GDMBR2 – DAY 5

Today was officially a rest day, a day to see the sights and explore Steamboat Springs while acclimating to the altitude.

First on the list was a factory visit and tour of Moots, a titanium bike manufacturer. They’ve been hand crafting world class bikes here for 30 years. Titanium has the reputation of combining the best features of strength, resilience and weight for bike frames. I only know one person who actually owns one. They can run between five and ten grand. Moots builds about 1200 bikes a year with 15% being custom built.

Their manufacturing was essentially a metal machine shop, Bridgeport lathes and milling machines, a couple CNC (computer numerically controlled) machines and TIG (Argon) welding. It was petty loosey-goosey on the safety. We wandered the production floor between the machines (in operation) without safety glasses. It was interesting to see how they shaped and molded the tubes into bike frames. One of the guys on the tour actually spotted his frame hanging in the welding area in the process of being built. That was cool.

I discovered that Big Agnes, who makes the tent I’m using and a sleeping bag/ pad I own is also headquartered here. I popped in, unannounced and surprised the Development Team. I let them know how much I valued their products and customer service. They were nice but suggested I might want to visit their actual storefront… I noticed that Honey Stinger (energy gels, waffles, chew blocks for athletes) was also in the same building so guess what, I walked on in and struck up a conversation with JD. Also nice, but wasn’t sure how I got in the door.

I picked up a couple items for the ride, had lunch and headed to do a hike at Fish Creek Falls, a National Reccreation Area. By now you know how happy I was to show my card for free parking. They had a few short hikes to an 80 foot cascade/ waterfall and a 5 mile hike to a second waterfall which was 2400 feet up. It was like the Grand Canyon in reverse without a 45 pound pack. I could definitely feel the thin air on the climb up.

On the way down I was startled by a crashing sound in the bushes 15 yards ahead, looked up to see the rear end of a bear scrambling away. I sang and whistled the rest off the way down. No pictures of this adventure as I left my phone at camp.

Everyone arrived by dinner time today and are getting set up and acquainted. Steve from Chicago arrived with his bike in a box and all the bags and gear practically still had the tags hanging on them. He seems to have a great attitude and I’m confident he’ll do fine.

Tomorrow I’ll do a shakedown ride and we’ll get our provisions for the first two days in preparation for the Grand departure Sunday.

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GDMBR2 – DAY 4

The objective for arriving three days early was twofold, get acclimated to high elevation and ride the beautiful curvy roads. It was 45 degrees upon waking, glad I brought my electric heated vest. I checked out routes to RMNP and the Peak to Peak highway. Hmmm, seems a little longer ride than I had anticipated, better get rolling. The route took me into Kremling, a

stop on the bike ride well be seeing in a few days. I stopped for a fritter and some random gas station conversation with the locals. The high school kids were holding football practice on the school fields next to a mounted attack helicopter. You just don’t see that kind of monument at Hopkins schools…

It was something over 50 miles to the entrance of the park. Flash the card and smile… The road through the park is a slow, winding road, but 35 mph. Relax and enjoy the journey. It was a little sad to see all the brown pines being devastated by the beetles. Another park to visit before environmental issues change it ( a la Glacier). I stopped at the peak for a short hike and the view… 12,000+ feet, this should test my breathing.

The wonder turned to another test of my patience as immediately after the summit there was road construction and a 30-40 minute wait, while dark clouds moved over us. A little sneet but no real rain. It seemed everyone from Denver was heading up the mountain.

Down into Estes Park for lunch and gas (I’m 150 miles into the ride…). This was the start of the P to P highway. The first is Long’s Peak, a fourteener. Pretty impressive. The route takes me another 50 miles south to Central City. By now it is afternoon and there are random dark clouds with rain falling. Fortunately, I was able to navigate between the patches of rain onto I-70 and a 70mph sprint up through the tunnel at Loveland Pass. What a spectacular interstate! Well, except for the smell of burning brakes on the drop into Silverthorn (another stop on our ride).

Off the freeway and back on the two lane roads back to steamboat. All told, another 350+ day on the bike but I wouldn’t take it back.

Bus to town for pizza and beer with Sid. Tomorrow, everyone shows up and a tour of the Moots bike factory.

GDMBR2 – DAY 3

Big day today, heading southwest into Colorado and my destination for this part of the journey, Steamboat Springs. But, each journey starts with a small step.

