Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16 2014 Wenatchee

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.



Tom Erceg said...

And you're off! Safe riding my friend. Your first freezing in the rain experience of the trip. Good times!

Jim said...

Great narrative of riding over the cold and wet Cascades and sleeping in a tent on a rainy night. Way to go. As I recall, you get in shape quickly and are so tired at night sleeping comes easily. Stay warm and keep up the good work. I really enjoy reading your account and not having to experience it. It is sunny and mid-90s here in Arizona. I believe you will connect with the Trilogy Bike Club in several days.

Anonymous said...

We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Any idea when you plan to arrive in Spokane?
Typical spring weather in beautiful green WA!!
I'll have some hand warmers to give you for your journey thru the Rockies. You are much braver and hardier than I could ever be.
The fair weather rider,

Gail said...

You are one hearty human being. Be safe and have a grand time on your adventure. I am excited to read your blog and follow you on this journey.

BTW, did you say TENT? OMG that means camping, and not only that - camping in the rain.

So happy for you. Stay dry and be safe. I will take the AZ heat any day. You are a trooper.


JohnMH said...


The last time we road out of Skykomish (2010) it was cold and rainy over the top...I guess it is always that way!