The Steel Steeds

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Journey Ends

Friday, Augusts 27 we left Omak to ride over Loup Loup Pass to Twisp on Rt. 20. We rode through Okanogan, just south, where we picked up Rt. 20. The ascent was gentle for many miles passing through fruit orchards.  The steeper ascent began at the intersection of Rt. 20 and Pleasant Valley Rd. Go figure. From the start it was 25 miles to the 4,020 foot pass. The route was bordered by many cliffs which caused Rosie extreme anxiety. Around 19 miles out she got a flat. Walked the bike about a quarter mile up to where I came down to and said she could not ride along anymore cliffs. She called Jason and he returned from his scouting in Twisp.  Solo, I crested the pass and viewed the Cascades.

The descent was eight miles at 6% and a rolling four into Twisp. Rosie and Jason were waiting in front of our overnight. Some sipping of Glen and a couple fine cigars culminated an enjoyable 40-ish day. BTW, the motel had self-laundry service which Rosie used.

Saturday, August 28 was a 30 mile day to Klipchuck Campground just beyond Mazama. I had ridden through Winthrop 21 years ago from the west. The town had been transformed from a dying timber town to a western theme tourist trap. Didn't recognize anything. Our camping experience began with comfortable temperatures to be followed by 30-ish temps in the night. Our camp food included chilliemac, Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli and Spaghetti-O's. I would have sent Rosie out to hunt with my jack knife, but she was tired. Rosie took refuge in Jason's truck while I fought the elements. If we had to contend with such conditions throughout the trip we would never have completed the ride. We had talked about camping the next day, but after that night I announced we would not repeat such torture. Jason, of course, a mountaineer, was in his element and didn't use his sleeping bag half the night and wore flip flops. I created a freak! We never did finish our card game before retiring. The ounce of Glen left in my cup, resting on the picnic table, still had ice cubes in it from the night before.

Sunday, August 29 I had planned to ride to Marblemount, about 70 miles, including Washington and Rainy Passes. Rosie said she could not endure the cliffs anymore and opted out. I layered up and headed out soon stripping the excess as I climbed. The Cascades were one of the most scenic parts of the ride. It was about 15 to the first pass and another five to the next. After that it was 25 downhill to Diablo where Jason and Rosie were waiting. Half the downhill I had to pedal against a headwind. The winds continued and storms loomed over my route. We were two hours north of Lake Stevens where family resided. We shared our inclinations and I concluded 2966 miles and 60 days on the road were enough; that the tour need not be extended a couple more days. This is Diablo.

Tuesday, August 31 we are enjoying our stay with James and Jenni (my cousin), Uncle Ralph and the kids. We have until Sept. 9 to explore the area.  Jason, Rosie and I visited two micro breweries today.  Rosie is already missing riding. She is enjoying her new found libation beer. We purchased clothes. I am two sizes smaller than when I started. Oh, what to do with my XXL shirts? Rosie said due to nature's graces, she wears the same size shirt. I told Rosie I'm planning our next adventure. She gave me the eyeball.


  1. What a ride! Enjoyed following you both from the comforts of my home, but would have loved to spend some time with you guys. The pictures are awesome and brought back memories of my childhood in Sicily; the wheat field (we used to harvest it), the rivers (we used to wash clothes in one), mountains, and many more. Happy that you're both safe and able to spend time with family, especially "the Boy" Jason. Looking forward to seeing you both. Have a safe trip back home.

  2. Yea for making it there in one piece! Can't wait to see you back in Ny again, bring jason with you!


  3. I really enjoyed following your ride all summer!!

  4. Good to see you made it in one piece, and great pics and stories along the way. How'd that Wolski's hat hold up? Oh, and sorry about that liquor bill......

    Bob & Jill

  5. Wow...what a great did a great job with pics and the hat is off to you and Rosie...AWESOME!!!