I was glad to get on the road from the roach hotel. I should have asked a few questions last night when the attendant said the motel had a lot of road construction workers staying there…..

Not too far down the road the chip sealing and gravel began. That turned into a full -on grind up and re-pave operation. It seems Nebraska has no shortage of infrastructure dollars as they were grinding up and laying down new asphalt on a perfectly good road.

May the Schwartz be with you. Look at the left lane – perfectly smooth

My first stop was the previous days’ destination, Scottsbluff. Scottsbluff was not only a key stop on the Oregon/ California/ Mormon Trails, but also has a geologic formation (as the name would imply), an 800 foot bluff overlooking the river. Fort Laramie was built there to provide protection for the emigrants. It is a National Monument so I had to stop and flash my Senior Card.

I watched a swell movie in the Visitor Center, walked an Oregon trail hike, rode to the top and took a couple more short hikes to check out the view.

Conestoga in front of the bluff.

The signs on the trail admonished you to stay on the trail because of rattlesnakes… that is a four foot wide path.

.

After the stretch and education, it was time to get moving. The Garmin routed me into Wyoming for a stretch which meant no credit card usage as I didn’t list Wyoming one of the states I was traveling to/through. Not going into fraud-alert hell again. Right at the state line, and 20 yards from the road was a Minuteman silo, I kid you not.

This pic is for the ZZ Top fans…

Finally, into Colorado and the front range mountains, yay!

It was a beautiful ride up and over the range and down into Steamboat. This is why I rode the motorcycle across South Dakota and Nebraska.

However, it was a long day and I was glad to get to the KOA and find our trip leader, Sid, sitting at the bus stop, heading into town for supplies. He directed me to our site and I set up in my home for the next three days.

Tommorow, I’m planing to do a motorcycle ride into Rocky Mountain National Park and check out the Peak to Peak Highway, rated as one of the top rides in Colorado. It should be epic.

GDMBR2 – DAY 2

The key to interesting travel is to be flexible. Sometimes where you go and what you do is not what you planned. And, sometimes it is better and the experience is more enriching.

Today, the plan was to ride through the Badlands, tour the Black Hills and make my way to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Well, some of those things happened… some.

Overnight, there was rain I mostly missed due to earplugs. When I took my phone off of Airplane Mode I got an alert from my weather app that there were severe thunderstorms in the area. Things were mostly dry in the campground so I snacked on granola bars and packed up. There weren’t a lot of non -Interstate options so I jumped on I-80 (80mph!). Traveling along an interstate is a portal into Americana. Billboards promoting the world’s largest reptile collection, a 6000 pound prairie dog and, of course, Wall Drug. Entertaining, but not my cup of tea.

A strong tailwind made it seem like 55mph. Wheee! My cutoff point was the exit for the Badlands. At the top of the ramp was a sign for The Minuteman museum. What?? How did I miss that last year?

As someone who grew up in the Cold War and remembers the “duck and cover” training we had in elementary school where wet were drilled in how to hide under our desks in a nuclear attack. The museum had film, documents and artifacts from the Minuteman missile silos and the entire nuclear build-up from MAD to START. Fascinating and chilling.

Memo authorizing the use of the “special bomb”.

That put me a little behind schedule, and I wasn’t sad in the least.

Heading towards the Badlands, you can’t make this up, in the park with the 6000 pound prairie dog was this:

Once I flashed my Senior Pass and entered the Badlands, the weather was catching up to me. I elected to skip the scenic drive which takes you back to I-80 and Wall Drug. Not a hard call.

Bye bye Badlands.

Back on the backroads to Keystone and Mount Rushmore, bad weather in my rear -view mirror.

I thought a stop to see the presidents would be fun but the $10 parking fee turned me off, and around, for a spin through the curvy roads of the Black Hills and on towards Hot Springs. I checked my weather app during the mandatory afternoon ice cream stop. Oh oh, thunderstorms between me and Scottsbluff. I thought I just might split the storms which were displaying impressive cloud to ground lightning, but it didn’t work out.

Nebraska back roads, storms loomimg.

I got as far as Crawford and got a $55 room as the rain, wind and lightning closed in. Yes, it’s me, a dozen flies and an Irish dance troop in the room above me… The nicest thing you can say is that next Monday the sun will be completely blocked in Crawford and the flies will be confused.

