Marv and I had been watchful of the weather, and concluded it would be a good weekend to ride to Eastern Washington. After putting out feelers to our frequent riding friends, Chris, Kurt, and Cary would be joining us, so we’d need three rooms. When we started looking for motel rooms in various towns we normally frequent, we discovered there was some sort of Search and Rescue convention that had filled many of the motels, so finding three suitable rooms at the same motel was problematic. We finally found rooms in Electric City. It turned out to be a good place, but with a weak internet connection.
Kurt, Marv, and Chris met in Smokey Point, and then rode together to meet Cary and me in Sedro Woolley at the Park & Ride at the west end of the South Skagit Highway.
It was a warm Saturday morning and, after a brief ‘hello’, we headed east on the always-entertaining South Skagit Highway to Concrete and then on to Marblemount, where we stopped for gas.
The North Cascades Highway over Rainy Pass and Washington Pass was clear, with sharply-sculpted snow banks along the shoulders.
Washington Pass offered an opportunity for some photos and a leg stretch.
After descending the east slopes of the Cascades through the Methow Valley to Twisp, we stopped for lunch at La Fonda Lopez, a Mexican Restaurant. The people who run it are friendly, and the food is fresh and of good quality. Kurt discovered La Fonda Lopez a couple of years ago, and it’s now a semi-regular stop for us.
A major landslide on Loup Loup Pass had not yet been cleared, so we had to detour from one of our favorite segments of the planned route. Landslides are common in areas where mountains are denuded by fires, and there had been a very large forest fire in the region in 2014. Since we couldn’t take Loup Loup Pass, we followed the Methow River southeast to Pateros, and then turned north to Okanagan.
The Columbia River Road across the Nez Perce reservation follows the Columbia River Valley from Omak to Electric City. The valley is lovely in the spring – green and alive.
After pausing for gasoline and a break in Nespalem, we arrived at the motel in Electric City about 30 minutes later.
There aren’t many options for food around our motel, but we did find a no-frills diner for dinner.
Our group split up the next morning. Cary lives in Wenatchee, so he was close to home. Cary led Chris and Kurt south through the Coulee over a couple of his favorite backroads. Chris continued over Blewett Pass and I-90 to his home in West Seattle. Kurt went over Highway 2 to his home in Redmond. Marv and I retraced the path from the day before over Highway 20 back to Sedro Woolley where we split at the same spot where we had met the previous morning.
Each of us chimed in on an email thread later in the afternoon that we had made it home. It was a short ride, and gave us inspiration for our next ride, which will be coming up in July.