We made it! Day 2 up US Highway 2 to Money Creek Campground and Day 3 up and over the Pass were two of the three days I’d been most worried about due to traffic and the amount of vertical to conquer.
Day 2 started from Oxbow at 7:30am with cool 60 degree weather (relative to the day before’s record setting 90+ heat) as we headed north up highway 203 with little traffic. Our route took us past horse farms and classic old farm houses, initially skirting highway 2 on Ben Howard Road as the Cascades loomed to the east. We knocked out the first 26 miles non-stop then inhaled a yummy breakfast pancakes, eggs, bacon, and potatoes at the Wallace Falls Cafe in Gold Bar.
The heat increased as we ascended highway 2 toward Money Creek Campground, with lots of Sunday traffic and sometimes narrow or non-existent shoulders. We powered through and made it to the campground for a surprise greeting from Adam (Oxbow farm manager) and his family.
Emily and Sarah caught up after some antique shopping in Snohomish and some RV dumping and filling. We were all happy to soak our feet in the VERY cold water of the Skykomish River.
Day 3 – The Ascent over Stevens Pass
It was hard! We left early in 58 degree temps and shade. Perfect weather! The Old Cascade Highway was delightful with no traffic and the Skykomish nearby but the ascent never let up.
We continued pedalling up, up, and up. At one point we saw a bear cub clinging to a tree immediately next to the road. Having seen the mother scurry off into the bushes just ahead, we decided that turning around to take a photo was NOT a good idea so we kept pedalling. The cute little cub certainly made Olivia’s day!
Finally at 9:30am, three hours after our start, we reached the summit, having ascended over 3,000′ in 25 miles.
After a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes that our Rig crew had prepared in the ski resort parking lot we enjoying the 30 mile descent into eastern Washington, reaching speeds as high as 41mph.
We made a quick stop at Lake Wenatchee for a snack and then made our way to Ed Kelly’s place near Plain. Ed prepared an outstanding barbecued meal of chicken and salmon, along with salad from his garden. What a treat!
We ate, drank fantastic Novelty Hill wines, then slept well!