call and aid car. We left her in his hands to wait for the aid car and we continued into town. We made it to town and stopped for some hot coffee and to dry off a bit. About 20min later we saw the RCMP and an ambulance head up the road, hopefully she recovered well. We waited for the rain to let up a bit before heading to Kamloops for the last evening. Given the relentless rain we decided to grab a hotel in town and have a warm shower. They let us park under the front overhang which was nice and even better when we saw a few Hardly Ablesons roll in and have to park outside, the poor chrome.
Next morning after some Tim Hortons we headed back down 5 toward the border. We made it back without issue and headed to Aslan Brewing in Bellingham for some fish tacos and beer before riding Chucukanut home. It was a fun trip and can’t wait to do more BC riding.
Another great weekend in the Pacific Northwest. We headed out to Walker Valley ORV Park in Mt. Vernon, WA for some woods riding on the 2 strokes. At was a great time for all and we ended the night with some great friends around the campfire. Sunday was brunch, a short ride and oil changes in the smokers so we are ready for the projected sun next weekend.
Ashley and I headed out for a long weekend in Portland for Beergasm and the Craft Brewers Conference 2015. It was a great time that always goes to fast, there was tons of great beer, food and friends. We headed back a bit early to get some miles on the bikes at Walker Valley. Another great weekend.
Since we didn’t have a winter this year early mt. riding came sooner than normal. We took the 2-stroke out and explored all the trails we could get to out Mt. Loop Highway. Up green mountain road, down all the side shoots and across the closed bridge. We found everything from sun to hail but any day on the bike is a good day for me.
We also attended the Tanks and Helmets show at Nuemos in Seattle, great art and cool bikes. The burnout was great this year. Stay tuned, more posts and riding to come.
While the northeast has been getting slammed we have had an extremely warm and dry winter, I guess you could say its payback for the Super Bowl. Saturday I headed out early to catch the 8am ferry out of Edmonds to do some riding on the Olympic Peninsula. Trails were fast and empty for the most part, despite the nice day, most people hiking/biking close to town. It was a short day due to some time constraints but it was fun. Sunday Ashley and I slept in way to late with Ham, he is quite the Sunday snoozer. Coffee and Breakfast were made and the afternoon was spent scrubbing the mud from previous weeks off the noble steeds. Next weekend looks wet for now but, Ham is crossing his toes for sun since we are headed to his Frenchie Frolic with his smush face crew at Magnuson Park.
With a sunny day in early March and the bikes out of commission for a few days we set off to check out Goat Lake. Located about 31mi east of Granite Falls out Mt. Loop highway, nestled between Foggy peak and Sloan peak. Approach is fairly level with a slight gain as the wide trail winds into the valley before forking giving you an option on what trail you want to take. We took the upper approach headed in and the lower river walk on the way back. There wasn’t much hiker traffic but more than I expected due to how far out it is. As you approach the lake the trail meets up with Elliot Creek, the outlet to the lake, for some pretty waterfalls.
The lake is very picturesque, as are most of the alpine lake in the region, partially frozen it was very calm. The mass of logs near the outlet makes a great picnic spot to take a load off before you start your decent.
Make sure to keep a lookout for the fork in the trail as it is easy to miss on the way down, I would suggest taking the opposite fork on the way back to get more bang for your buck. While not the hardest hike in the area its very doable with spring unconditioned legs. 1400′ feet in total ascent and 10.5mi in length. Put it out your spring list.
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.