Carbonado

Kurt had his eye on the weather forecast and, mid-week, sent Marv and  me an email that he wanted to  make a day-ride on Saturday. We  were both game, but I had to see if I could get the weekend off work. My weekend was up in the air until Friday night when my work-load turned out to be sufficiently light,  I didn’t have to go in  Saturday or Sunday, so I was free to go riding.

Click on the map to open the Garmin Track Player page.

Click on the map to open the Garmin Track Player page.

Marv and I met Kurt at the Novelty Hill Starbucks bright and early Saturday  morning, just as the fog was  clearing. When we arrived, Kurt was visiting with a friend who happened to be at Starbucks.  Mark, who also rides, was on his  way out as Marv and I walked  in.

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We spent half an hour catching  up with Kurt, while I reveled in my first cup of coffee for the day. Marv, who doesn’t drink coffee, was ready to  go, so we hauled it up and got on our bikes to head out.

I was on my BMW, which rarely gets a turn at joy riding. I usually ride my  Kawasaki for the fun rides, and  the BMW for foul weather and commutes. I’m always pleasantly reminded how good a bike it is for the fun  stuff too. It has plenty of horsepower and is every bit as exhilarating in the  twisties.

We took a circuitous path  south through King County and into Pierce County.   After riding through the small towns of Wilkeson and Carbonado, we finally arrived at the banks of the Carbon  River. Following the dead-end Carbon  River Road up the valley,  we made a few stops for photos of the scenery. Although we weren’t alone on the roads, the  traffic was light.

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Shortly before reaching the ranger  station, we found the rangers had  barricaded the road, so we turned  and rode across the long bridge  over the Carbon River and  parked. While Kurt and I  stretched our legs and took some photos,  Marv walked back across the bridge and talked to the rangers. He reported  that the rangers weren’t letting anyone past the blockade into that section of  the wilderness because, with the current government shut-down, there would be no search-and-rescue personnel available to retrieve the  unlucky, should retrieval be  necessary.

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We began our return trip the way we had come. Kurt had heard of the historic Carbonado  Saloon, but had never been able to find it. A few miles down the river, we  turned to swarm the town to try and locate it. Although real men never ask directions, Kurt acquiesced and  asked a local for directions, and was able to lead us to it.

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According to the beautiful bartender, the Carbonado Saloon is housed in a building built in the 1880’s. After we  ordered and were waiting for our service, the place started to fill with other riders who had arrived on a  large assortment of motorcycles.  After finishing our lunch, we took a  more-direct route north towards home. We stopped for a coffee break at  the Snoqualmie Falls overlook, and then  took a few nice county roads until we got near Kurt’s house where he split off. Marv and I  continued to Marv’s for some ice cream. It was a great day. I’m always happy  when I can spend the day riding with Marv and  Kurt. The good photos in this report are Kurt’s.

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  1. Pingback: Carbonado | John Triggiani

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