Day 1 Friday, June 21 – Mount Vernon to Marblemont, Washington

Saturday 22 June 2013

It is tough to talk about the first day of pedaling, when you begin writing at the end of the day.  Hence, we depend on photos…….ah yes, the Beginning…..when training, eager anticipation and exploration meet.  We rose at 5:30 to catch the train, leaving behind the comfortable confines of the hotel and the city.

Finally started pedaling just before 10 am and were almost immediately plunged into the Rainforest of Washington state.

The density of fur, spruce and pine allowed only an occasional glimpse at the source of rushing water.

Each turn was bordered with towering trees

and an occasional field, grains still green with early growth.

Our ride today started in very crisp high 50’s and overcast; quite cold to walk into, but felt good once we warmed up, which did not take long.  The ride today was a constant low grade climb, the kind that doesn’t look like it is going uphill, but required a constant effort to pedal. We followed the Skagit River and crossed many creeks that fed it. It was not until mid-afternoon that we began to see some blue skywarming the day to almost 70, but only when we were in the sun, otherwise it remained cool; the threat of rain remaining just in the distance.

We finally made it to our destination by 4:30, totally spent after 59 miles and six hours in the saddle!  Usually exuberant after our first day, we silently wondered if our previous training was not sufficient or our old bodies just weren’t responding like they used to.  Either way, it was a Great way to spend the Summer Solstice.

Day 2. Saturday, June 22 – Marblemont to Colonial Creek, Washington

Sunday 23 June 2013

Slept in, enjoying a deliciously comfortable bed; finally starting to ride after ten o’clock.  The 70 degree morning was cool with crisp air carried down the river from the snow topped Cascades.

We were immediately surrounded by gorgeous vistas; words and pictures cannot do the day justice.  Everyone was out enjoying the day!

Foxglovelined the road

we climbed along the tumbling Skagit River,

a most incredible azure that the photos could not capture.

The snow seemed odd sitting atop such lush green

mountains and we could not stop taking photos from every angle. 

Stopped for lunch at the only general store there was on our course today.  As we were pulling off, we stopped to chat with Chris and Jenni and their delightful seven children.  Could have talked all day, but we needed to head out.

Our afternoon offered more waterfalls 

and spectacular views,

each one more incredible than the next.

Now I know why Jerry wanted us to start in Seattle instead of Spokane; would not have wanted to miss these sites. It was a tough ride today; it took us four and a half hours to bike three hours and do 26 miles.  But, Today is the reason we bike!

Tonight is our first night of camping.  We had no idea the campground was situated in such a beautiful spot along Diablo Lake.

Arriving at 3:00, we had time to enjoy the area,

after setting up the campsite.

We dined on cheese, apples, bread, smoked salmon from the Seattle Market and wine…..quite tasty.

The day was filled with fabulous sites, so more photos below.

End of Week 1

Thursday 11 July 2013

Mt. Vernon to Colonial Creek Campground, Washington

only two days in this week

85 Miles

1 night of camping