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Author Topic: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure  (Read 1033 times)

Narada

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Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:51:52 pm »
This Memorial day weekend, I took my wife on a road trip in our new toy, (Ardeneshwar) a 2012 Triumph Scrambler with a DMC M-72D sidecar. I had just converted the exhaust from the high pipe set up, to a (slightly used) stock Triumph Thruxton  set which I purchased off of Craig’s list for almost nothing.  I really love the way the exhaust turned out. It looks and sounds great while retaining a stock level of sound which is good when exploring forest roads.


 
We started from our home in north Seattle (Washington, USA) and took a local back road country highway and a series of smaller two lane roads North East along the Cascade mountain range.  The roads were curvy and rural with pine conifer forest as well as deciduous (leafy) trees, and meadows. There were many lakes, streams and rivers along the way as well as cows, horses, goats, and other farm animals.  The weather was very warm, in the low 80’s F. but the drive was cool due to the constant tree cover.
 
The first day, Friday I took off work a couple of hours early to get a good start, naturally there were many last minute delays but eventually we were on the road!  We had only gone about a mile when we had our first “sidecar moment”. While waiting for a light to change,  a young lady on the sidewalk spotted us and completely lost it holding her head with both hands and hopping up and down.  Within seconds she was taking pictures with her phone as we drove off in shock.  This sort of thing continued all weekend and became quite amusing once we got used to it. 
 
We stopped after about an hour at one of our favorite spots, Lake Roesiger for a picnic dinner in a small waterfront park, and to enjoy the tranquility of this quiet remote lake surrounded by trees and cabins. Even though it was a major holiday, few people had yet penetrated this area either on the roads or at the lake.  It is not far from “civilization”, but is off the beaten path to say the least. 
 
As we were leaving the lake behind us, I remembered that we had not stopped for gas and on the way out I mentioned to the wife that we may want to keep our eyes open, just in case there is a station out here in the woods somewhere, it was at that moment that my low fuel light came on! Naturally, having just purchased this rig, I had emptied the attached jerry can of it’s unidentifiable contents and had not yet filled it back up.
 
I drove very conservatively from then on for the next hour or so as we went through the woods, crossing rivers and climbing up and down hills, until we finally arrived in the town of Granite Falls.  Not wanting to drive any further distance than necessary, I stopped and asked a local family who were sitting on their front porch (in classic small town fashion) if they could direct us to the nearest filling station.  They were happy to oblige and politely directed us on our way while marveling at our sidecar rig.
 
After filling the tank and the reserve jerry can, we made our way to the Bed and Breakfast which my wife had reserved for us, just 8 miles East of Granite Falls, on the Mountain Loop Highway.  It was a very beautiful, recently remodeled home on many acres of land with gardens and a river.  In the morning they actually even make you a nice breakfast!  I would consider myself lucky to get a donut, so I was quite impressed. 


 
After breakfast we went East up the Mountain Loop Highway to the top at Barlow Pass.  After that, the paved road ends and it becomes gravel.  I was concerned as to the condition of the road, and whether we would have to turn back or maybe go half way and get stuck, or who knows…?  The owner of the B&B didn’t know, he advised us not to go there, couldn’t understand why anyone would want to leave the paved road.


 
I was pleased to find that the road conditions couldn’t have been better.  The unpaved section of road goes for about 12 miles winding through the high mountain forest with river after river winding by.  I cruised along in first or second gear depending on circumstance, taking my time, because everything was so incredible.  The natural beauty of this section of road was absolutely astounding. 






 
Many areas showed undeniable evidence of having been washed out over the winter, which is why they don’t bother to pave it. Each year there are multiple wash outs.  There was even a period of many years that the damages were so bad the road couldn’t be repaired in time, and it just stayed closed. The year it finally opened there was a “grand celebration” in the towns on each end simultaneously, being Granite Falls, and Darrington WA.
Realize your Self on a Royal Enfield.

2015 Classic Chrome/Maroon, Forged Dome Piston, Ported head and H.P. Cams by SB/GHG, Power Commander-V, K&N, "Fin" intake, Dunlop K-70's, Koso TNT, Premium EFI Silencer.

