Round Trip Ride To Republic
When I suggested to Marv that we take advantage of a nice September weekend to make a motorcycle trip, he was all for it. Marv had made a few trips over the summer, but I had been out of vacation time, and hadn’t made any trips with him since late Spring.
After taking careful stock of possible destinations, we settled on Republic. We cast our net wide to our riding friends, and managed to snag John and Chris to make the trip with us. We set out Saturday morning – me from my house, and the others coming up from the Seattle area.
We met in Clear Lake where we happened across our friend Kurt with a group of Desmo NW riders on their way to Mount Baker. After a quick chat, we continued on for breakfast at Clark’s Cabins in Marblemount. With our appetites satiated, we went over the North Cascades Highway, and on to Republic.
Arriving at our motel in Republic, we met Chris’s co-worker Grant, and Grant’s friend Thatch, who were making a quick weekend ride too. During dinner at the nearby Esther’s Mexican restaurant, we discussed plans, and asked them if they would like to join us for the ride home, and so it was.
(“You’ve got to be good looking ’cause they’re so hard to see.”)
We began the trip home by going south on Highway 21 out of Republic, and then turning west on Cache Creek road. It was a grand morning with fantastic weather and scenery. We continued without a real break until we stopped for lunch at the Duck Brand in Winthrop. The kitschy little town was bubbling with activity.
I anticipated spotty traffic going over the pass to home. There are only a few routes through the Cascades, and we were going to be among the people heading west on Sunday afternoon. After our lunch, I let the other riders know that I wasn’t going to try to keep the group together while going over the pass. When passing long strings of cars on twisty mountain roads, it’s enough for me to keep track of myself, without worrying whether the whole troupe is staying together.
As the group approached the Diablo Dam Overlook, Thatch slowed and then pulled into the Overlook to investigate a problem he was experiencing with his bike vibrating. They could find no obvious cause, so continued their way. Thatch would later discover the vibration was due to his newly-mounted rear tire being significantly out of balance.
I had picked up the South Skagit Highway in Concrete, while the rest of the group had headed south to ride the full length of the South Skagit Highway.
Consequently, I ended up quite some ways ahead of the group so, when I neared Clear Lake, I stopped and waited half an hour or so for the rest of the group to catch up. I wanted to make sure everyone got back okay, and then I bolted for home.