The net result is that I’m 80 miles short of my plan but had an extraordinary day. To top it off, I turned on the tv in the room and there was a public broadcasting show on the atomic bomb which tied in with the chance museum visit. Nice how things work out…

Tomorrow’s plan (subject to change) is to ride south and through Rocky Mountain National Park to Steamboat Springs. Let’s see how that works out.

GDMBR2 – PROLOGUE

If it is summer, then it must be time for a two-wheel adventure. The plan for this year is to ride another section of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The wheels started turning last December when I convinced two of my riding pals from last year (Jim and Marie) that we ought to ride the newest segment being led by Adventure Cycling Association in Colorado. We signed up and then found out that the ride was going to be led by the former grade school principal of Katherine and Brian, sweet.

Fast forward to August… the ride starts August 19 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and ends August 28 in Salida. The distance is less than last year’s ride but will mostly be above 9000 feet so we won’t be deprived of a challenge.

The bike and set-up I’ll use will be the same as last year, much to the surprise of my home boss. Like last year, I’ve also elected to ride my motorcycle to the starting line. This year, however, I’m not putting my bicycle on the back, Jim has agreed to transport the bike to and from Colorado, allowing me greater motorcycling options.

Start the fun…

I dropped my bicycle at Jim’s house, loaded up the motorcycle and pointed the front wheel west around 10am.

My bike in slight disassembly.

The loaded motorcycle.

The skies were overcast and sprinkles were in the area but it felt good to be off and heading into a multi -week adventure. The joy of riding a motorcycle is hard to express to anyone who doesn’t have the fever. The exhilaration and the immersion in the environment with sounds and smells which are lost when traveling by car make travel by motorcycle second only to travel by bicycle in shear bliss. The corn fields of southwestern Minnesota are replaced by hay, beets and livestock in South Dakota. The rolled cylinders of hay with their sweet smell contrast with the feedlot smell of the cattle.

I’m cruising two lane roads in place of the super – slab Interstate. The small towns that are missed on the freeway are the highlights. I stopped in Olivia, Corn Capitol, for lunch. My intended destination today was the capitol city of Pierre but, as the journey goes, I diverted to Thompson Falls and, eventually, Chamberlain. The plains of South Dakota gave way to the wide valley of the Missouri River.

I’m camping by the river and making plans to ride through the Badlands and Black Hills tomorrow. The scenery and curves in the road should be several orders of magnitude better tomorrow.

Camp – Day 1

If the folks in the RV site next to me decide to go to bed, I might have a nice night’s rest…

Chasing the Sun

Back in business with a new belt drive for my bike and a new enthusiasm for me. I made my way northwest towards Glacier National Park of Canada on Highway 1. The good news, the views are spectacular, the bad news, this road is clogged with tourists as well as trans Canada traffic. Best advice, get an early start, before the big rigs get on the road.

The other bad news, my detour delay put me on the edge of some sketchy weather. The locals were all complaining that this summer has been cool and rainy. The storms are slow moving, mostly visible and avoidable if you wait or change direction.

Not so avoidable rain.
Keeping with my flexible (translation: no reservations) travel planning, I found a private campground in Mara with an outdoor shower. Score one for the exhibitionist in all of us.


The Provincial Park gate keeper suggested I try camping at Kakekkawa Falls. The downside, it is bike/cart-in and first come first served campground, a challenge for the flexible traveler. Several disappointed potential campers were leaving as I hiked up to the campground. Lucky me, I found a note on a campsite that suggested sharing the site, and the cost. Score! A young lady from Belgium saves the day. Added bonus, the second highest falls in Canada roaring all night. Also happening all night… drizzle.


I packed up a wet tent and headed out. My objective: ride north up the Icefields  Parkway towards Jasper. As I hit the Parkway, it started to drizzle harder. Did I mention it was 45 degrees?. The system was rolling right up along the road and I couldn’t get ahead of it due to the rush hour traffic of RV’s, buses and cars. When the caravan came to a stop due to construction for fifteen minutes, I made the call to turn around and save this experience for another day. I headed towards the sun and Lake Louise. The view on the way back:


I remembered Lake Louise from my youth as one of the most beautiful places I’d seen of all the travels we did as a family. What I found was a very pretty setting choked with tourists. Even with the cold drizzle it was shoulder to shoulder. I quickly left and headed to Banff where, surprisingly, it was 67 and sunny. A good choice. 