2015 Triumph T-100, Orange / Black Two-Tone.
2012 Triumph Scrambler with DMC M-72D Sidecar

Narada

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2017, 02:03:18 pm »
As we wound through the mountainous forest there were many small turn outs and view areas which of course were spectacular.  Eventually, we came out at the North end and back onto paved road for the last 9 miles into Darrington. Upon our arrival we found what we were told was the only restaurant in town, had lunch which seemed to take forever because everyone in town had gotten hungry at the same time and stopped in!  It was killing me to just sit there and wait.  I just wanted to get back on my rig and keep going. 
 
After what seemed like hours later, we got gas and went back up into the mountains the way we had come.  On the way, a car wash had appeared which wasn’t there on the way in, being put on by a group of girls which I think were from the local high school, all of them wearing “Daisy Duke” shorts… of course.  That seemed like a fine all American activity but unfortunately I was not driving a car!
 
The drive back through the wilderness was at least as amazing as it was going the other way. Once we were deep into the mountains we found a nice little green spot along a river and just hung out for some time.  The excitement on the part of everyone that saw our sidecar continued throughout the day, with much waving and saying hello to all who passed. 












 
As we continued on, we explored many side roads, both paved and unpaved as we worked our way back down the road.  Eventually, we went back into Granite Falls for a fine Mexican dinner, and then, on to our B&B to rest and recuperate until Sunday morning.


 
We awakened Sunday to another delicious breakfast made just for us as the only guests at our B&B. As we dined we made small talk with the proprietors (who were shocked that we had survived our dirt road mountain pass round trip adventure), while enjoying the panoramic view from their dining area which featured alpine forest covered mountains, one of which was still capped with snow! There were also many large birds which flew all around various bird feeders outside.
 
After breakfast we set out to visit Lake Cavanaugh, an alpine lake which I had heard about from some adventure bikers last year and decided to check it out.  We took a local highway (9), North to the town of Arlington and headed East back toward Darrington, the town we had visited the day before by way of the mountain road.  This time however, we turned North at the town of Oso and headed up the Lake Cavanaugh road.  It started out nice, just a narrow paved country road, through some old rural neighborhoods with decrepit houses and trailers, cars and trucks in every yard… then it turned to gravel and began to go upward. 

I had been on some gravel roads this weekend, but this one was different, it just kept going up, and up, winding and climbing until it became like a gravel Pikes Peak hill climb! It became more than a little scary due to how steep the grade had become, and it was kind of lumpy with a lot of loose gravel.  I came around a corner and the view that opened up was spectacular! It was like the old Who song “I can see for miles and miles”.  Unfortunately, I didn’t dare stop for fear of sliding back down! I just kept on the throttle as my trusty Scrambler kept the Metzlers spinning to the roar of my Thruxton piped Hinkley! 
 
One last hairpin turn at the top and things leveled off. The view was gone, but at least the road had leveled off and began a gentle decent for the next few miles. Eventually we came through a separation in the trees to find what could be the most beautiful lake I’ve ever seen.  The road became paved.  There were nice cabins all around and a volunteer fire dept. pancake breakfast was in full swing.
Realize your Self on a Royal Enfield.

2015 Classic Chrome/Maroon, Forged Dome Piston, Ported head and H.P. Cams by SB/GHG, Power Commander-V, K&N, "Fin" intake, Dunlop K-70's, Koso TNT, Premium EFI Silencer.

2015 Triumph T-100, Orange / Black Two-Tone.
2012 Triumph Scrambler with DMC M-72D Sidecar

Narada

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2017, 02:12:36 pm »
Having just had a big breakfast a couple of hours earlier we passed on the Pancake Breakfast but we did stop and talk to a fireman who was directing traffic (we were the only traffic). He pointed out a few things about the lake area and then mentioned not to take the dirt road out.  Too much gravel, bikes don’t go that way.  I couldn’t resist telling him that we had just come in on that road… I had to tell him twice before he believed us. He still just stared and blinked. 
 
