Monday, January 27, 2014

WABDR Adventure Ride Day 4

Day 4

After our stay in Leavensworth, we were well rested and ready to make our way back towards home. We had intended on riding trails back towards Tacoma, stopping short about 40 miles and camping in an area called Green Water. This would be a good days ride on the trail and allow us to simply ride home the following day.

The mood was good, though we were leaving Brandon behind, and this out a damper on the remaining ride. Jim and I said Goodbye to Brandon and headed out to pickup the trail that would take us west/southwest through the mountains.

We found our trail just a few miles down the road and I fell in behind Jim, who had the GPS. We enjoyed some nice dirt trails as we gained elevation and made our way towards the mountains. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves in the all too familiar position of being uncertain which trail to take, at a three way fork in the trail!

We spent an hour or so trying each one, only to find a dead end or having the trail take us the wrong way. Not again!!??? We had just started and this was a bit frustrating. We decided to go south a bit on pavement to head into the mountains/trails at a point further south.

We made our way south and picked up a trail that appeared correct and we rode this for quite a while before running into yet another dead end!? We rode a steep, westerly trail that looked like it would take us into/over the mountains in front of us. It was fun!! Nice hill climb…sometimes steep, sometimes not. It followed a ridge that gave us some really nice views of the town of Cle Elum below…wayyyy off in the distance. Just as we were really enjoying this trail and had climbed a good 1000 feet in elevation, we hit…….another dead end!!!! Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Jim and I get off our bikes and take a break. We grab a snack and some water and sit down, taking in the view. We check the map and the GPS. We talk about how we have already used over three hours trying to find our way. Most importantly…we agree that we do not want to repeat day two's events and kill a day, stubbornly trying to find the correct route.

We had tried to get the correct map page for this area as well, but were unable to, so we were dependent on instinct and GPS at this point.

We decided to just head home via Interstate 90 to Highway 18…both very fast roads, but very direct routes. We rode back down the mountain and hit I-90. I am sure we looked funny with our tiny little bikes cruising in the right lane at 55-60 mph as the much faster cars and semi’s used the other three westbound lanes to get past us!!

As we are making our way west and had almost gotten to our Hwy 18 cutoff, Jim looks up at an off ramp to see….Brandon!  Brandon is up at the top of the on-ramp, trying to adjust his motorcycle, which he had secured to a motorcycle carrier attached to his SUV’s trailer hitch. Jim pulls over and then goes the wrong way up the on-ramp. OOOOOOOKKKK...hope no one is coming!!... I follow him up and there’s Brandon! He was very surprised to see us as I am sure he thought we were much further along in or ride back towards Tacoma.  We tell him what had happened and he tells us his bike is flopping around like a fish and he is afraid it might come off the rack!! Jim and I give him a hand getting the bike super secure on the rack, so he can make it back home without worry. We snap a few photos of the impromptu meeting, and we tell Brandon we will be taking pavement back home.  e say goodbye for the second time that day and head out.
It isn’t long before Brandon and his family are passing us on I-90 heading west.  A short while later Jim and I hit Hwy 18 and head south. It is a pretty boring and uneventful ride at this point, added to the fact that the trip is “over”. Not so fun at this point. We make decent time and seeing a large motorcycle dealership just outside of Auburn, WA…we decide it’s a good time to take a break!

We spent some time walking around, daydreaming about the new bikes we cant afford butttttttttt...It is always fun to look! I walk over and sit on a brand new Suzuki DR650 Dual Sport. Man it fits me perfectly!!  I am dirty and dusty from the days ride and look a bit like a bum with my off road riding gear on. I play around with the bike a bit, as I assumed it was outside for display. I dismount the bike and as we continue to look around, we notice a few minutes later, that the bike had been prepped for a customer that had just purchased the bike!! Oooops! Sorry man!!! (Hope I didn’t scratch it/get it dirty!)

We climb back on our bikes and head for home. As we arrive at the turnoff that takes you to Puyallup, WA or west to Interstate 5, Jim and I wave and part ways, as he has to ride to State Route 16 to get back home, as I ride towards Tacoma.

It was a bit of a letdown to end the ride running on pavement for the day, but it seems each trip has its own “flavor” of sorts. I have come to accept the trips for what they are…great, good or a little less good!   It is always fun to get away from the City and leave responsibilities behind for a time and  this ride was no exception. We learned a few more lessons, that will certainly help make future trips less problematic…and we came back healthy, unhurt and with our bikes intact. (well...Brandon's…was more or less "intact"!!)

I look forward to the next adventure!

No comments:

Post a Comment