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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.