We went around the lake on the paved road, the south side was a nice two lane road but the north narrowed way down to barely one lane.  Luckily there was no oncoming traffic.  After making the complete loop around we stopped at public boat launch.  It was the only public lake access and was pretty busy with people launching every kind of water craft imaginable.  The pictures absolutely do not do this lake justice.  It was stunningly beautiful with tree covered hills all around and snow-capped mountains to the South West. 






After resting a bit we left and headed West. The road out was a nice old two lane country highway from the North end of the lake. There was almost no traffic either, not bad for Memorial day weekend!  After about 25 miles we took a turn at the power lines, as our fire fighter friend had advised, and everything became even more green and beautiful.  This road wound around and through low forested hills with occasional old houses and farms, on and on, for about an hour before we finally emerged at Highway-9,  a back way 50 mph highway.  Still, it is heavily used and runs in a long straight line forever.  A couple of times I had the rig up to 70 mph which was ok but is a little scary when you think of trying to panic stop or swerve…
 
As soon as we could, we got off of that road and returned to the back roads through the Cascade foothills, and on to our home.  It was a great trip and our first big sidecar adventure.  My wife loved every moment of it, maybe even more than I did!  She has already planned more trips throughout the summer with camping too!  We will be doing much more exploring as time will allow. 


 
We are so blessed to have what seems like unlimited natural beauty to become immersed in with the Mountains (Himalaya training!) forests, rivers, and Ocean. It has been a blast my first two years of motorcycling (when I can get time off work) with my C5 (Bholenath) the first year, T-100 Bonneville (Garuda) the second, and now the Scrambler rig (Ardeneshwar) for my third.  The sidecar has been especially good for my wife who can’t ride on a bike, even though she always wanted to, due to arthritis.  Now she can enjoy the open air adventure in comfort and style!


Realize your Self on a Royal Enfield.

2015 Classic Chrome/Maroon, Forged Dome Piston, Ported head and H.P. Cams by SB/GHG, Power Commander-V, K&N, "Fin" intake, Dunlop K-70's, Koso TNT, Premium EFI Silencer.

2015 Triumph T-100, Orange / Black Two-Tone.
2012 Triumph Scrambler with DMC M-72D Sidecar

mevocgt

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 02:43:26 pm »
Looks like a nice trip...

The Old Coot

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2017, 12:52:33 pm »
Nice rig and it looks like a nice trip...Trees! I get farmland here for the most part. Looks like you and the Mrs. had a nice trip.

I added a 10lt "Jerry Can" to mi rig as I pushed a bike once and ONLY once due running out of fuel and swore it would never happen again. Of course on the east coast station are a lot closer together. I like FI but miss the reserve on the petcock.
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mattsz

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2017, 05:22:48 pm »
Nice!  You guys look happy and proud, as you should be!  I'm envious...
My other wheels:www.midcoast.com/~beechhil/vielle My ISP stopped hosting all user websites, deleted them without notice!  >:( grrr...

Gremlin heads for the hills…

Bill Harris

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2017, 08:33:04 pm »
Very nice rig and great ride.  I like it!

Cheers,
Bill

gashousegorilla

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2017, 09:09:32 pm »
 WOW ! Nice trip and a good time .    Yeah.... looks a weeee bit different then what I have around here ?  ;) ;D  Beautiful.   
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

heloego

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2017, 08:56:46 am »
   Man, you're shoving the hack bug down my throat!  ;D
   Beautiful, and maybe it's what I need to get the missus to come along!  ::)
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jakebarrell

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 01:13:43 am »
For some reason, the images do not show! But from what I read, it feels like an awesome adventure, mate.

Narada

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Re: Washington State Mountain Loop Highway Adventure
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 08:00:04 am »
Here are instructions to fix your browser so pictures will work again!

https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,25575.0.html

Thanks Arizoni!!!  :) :) :)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 09:00:18 pm by Narada »
Realize your Self on a Royal Enfield.

2015 Classic Chrome/Maroon, Forged Dome Piston, Ported head and H.P. Cams by SB/GHG, Power Commander-V, K&N, "Fin" intake, Dunlop K-70's, Koso TNT, Premium EFI Silencer.

2015 Triumph T-100, Orange / Black Two-Tone.
2012 Triumph Scrambler with DMC M-72D Sidecar