Sunday, June 5, 2011

MADE IT!! over two major passes

 Cal MADE IT!!!!   over 5400 ft Washington Pass!  The highway grade to the Pass was not any steeper than the ‘Lowell hill’ in Iowa it is just 3 - 4 miles long, instead of a 1/3 mile long hill at Lowell. Cal was very apprehensive when he started this morning.  He was on his way at and finished at tonight, covering nearly 55 miles and going over two passes.  The passes were 5 miles apart, and he had a 3 - 400 foot drop after Rainy Pass before going up again to Washington Pass.  Rainy Pass is 4855 ft and Washington pass is 5477 ft.  He did not give in to the male testosterone and push it through without stopping.  In fact on the really steep portions of Washington Pass the stops were quite frequent, but he kept pushing to the top.  I kept reminding him, “it is not how fast he gets there, but that he gets there”.  He made it!!  I was waiting at the top of each Pass so I could take a photo of him beside the ‘elevation’ sign. On top of the Passes the snow was around 8 feet deep.

Rainy Pass

Washington Pass

I kept taking photos of the peaks in front of me and behind me.  I was traveling slow enough and pulling off frequent enough that I was able to really enjoy the surroundings. I loved all the water falls and fast flowing rivers.  It is raw nature. I love it. 
They are keeping several pieces of equipment on Washington Pass to clear any new avalanches, and rock slides. Beside other bikers riding the same route, there were lots of young adults on the Passes with ski equipment and other sporting equipment for use in the snow.

Envoy on Rainy Pass with all of the snom

Cal made his goal of the day – making it over the pass, and is here to tell about it!!  ‘Going down’ the other side of the pass was quite a trip! -10 miles of continuous down.  He does not let himself go over 30 mph because his Trike becomes unstable when he nears 35 mph.

Diablo Lake behind Gorge Dam

Ross Lake behind Ross Dam

Mountain Stream in the Cascades

One of the Many Waterfalls due to Snowmelt

Tonight we are in brand new lodge in Winthrop.  Winthrop is a town with very western décor. 
Main Street
looks like it came out of the old western movies.  At this point we are planning to take Sunday off.  Cal has been riding all week and he needs a day off.  We decided to be in a motel the day he takes off.   

I did not say anything about our camping experience last night.  We were in a lovely campground, however there were no showers!  I heated water over the camp stove for Cal to clean up.  I also heated water to wash his biking clothes.  After supper we made a camp fire, but by the time we were going to bed it had begun to cool off.  The temperature kept dropping to the lower 40’s.  We do not have a heavy duty tent for the cold, so we decided to sleep in our clothes.  I put the extra wool blankets we had over our sleeping bags, and still I nearly froze (I like to be toasty warm when I sleep).  I actually put Cal’s socks over my socks to keep my feet warm.  In a way I did not want to get up in the cold this morning, but then again when I do get up I would be moving around and warm up.  Later I could warm up in the vehicle and Cal would warm up as he rides.  Camping in the cold is not my thing! I definitely voted for a motel for tonight.  This is not saying we will not camp again, but hopefully it will be warmer.

The Highway off Washington Pass - Snow Everywhere
I have talked about the weather in relationship to moisture - we have been having non-rainy weather since we began the ride however I have not said anything about the temperature.  I have been wearing my silk long johns and long sleeved over shirts the whole time. I take off the over shirt, but by it is back on.  This evening was the warmest weather we have had since beginning. At the restaurant tonight we ate outside and it was very comfortable.           

Kathy & Lou, Thanks for all your advice regarding Rt 20, plus we are going via Cooley Dam.  I did turn into Klipchuck campground – thought about you, but did not drive around very far.  It is so beautiful up here.

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