I checked the weather radar and maps to see where the storms were headed and elected to swing out of the park towards Radium Hot Springs, thinking I’d cross the border at Roosville, pass back through Whitefish and ride Going to the Sun by motorcycle. You’d think a name that hints of radioactivity would deter tourism, but apparently not.I skipped by and saw a sign for a Provincial Park called Premier. Well, that I have to see. The sign didn’t say there would be a ten mile drive, five of it on gravel to get there. But, as expected, I found one of the last campsites. The lake is nice, maybe not premier nice, and I found out it is the hatchet for 40% of the trout stocked in BC.

In the morning, the weather had me cut off from my intended route so I headed over the Crow’s Nest Pass, mostly beating the thunderstorms creeping up from the south and hanging over Glacier. My new destination: Waterton Lakes National Park, the sister across the border from Glacier. Naturally, camping was available for the lucky traveler. I did a couple of short hikes in Red Rock Canyon and went to a pretty corny ranger presentation on cougars. The message was that they are essential for keeping the deer population in check. I’m thinking of getting one. On the way back to the campsite, there was a smallish grizzly on the road eating blueberries. I slept with the bear spray close at hand. 

It starting raining the moment I got into my tent and didn’t stop all night. When I peeked out in the morning, I was horrified to see my motorcycle leaning way over. The kickstand was sunk three inches into the water-softened gravel. Another couple degrees and it would have been on its side. A disaster avoided. Packed up cold and wet and headed for the good old US of A, where there were hints of sun. So long Waterton, you were beautiful.

Next up: race for home.

Sea to Sky – Oh My

I had a nice, but short visit with my nephew, Ryan, and his wife Bianca. They are both expats working in the animation industry which is flourishing in Vancouver. The next morning Iskirted around the city center to avoid Lord Stanley Park, and the certain traffic jam on my way the Sea to Sky highway. 

As the name infers, the road climbs from the ocean to the high peaks of the Whistler/Blackcomb area. It is really hard to focus on the road with the stunning scenery around every curve. My destination was Whistler and the legendary mountain biking it holds. I found that whistler is a crazy busy tourist attraction. I found solitude at a campground twelve miles north and circled back to the village for a ride. I’d heard that the trail rating of BC trails is considerably softer than back home. I’m here to tell you that is an understatement. I’m very comfortable on blues and even blacks at home. Here, the blues gave me all I could handle. In my defense, the Fargo isn’t a true mountain bike, but no excuses. I only biffed once, but dabbed a lot. Trust me, I didn’t venture out onto the downhill course. There were hundreds of armor-clad, full face helmeted bombers flying down the snowboarding hill, jumping and skidding. Yikes!

The Fargo looking good.

As you probably know, Whistler was the host for several of the Winter Olympics events and the rings are all that remain.

I went back to my campsite and hiked to the waterfall.

The next morning I headed easterly from Pembrooke. The mountains here rose up, and they were massive! It was interesting how BC changed from giant mountains to Montana-like hills to northern Minnesota-like swampy lake areas. My next biking adventure was in Revelstroke, a smaller, more down-to-earth version of Whistler. The trails were equally as challenging but I was smarter now on choosing trails. I only fell off my bike a dozen times… and hiked more than a few sections. I won’t be scared at home anymore. Maybe that is a bad thing.

My plan was to head northeast towards Jasper to ride the Icefields Parkway. A local had suggested that I should head up to Clearwater as there is a waterfall there not to be missed. That is where the trouble started….

I checked into a campground, set up my tent and headed three miles to Clearwater to seek out Mexican food. Leaving the campground, my motorcycle started making a clunking sound when I accelerated. Oh-oh. I stopped, put it up on the center-stand, rotated the wheels and have it a once-over but couldn’t find the problem. I stopped at the only gas station in town and asked if there was a mechanic who knew anything about motorcycles. You have to appreciate that this town is probably a couple hundred population… The kid behind the counter looked at me like I was speaking Swahili. A lady overheard me and said the only mechanic in town was in the car outside, her husband. This was the first of my chance encounters with generous Canadians. Quentin quickly deduced that my drive belt had missing teeth. My bike was dead in the water. Crap.

