Sunday, October 21, 2007

Spokane visit

Michele made the decision not to join me on the trip to Spokane which really made things much easier for me. Once I finished up my day in North Bend I just headed straight East avoiding all of the Friday afternoon traffic(the worst Seattle has to offer in my opinion). When I first hit the I-90 the weather was downright biblical at the top of the pass however it was quite serene.I was surprised to see snow at such a low altitude so early in the year, but it wasn’t sticking to the pavement so in my book it doesn’t really count.Twenty miles later the sun was out and the skies were blue and it pretty much stayed that way until it got dark.

Once in Spokane Len and I headed out to find a bite to eat in town and talk both dirt and shop, on Len’s end those two really go hand in hand. He and his business partner recently bought a pretty notorious downtown landmark and has gotten the local homeless population up in arms. They also ended up acquiring, through an odd chain of events, a porn shop which I found to be quite hilarious.

Saturday morning I got up long before the rest of the house and took a little driving tour of town since it'd been a while since I'd last been there. It's pretty cool to see all the things that have changed combined with the constant rotation of businesses that seem to rotate through many of the same old storefronts. I headed back up the hill to Rockwood Bakery for a little something to tide me over and to try and get a little work done. I was a little disappointed to discover that there was no wireless. No wireless in a coffee shop? What is this, 2003? Holy fuck.

Anyway, after a croissant and a semisweet drink I headed back to the house to find everyone up and mostly awake. After a couple more hours we decided it was time and departed for the trailhead. Our plan was to attempt to follow the 24 hours course with some deviations for greener pastures. Right off the bat we ran into National Guard war games taking a break for lunch. I don't really know that I can express how surreal it is to ride through a huge gathering of people in camies, all with M16s slung over their shoulders, eating Lunchables, and drinking from Capri-Sun pouches.

The weather was perfect for the majority of the ride, mid forties, almost no wind, and overcast with the sun poking out a couple of times. The trails were just as I had remembered them, a total kick in the pants, single and doubletrack, nothing too hard, and great views. As always, there was not another soul out there. There's always cars in the lot, but I've rarely ever seen anyone out there riding. I didn't take a lot of pictures because I was just having so much fun but I'll put a few of those that I did take up later. After three hours we found our way back to the lot and went out in search of lunch before I turned tail and headed for home. No snow on the return trip, just plenty of rain.

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