Sometimes this is what happens when you don't have a plan - things fall into place more perfectly than you could ever have hoped for. On Saturday, I discovered one of the jewels of Central Washington: Lake Wenatchee.
I had had a good time cycling on Route 2 the past weekend, and I thought I'd carry on with a good thing. I thought maybe I'd park at the pass and ride down the mountain, then back up (although I didn't really want to - I like riding up, then back down), and, from the car, I saw that this was a really, really bad place to have a bike. But a sign told me there'd be a highway rest stop 10 miles up the road. So, I parked there, climbed the mountain up to the point where the road divides (eg it becomes like a freeway; the limit is already 60 mph, and the shoulders go from ~3 feet to ~6 inches). I didn't feel like dying, so I turned around. But ... I wanted to lay more miles down. So I passed the car.
Down the highway, I ran into the "town" of Coles Corner (by town I mean a gas station and a diner), and had an iced cream shake. There was another road, and I decided to see what was down that way. Good decision.
I've seen pictures of Lake Wenatchee, but that didn't prepare me to stumble on the place on a ride. Holy crap, talk about beautiful! I was all agog at the scenery. There was a lot of snow, even on the beach, but I'll be coming back with my tent and bike soon.
Now, here are the photos.
This was near the beginning of my ride. The eastern Cascades have this giant yellow thing in the sky, and Seattle people aren't used to seeing it. Out there, the sky is blue instead of gray like concrete ... I had to snap a picture and show people, but they don't believe me:
Heading up the mountain, almost to the pass, near the river:
Coming back down the mountain:
The clouds are starting to break up as I come into the rain shadow of the Cascades:
An idyllic creek on the way out, with more of those blue skies:
This wound up being 37 miles and about 2,200 feet of elevation. The next day (yesterday) I went and explored the Teanaway, from Cle Elum to the end of the pavement. That was about 44 miles and 1,200 (?) elevation. I'll post photos in a few days, once I've had time to go through those.