Sunday, June 5, 2016

44: Another hot one

We got a very early start today - when I turned my Garmin on, it said 5:45 - but that was not early enough to allow us to avoid the heat altogether. We did have several hours climbing in the cool of the early morning, and the road was nearly empty until about 9:30 or so. Then the traffic picked up again, but at least we were well on our way.

Selfie with Summit, and Snow
Pretty tired!
We had two passes to summit today: Rainy Pass at 4855 feet and Washington Pass at 5477. In between, there's a descent of about 300 feet, so all in all, we climbed over 5300 feet.  We have done a lot of summits, even with a loaded up tandem, and I have to say, this day was among the hardest. There was a lot of 7 and 8 percent grades in there, and once we hit 9:30 or so, the day was heating up. We got to the top of Washington Pass about 12:30 and it was very hot by then - mid-nineties - and it got even hotter as we came down the other side. Kind of like when we ride up to Angelus Oaks in the summer, and then descend down to the oven in Redlands!

I love the ferns on the walls
The scenery was spectacular all along the route. There were so many waterfalls and cascades, I lost track of them. (And anyone who knows me knows that I keep track of everything!) The peaks would come into view over the trees, and for a full 4 1/2 hours we were constantly within the sound of rushing water.
Just amazing peaks

The descent down to Mazama reminded us of the back side of Independence Pass.  Big, sweeping turns, crazy peaks all around. Just amazing!

And the Mazama Store is rather amazing also. Little grocery/camp store in the middle of almost nowhere, with the snazziest selection of high-priced goods and comestibles you could every imagine.  Not a box of Saltines, or Ritz Crackers, but about 20 different brands of snack crackers (including gluten-free). Wine, beer, fancy cheeses.  Fresh produce, including morel mushrooms! It's certainly worth a stop. We actually ran into our friends from Germany again and had a pleasant visit in the air-conditioned dining alcove.  Bliss!

This cider house RULES!

When we reached our destination, we had to stop in at the Methow Valley Cider House. This was a treat for me, as I love cider. Who knew you could do a tasting flight of ciders? Lynn is the proprietor, and if you are in the area, you should try some. They don't make enough to distribute it outside the valley!

And last, we stayed at a nice little inn (River Run Inn) on the Methow River, where we had a nice cold soak for our legs. Then we borrowed their bikes for a short ride into town. I'm thinking I should keep it - since it matches my outfit!

Should I swap for this one?
The day's report: North Cascades NP to Winthrop, 64 miles/2021 to date


  1. Lovely account and pictures! I'd give anything for a good cider right now....that little store sounds like exactly what we need in Angelus Oaks.

    1. Oh, the cider! I am hoping to find another cider house before we leave apple country.


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