Mt. Ranier (14,700 ft.) from the Ferry at sea-level.
A view of the Seattle skyline from the auto-deck of the Ferry.
Eastern Washington flatlands...much different from the WA I've gotten used-to.
One of the many Idaho mountain lakes that we passed.
Hey guys and girls. Michael and woke early this morning ready to get back on the road after four great days with Mere and DP and a couple of days with Megan. I’m not certain but Megan seemed sadder to see me leave than Michael. I have that effect on people. We were not eager to leave our special people in Bremerton but we left early to bank some time against the need later on if we begin to run short. We boarded the ferry this morning at 9 AM. Mike and I noticed that the ferry made a strange but consistent rhythm which reminded us both of “River Dance.” We began to clog and jump and pirouette and pretty soon they had signed us up for Washington state ferry entertainment! By 9:50 we had disembarked the ferry and were moving through the streets of Seattle headed for Spokane. We rode through the day covering about 350 miles and ending up in our 16th state, Idaho, and poised to blow into Montana sometime tomorrow morning. We were in what Louis L’Amour calls a “ground eating gait” today. Of course he was talking about a good horse and I’m talking about our motorcycles.
We came through some incredible contrasts today. We started the day at sea level and ended near Sandpoint, ID at @ 4500 ft. We started in what can almost be described as a rain forest with abundant water and greenery and transitioned to dryer and browner areas with little or no water and stands of sage, cedar and grass. In fact, you could say the first area needed drainage and the second, irrigation. This leads me to a comment I’ve been contemplating for the whole trip. I have found that, in the west, they are very loose about naming rivers. We passed rivers today (Snoqualmie, Cle Elum and Columbia) that were bank-full, rapid flowing, blasters. These are rivers! In other places (the worst was Texas but other states abused this as well) their rivers are potential. They could be called a seep, a spring, even a creek; but a river . . . my suggestion is that if you could throw your fishing line and cork in these “rivers” and the water flow is not sufficient to float the cork, you are not, in fact, a river and do not deserve the name. Maybe it’s just me.
The other thing I noticed today is that the roads we took were terrible. They were old concrete roads, which I generally love, but these were old and in disrepair. There were signs which said “Grooved road-motorcycle riders be especially careful,” and “rough road ahead’” and “abrupt drop off.” Their were also these three parallel grooves on both sides of the right lane, where car tires would usually ride, which were spaced about 8 feet apart. Presumably these were to let you know that you were still in the lane. I don’t know about you but I don’t require assistance to recognize that I’m on the road. When I’m off the road (and I have some experience here) there are branches whipping by my face and abrupt undulations in the ground covered by grass and other assorted debris. I am clear when I have reached “off-road” status. You may think I’m overreacting to the grooves and bad cracks and abrupt drop-offs I’ve detailed. In my defense, there were a few times, because of these hazards, that I thought I might get “jiggy” with the pavement. Maybe I’m a little whiny. Hey, those who know me best know that when I’m complaining, I’m feeling great!
Anyway, that’s my perception of the day. With you, I am interested in Michael’s perspective. See you next time.