Quentin loaned me his phone (AT&T service was non-existent) to call the BMW insurance provider I had fortuitously signed up with to get help. They said I could get towed up to 100 miles. The only motorcycle dealer of any kind within range was a Harley Davidson dealer in Kamloops. Harleys have belts so I elected to get towed there. There was indeed a towing company in town (Quentin’s son works there). Kevin showed up with a big truck, loaded my bike on, strapped it down and headed south.  By now it was 10:30pm. We got to Kamloops around midnight, dropped the bike by the service door and went to find a hotel. Turns out, it was a big weekend in Kamloops, Ribfest and some big auto show. no rooms anywhere. I ended up sleeping in an unattended trailer in the H-D parking lot. Actually not that bad, if you don’t get arrested.

As soon as the manager showed up in the morning I explained my situation. He was less than positive. When the mechanics rolled in, I went through my story again. While they went inside to look at YouTube videos on how to install a belt, not reassuring. And, they don’t have a belt that matches BMW. The nearest BMW authorized dealer… Kelowna, another 200 kilometers south, or 120 miles. The good news, they have one belt. To expand my options, I walked next door to another motorsports dealer to see if they had options. There I met my Angel, Jacqui. She said it was a slow day because all their mechanics were at the auto show and she thought she’d help a stranger in need. She made several calls, and decided the only option was to go get the belt and have an unfamiliar mechanic out out on, or get the bike to Kelowna. She even offered her car to me so I could go get it! I guess I look honest, or pathetic. In the end, she found me a Budget truck to rent, got me a ride to get it and sold me some straps to hold it down. Back at the HD dealer with the truck, I got help from another dude who just showed up at the dealership and hung out all morning. He helped me load and strap down the bike. I’m certain it never would have made the trip without his help. I drove as fast as I could to Kelowna as it was Saturday and the mechanic was going home at 3:30. I got there at 2:00, the belt was installed by 3:00 and, after dropping off the truck, riding my bicycle back to the dealer, I was rolling again by 5:00, just 24 hours after the disaster started. Quite a day… and, quite a testament to the generosity of Canadians. I won’t feel bad if Trump wins and I have to move there.

My Angel, tats and piercings…

The downside to the story is that I am now over 200 miles south of egret I wanted to be and the Parkway was looking less likely.
Next installment… Chasing the Sun.

Island Time

The wedding in Seattle was simple and elegant at the same time. 

Saturday, I had a nice ride with Don DeVeau along a trail that circumnavigates Lake Washington. We started at Washington University, the other UW and did an out and back 29 miler. We got to catch up on happenings in each other’s lives and I got to stretch my legs.

Next up: San Juan Islands… My Divide buddy Jim has a brother who lives on Shaw Island in the San Juans and he was generous enough to allow a stranger to come and stay with him. Shaw Island is a small, very non-touristy island. It only has 200 residents and two renters, one of them my host, Randy, and his wife Sue. They told me the island had everything from blue collar folks to Bill and Bill Sr. Gates. I didn’t meet them.

To get to the Island, you take a ferry from Anacortes, coincidentally, the starting point for the ACA TransAm bike route. I saw lots of cyclists starting their journey at the ferry terminal. I loaded my motorcycle rig aboard and settled in for the hour-long ride.

Shaw has an unchecked deer population, not what a motorcyclist likes. A short five mile, slow ride found Randy at the end of the driveway waiting for me. The house they have rented for ten years has a great view of the channel where you can watch the boat traffic and wildlife. Nice.

As soon as I arrived, my hosts asked if I wanted to go crabbing with them. Of course! We jumped into a zodiac with another house guest, Brad, and motored off to pick up two other crabbers around the point. The process involved finding your crab pot buoy, pulling up about 80 feet of rope with a cage, hopefully full of crabs into the boat. Then the fun starts, you carefully grab the crabs, avoiding their strong claws, turn them upside down to check for male/female (females go free), and measuring with a gauge across their shell to see if they are large enough to keep and throwing them into a bucket. I took my turn pulling and sorting for the whole experience. Back at the house, we cleaned and steamed the crabs right on the shore for a wonderful welcome meal. I could get used to this.

My plan was to use their house as a base to explore other islands. Randy and Sue directed me to San Juan and Orcas as the best samplers. In the morning, I rode back to the ferry dock, bound for San Juan Island. San Juan is the largest and busiest island, the docking point is Friday Harbor. My new pal, Hardy, I met at the ferry dock suggested parking my motorcycle at the school and riding clockwise around the island. This would take me to the beaches on the south end, the Lime Kiln park on the southwest (whale watching site) and then Roche Harbor on the northwest coast. Unfortunately there was a dense marine layer making the sightseeing less spectacular. But, it was a nice day, the roads were not crowded and I was in my element. The view from the beach.

