Thursday, May 1, 2014

Biking in Snohomish and Skagit County

The real sun worshippers live in the Pacific Northwest.  When the sun comes out in the spring, everyone heads outside!  There is no excuse for burning daylight sleeping in or working inside.
So when we woke up to full sun and a promise from the weather forecasters for a day where the temperature got to 80 degrees, Ron got the bike out and we headed out on an explore.
We intended to go out Jordan Rd to Arlington and then on to Darrington via Oso as we had heard the road was open.  However, Jordan Road was closed for a bridge replacement, so we ended up on Engebretsen Rd, following the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River,
through the old growth forest,
 onto Highway 530 toward Oso and Darrington.
I love barns, so this road is great for looking at a variety of barns. 
 
The slide at Oso has made us much more aware of slopes and slides, and frankly, all of the hillsides look fragile.
About a mile east of Oso, we came to a traffic stop, where a flagger had traffic stopped and a security person came up to us.  "Can we get through to Darrington?" Ron asked.
"Yes, but traffic going east goes on the half hours and coming west leaves the other side on the hour." 
He also mentioned that the bypass is a gravel power line road with a 16% grade.  It was 10:42 a.m. when we got there, so we would have to wait 45 minutes for the pilot car.  We decided that trip was better left for another day and turned around and went back to Arlington.
Highway 9 North has its own traffic issues.  We still used the one lane bridge just north of Bryant, but we could see the new bridge, which will take out several 90 degree turns is nearing completion.
We headed west on Hwy 534 to Conway, where we had lunch at the Conway Pub, one of our favorite outdoor eateries.
 We came back through Silvana,
 where the barns butt right up to the road,
and the slopes look just as dangerous as the ones out toward Oso.