Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Day in Two Parts

Today had two distinct parts that are best told separately.

Part I--Not Enough Trucks Going My Way, Or...Good Weather Karma, Sort Of

Staying at the Comfort Inn may have blown the budget, but the complimentary breakfast sure was awesome! I started by making myself a Waffle of Perfection. It was so perfect, that the gal waiting to use the waffle iron said, "Oooo, nice! How much batter did you use?" I added some syrup and a sliced banana to my waffle. I also had some yogurt, a small pastry, and some orange-passion-guava juice! I could have also had eggs, sausage, and cereal, but I would not have been able to ride after eating all that! I grabbed another banana for tomorrow's breakfast, and called it good.

When I left the hotel, I noticed it had rained overnight. Good Weather Karma strikes again! Perfect night for a hotel stay! The only problem, was the wind. It was blowing rather fierce, directly head on. Getting out of Ellensburg was no problem direction-wise, however, the wind was DEFINATELY slowing me down. I wanted an endless line of big trucks passing me so I could get a little draft from them, but, no, there were not nearly enough trucks!

It was a gentle grade up for the first 14 miles or so. As I was riding along in the roaring wind, I could see Wind Turbines up ahead. They were certainly generating wind power today!

As I got closer to some of them, I was reminded how big they are. The huge propeller making a whoosh-whoosh sound as it rotates in the wind.

About 4 miles from the 97/970 junction, I had to do a steeper two mile climb. The view from the top of the valley below was beautiful (especially knowing I was going down!).

Along the way down I stopped for this photo.

I made it to the junction at about 10:30 or so. I was really hoping the wind would change as I headed up Blewett Pass...

Part II--Too Many Trucks Going My Way, Or...Geez It's Hot Out Here!

I continued on 97 headed toward Blewett Pass. I had been considering doing Old Blewett instead of 97. I stopped at the Mineral Springs Lodge and had a slightly early lunch of a Clubhouse sandwich and a slice of marionberry pie. I asked the owner how the road over Old Blewett was. He said it had been closed so they could repair the Scotty Creek bridge. He wasn't sure if it was open yet, but there would be a sign at the turnoff if it wasn't open.

As I continued up Blewett, I noticed how the traffic had increased and now there were big trucks galore! But, I no longer needed them because I now had a slight tailwind! It was noon and quite warm. There was no shade along the highway. I really hoped Old Blewett was open.

When I got to the turnoff, I didn't see any sign saying the road was closed. Woo Hoo! I turned on to Old Blewett Rd. Old Blewett Rd. is 9 or 10 miles of a narrow paved road. The road is rough in places, but easily passable on a bike.
The climb is somewhat steeper than 97, but it is shorter, and doesn't go quite as high up (4064ft vs. 4102). There is also virtually no traffic. One of the advantages to that, is being able to follow the grade through the curves. Over the entire Pass, I saw just 2 pickup trucks (curiously, both tele-communication companies). I reached the summit at 1:45.

The ride down was great! I did have to check my speed due to the rough road, but it was still a fun curvy descent. I crossed the new Scotty Creek Bridge, and returned to 97. I still had about 5 more miles of downhill to go to get to Ingalls Creek and Blu-Shastin RV Park. I planned to stop at Ingalls Creek Lodge and get some ice cream. Unfortunately, when I got there, the place was no longer operating. The guy at the RV Park says it's been closed for about three years. Kyle and I last came through 4 years ago. It was open then.

I have a nice site by the Peshastin River at Blu-Shastin RV Park. The guy charged me half the normal rate ($29--I paid $15).

Tomorrow I'll get to the cabin!

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