Rockies Tour 2002 – Day 6: The North Cascades Highway

(click on map to enlarge)

Saturday, July 20

  • Wauconda, WA to Seattle, WA
  • 300 miles

After a quiet night camped out near the shore of Bonaparte Lake out in NE Washington State, we pack up and head to the town of Tonasket. We find a diner there and have yet another hearty breakfast before continuing west on Highway 20. Once we leave the Okanogan River, we begin traveling the North Cascades Highway which makes for some mighty fine riding. We travel the highway east to west, from the rolling, grassy foothills of the eastern Cascade Mountains, up over the Cascades via Washington Pass at 5,476 feet and then down the other side through the thickly forested western slopes. 

Not surprisingly, between the twisty roads and the spectacular scenery, this highway is very popular with motorcyclists. We find ourselves part of a huge contingent in the Washington Pass parking lot. This highway is part of what is called the Cascade Loop which, in and of itself, makes for a delightful motorcycle trip with 3 mountain passes, forests, rolling hills and marvelous small towns to dine and lodge in. I highly recommend planning your own adventure and you don’t need a motorcycle, just a fun, comfy car with your favorite music in the CD or MP3 player. 

We head back to Seattle for a day of rest, bike washing and visiting some Seattle motorcycle shops before heading out on our overnight ride to see Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. The next day I’m sitting out in my front yard smoking a cigar and reading a book in the afternoon and suddenly it hits me. I’ve completely forgotten about work. I’ve been away for a week and a half and I’m utterly relaxed and at peace with the world. The CEO and COO were right. Thanks, guys!

(click a photo to launch slideshow)

Go to the overnight ride to Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams & Mt. Rainier

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