Monday, July 1, 2013

Motorcycle Ride in Record Heat

Yesterday, we had our first "free" day when the sun was shining, so Ron had the bike out and ready for a ride early.  By 9 a.m., we were on the road, already without jackets.  It started out about perfect with a 75 degree temperature under clear blue skies.
We started with breakfast at our favorite Denny's at Island Crossing.  The only backtracking we did all day was from Island Crossing to Highway 9.  The strawberry fields near Arlington were full of people picking.
This cornfield just north of Arlington has corn plants already way higher than "knee high".  I'm pretty sure my corn was in earlier so how do they do this?  Mine looks puny compared to this field.
This bridge on Highway 9 is being replaced, and about three right angle corners are being taken out. 
We've been watching the Centennial Trail work for the past couple of years.  The northern terminus of the trail now has been extended well beyond Bryant, nearly to Lake McMurray.
The old barn on the property that was acquired for the trailhead parking lot has large photos of the early days of the Nakashima farm.  Many hikers and bicyclists were taking advantage of the new trail on this sunny day.
The views on this ride included lots of lakes - this is Lake McMurray.
Stillaguamish River
Skagit River
Rivers and mountains offer spectacular views on a pretty day.
Mt Baker from Highway 9 near Big Lake.
Mt Baker from Sauk River Road outside of Concrete.
We found our second one-lane bridge of the day at the end of Sauk River Road, near the junction with Highway 530.
You can see debris from the recent high water on the Sauk.
White Horse Mountain
We started in Granite Falls, traveled Highway 9 to Arlington, then 530 to Island Crossing for breakfast.  We backtracked about 3 miles to Arlington where we once again took Highway 9 north.  At Sedro Wooley, we headed east on Highway 20 to Concrete.  Sauk River Road follows the Sauk River from Concrete to Highway 530, so we took it as it offered a more scenic ride and a shortcut to 530.  At Arlington, we transferred to Burn Road for the last leg that returned us to Granite Falls.  The whole trip was about 150 miles, about perfect for a motorcycle day trip.  The only bad thing about the last leg is that the temperature had risen to 90 degrees by the time we had a milkshake and burger in Arlington at around 3 p.m.  Fortunately, Burn Road has quite a bit of shade so it was bearable.