June 16 2014 Wenatchee
Today was a tough day even though it was only 75 miles. We started off out of Skykomish at 7:00 Am and there was a light mist coming down. The clouds looked like they were only 100 feet above us. I had decided not to wear my heavy duty rain pants and rain booties. I had forgotten about my paddling gloves and would later regret that.
From Skykomish it is 16 miles and 3000 feet of elevation to the top of Steven’s Pass. It isn’t a really hard climb it is just 16 miles of 4-6 Percent grade, with no let up. Within a few miles I was in the clouds and the temperature dropped 4 or 5 degrees. In Skykomish it was about 48F. The rain started to pick up and the light mist had turned to a steady rain. After what seemed like an endless climb I was within a 1 mile of the summit. I knew that just around the next bend was the ski lodge and beyond that the summit. So when my front tire went flat I was deflated as well. The wind was just howling and the temperature is 39 F. I got the tire off and a new tube mounted when Jos showed up and helped me wrestle the tire back on. My hands are frozen and I am shivering. But back on the road and around the corner was the summit where Greg had a van positioned there and I climbed in to warm up.
After a few minutes it was time to get rolling and now the freezing decent. I couldn’t see any newspaper but I stuffed my jacket with paper towels, But why hadn’t I remembered my paddling gloves? By the time I got down the hill to picnic at the 44 mile mark I was shivering and my hands were numb. A cup of hot chocolate and some great grub sure helped. They had made a tuna salad and stuffed it into hot dog buns. They were wonderful. I was feeling a little punk but got on my bike and started off. It was pretty easy going as it was generally down hill and we had a solid tail wind. After about 30 minutes the food kicked in the temperature was now up to the low 60’s and life was looking pretty good.
I cruised in set up my tent, had a great hot shower, washe my riding kit and cleaned my bike. A long hard day that ended very well.