Naturally, there were no whale sightings as you could only see a hundred yards out into the fog. Can you see the kayakers?

It did clear as I rounded the north end and into Roche Harbor, home of the rich and famous. I got to board and your a $495 Million, yes Million, 90 foot yacht. It’s the bigger one..

I had a lamb burger, yes, it’s that hoity toity and left for the final circuit back to Friday Harbor, 42 miles and a great day.

The next day, I decided to go to Orcas, another large and popular island, only a ten minute ferry ride from Shaw. The weather was cool (50’s) and cloudy. I elected to explore the island by motorized bike. The high point, literally is Constitution Mountain, a long and steep (13%) climb to a great view around the island.

I ventured out to the far edges of the horseshoe shaped island and made it back to the ferry just in time to ride on. 

The next morning I caught the ferry back to Anacortes and headed up to Vancouver to visit my nephew. 

Next phase, Canada.

Oldie but a Goldie

The best value in America may be the Senior Pass for National Parks (formerly known as Golden Eagle Passport). For $10 you get a permanent card which grants you access to National Parks, monuments,  federal recreation areas and discounted camping in National Forests. This card has paid for itself ten times over, just on this trip.

Here is what $4 to $9 buys you in a National Forest (probably not smart to pitch the tent under the giant leaning tree):


After leaving Coeur D’Alene, I headed for Highway 20, the route across the North Cascades, climbing over passes at 77 degrees and dropping into valleys at 100 degrees. Guess which I liked best. The mountains are rugged and beautiful. The smells of pines is so rich from the seat of a motorcycle.


I spent parts of three days riding, biking and hiking in the National Forest lands.  

Cutthroat Lake.

Mount Baker.

So much spectacular scenery, almost overwhelming.I rode the mount Baker scenic byway up to the alpine meadow above Mount Baker ski resort, a twisty road not unlike the alpine passes in  Europe. The reward at the top was 360 degree views of snow capped mountains, and Canada.

Today enters phase two of my adventure, getting to Seattle for Caitlin’s wedding. I’m staying in Bothell, the wedding is in Woodville, quite literally across the road from Chateau St. Michelle winery.

After the wedding, San Juan Islands.

Riding the Rails

One of the flagship rails-to-trails bike paths is The Path of the Hiawatha BN railroad cut into the side of mountains asking the Idaho/Montana border. While only fifteen miles in length, it is a magnet for bikers due to the many high trestles and tunnels, the longest stretching 1.66 miles. 

This ride was on my bucket list and necessitated a southward detour from Glacier NP. That turned out to be a good plan as I returned to Eureka, near the Canadian border, then turned south along the Kootenai River. The road was a winding, scenic and traffic-less ride down to Libby dam. I camped and fished at Dunn Creek before picking my way to St. Regis, the flyfishing capital of the northwest, if you believe the sign in town. I did catch a really nice trout within a stone’s throw of the interstate, wading in ice-cold water

St Regis is only thirty freeway miles to the Path of the Hiawatha trailhead. 

The ride from this end is fifteen miles, downhill, at a consistent 2% grade and 1000 feet of elevation change. The trail surface is a rough gravel, perfect for my Fargo.  The longest tunnel faces you immediately from this portal. The tunnel is straight, you can see a speck of light in the far distance. Headlights and lamps are a must, maybe a warm shirt as the temperature drops dramatically. and, there is cool dripping water. Pretty cool, literally and figuratively. Especially as the tunnel is named after St Paul…

The views of the mountains and trestles are awe inspiring. The trestles smelled of creosote which mixed with the scent of pines.

The ride down was easy, not even breaking a sweat at fifteen miles an hour. There were lots of casual cyclists and families with trailers. 

There is a ten dollar trail fee to support the trail upkeep. You can also pay nine dollars to get shuttled back to the top. I made the turn at the bottom, eschewing the easy way back. It was more like ten miles an hour back, and hot, good thing I filled my two liter bladder with water.
The reward is a cool waterfall at the far entrance to the long tunnel.

I packed the bike on the bike and headed towards Coeur D’Alene, taking the scenic Lake Coeur D’Alene byway. A winding road overlooking the lake. Super motorcycle riding. All in all, a really nice day, fishing, bicycling and riding.

Now, I’m calculating the miles and routes to Seattle, taking highway 20 across Washington to maximize the scenery. The weather forecast looks warm and dry. The adventure continues…