Published: July 19th 2008July 19th 2008
Cascade Range in Washington
The riding was especially fun in the Cascades with lots of turns to roll on the throttle. Scenery was different than Canada and Alaska, but that's what makes the world unique.
Day 21 (July 18, 2008)
After saying goodbye to all my biker friends that had made the ferry crossing from Haines to Bellingham, I got on I-5 and headed for Highway 2, which would take me across the upper part of Washington, Idaho and Montana. I have never driven this route before and was looking forward to the journey home.
I know that Route 66 is a well traveled road but Hwy 2 also takes you across a wide variety of landscapes and geographical areas.
I can say that I am glad to be back in the lower 48 and know that the roads are in much better shape. And it seems my Wing knows that it is headed home and knows exactly where to go and what speed to travel at! Things have a mind of their own.
Okay, let's start with crossing the Cascade Range starting at Everett, WA. This is a great biker road with lots of twists and turns. I shared the road with lots of other bikers who were heading to the mountains on a Friday. Takes a while to get back in the grove for high speed turns
Leavenworth, WA (Bavarian Alps)
As the legend goes: In the Cascades there is this little town called Leavenworth that was quickly becoming a ghost town in the 60's after the Mill closed and the railroad moved. The town fathers mortgaged everything they owned on the advice of the University of Washington city planning dept. and renovated their town to reflect a Bavarian Village and established an Autumn Festival. These "Washington Bavarians" "quickly became experts in all things Bavarian through travel and study" to provide you with the most authentic Bavarian experience possible.
and when to lean and and pull out as well as throttle control...can you tell I was having fun?
This particular section through the Cascades had streams, passes (Stevens Pass), cliffs and so much more and it was full of city folks heading out for the weekend. As you know, this section of Washington is known for apples and fruit stands. I stopped and bought a bag full of fresh cherries and loved them.
US Highway 2 is an east-west U.S. Highway spanning 2,579 miles across the northern continental United States. As its number indicates, it is the northernmost east-west U.S. Route in the country.
The Cascade Range is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, including the rugged spires of the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades. The small part of the range in British Columbia is called the Canadian Cascades or Cascade Mountains; the latter term is also sometimes used by Washington residents to refer to the Washington section of the Cascades in addition to North Cascades, the more usual American term,
Leavenworth, WA (Bavarian Alps)
Aside from beautiful buildings you could hear all the music associated with the Alps. And shopping! If JoLYnn had been with me, we would have had to ship the goods home. Great little town and would want to go back and spend more time here.
as in North Cascades National Park.
The Cascades are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean. All of the known historic eruptions in the contiguous United States have been from Cascade volcanoes. The two most recent were Lassen Peak in 1914 to 1921 and a major eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. Minor eruptions of Mount St. Helens have also occurred, most recently in 2006. However, I did not see amy smoking volcanoes.
I always wanted to see the Grand Coulee Dam near Electric City. It's a hydroelectric gravity dam on the Columbia River and is the largest electric power producing facility and the largest concrete structure. It is the fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world. The top producing dams are the Three Gorges Dam in China, the Guri Dam in Venezuela, and the Itaipu Dam on the border of Paraguay and Brazil.
The Grand Coulee Dam is almost a mile long at 5223 feet. The spillway is as long as 5.5 American football fields. At 550 feet, it is taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza; all the pyramids at Giza could
On the way to Grand Coulee Dam
This area almost looked a little like the Grand Canyon. It is on the way from Coulee City to the dam. Very unique strata.
fit within its base. Its hydraulic height of 380 feet is more than twice that of Niagara Falls. There is enough concrete to build a four-foot wide, four-inch deep sidewalk twice around the equator.
Okay, I've given you more than you need to , but keep in mind this is my blog for my use! Just kidding. It was a huge structure as the pictures can attest to.
Moving onto the high plains was another geographical area...lots of grain fields that seemed to stretch for miles and miles and miles or as far as the eye could see.
Then into the mountains again, only this time they vegetation was brown and arid. All this in several hours of driving Highway 2.
I finally made it to Spokane and made a WiFi connection so that is why I am getting caught up on my entries.
When I left Bellingham, it was in the 50s and by the time I got into the Cascades, the temp had climbed into the upper 80's. Welcome home. I think it will be like this for the remainder of my ride home.
That's about all for today. I can honestly
Grand Coulee Dam
Franklin Delanore Roosevelt Lake is being held back by this huge hydroelectric structure.
say that I am anxious to get home and be around familiar settings, but this has been one wild ride.
Take care everyone and keep safe.
There are more photos below