After Blewett Pass (LOTS of motorcycles on this nice stretch of curves), I followed 97 till 970 came off it, headed west towards Cle Elum and Roslyn. When I gassed up here, the tank's mileage was in the mid-50s/US gallon.
Roslyn is the town where the TV series "Northern Exposure" was filmed, and riding in is somewhat of a 'deja-vu' experience, as the whole area seems familiar. In the middle of town is the painted wall that on the series said "Roslyn's Cafe" with a moose walking in front of it, so I took the obligatory pictures. As you can see - the "apostrophe S" was added for the series.
After the short break (and cleaning the bugs from my visor) I again headed west, but onto I-90 this time, over Snoqualmie Pass, and down into southern Seattle and Issaquah in the great North 'Wet'. Nice to see my old buddy, Joe, and plan the next day's ride, which we hoped would be a circle around Mt. Rainier.
Friday dawned rather less than spectacularly: fog and low clouds in every direction. We suited up with rain pants ON right away, then headed south via Tiger Mountain and Enumclaw where we joined Hwy 410, then, after adding rain-suit jackets as it was starting to rain, we headed east towards Yakima. The road is VERY scenic I think, but all we saw as we climbed were wet, REALLY tall trees, clouds, fog, LOTS of rain, and one helluva load of bicycle guys riding UPHILL in the downpour....
I wondered what was going through their minds. BTW, it was CHILLY too, and my 12v heated gear was back at Joe's place, hung up
Just before we got to the turn-off for Rainier, the fog deepened - maybe 50 yards of visibility occasionally- and I began thinking this wasn't the best place to be, then we turned south (Chinook Pass at 5,438 feet) looking at drifts of snow up to 8' deep along the sides of the road. Besides the fog, it was damned cold.
Stopping and checking my map I could see that the next pass, Shriner Peak at 6,777 feet, would be enough higher and colder that black ice was possible. We talked it over and decided that turning back was our best option, so we did. Going down that Hwy 410 in the pouring rain was miserable for us, but I'm sure it was WORSE for all those bikers pedaling UP in their trendy shorts and lycra shirts. 40 miles later we again pulled in to Enumclaw where the "Golden Arches" beckoned to us, promising HOT beverages and NO rain (at least - NO RAIN inside!).
When we found our booth, one of the McDee girls put one of those "CAUTION - WET FLOORS" signs beside us where the water was pooling from our gear, then apologized!
It's amazing how long you can 'tarry' over a hot chocolate and burger when it's pouring out.
I could see that my gel pad over my seat was soaking up the Washington state atmosphere, and prayed that my rain pants were STILL waterproof.
They WEREN'T, and my butt was chilly and soaked as we mounted up for the 30 to 40 miles back to Joe's home.
IN THE POURING RAIN!
Now I understand where the term "North Wet" comes from!