This July I'm going to ride a loop through the Cascades joining highways 20, 97, 97A, 2, the Centennial Trail and 530. It will probably end up close to 400 miles and I'm guessing around 6-7 days. I'm not in any hurry.
Starting in Everett or Snohomish?
I'd vote for counter-clockwise. The section from Monroe to Skykomish is probably the least interesting, going in either direction; might as well get it over with at the start.
There are some non-Hiway 2 options for pieces of the journey from Snohomish to the top of Stevens Pass, too -- search here, or at the Cascade Bicycle Club message boards, or on some of their links to maps/routes for Washington. [for instance, it's reported that one can ride the "old" Hwy 2 route for most of the final climb over Stevens]
If you haven't been out here before, you will find the scenery quite different from Illinois!
Thanks for the reply. Actually, I can start/finish anywhere on the route. All I need is a place to long-term park my vehicle while I'm out on the bike. I suppose, of course, that will be easiest in one of the larger cities.
I've heard that parts of 2 can be busy and I've been looking at the old cascade highway. It looks like it can be used for part of the route.
I'll check out the Cascade Bicycle Club for more tips, too.
Merckx Team SC, Merckx ti with a lot of miles, Cannondale T1000, Tandem Tuesday
I did a similar ride clockwise and it was awesome. started in Renton and stayed in Snohomish than in darrington. Then stayed at Ross Lake Resort...that is an amazing stay in a cabin floating on the lake. Boats took me there. than the fabulous Duck Pond Inn in Winthrop. The climbs are stunning. I ended up going over Blewett and on to Renton through Snoqualmie. It is a great ride. I did it on a tandem and stayed in motels and ate out. Fresh cherries were abundant and added to the fun. The only question might be the wind direction on 97. It can be a bugger if it isn't going your direction.