Mt. St. Helens through the North Cascade Highway

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Aug 23, 2009

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Where I stayed
Gord and Cyndi's

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 9 - Morton - North Cascades Highway - Oliver BC

We know we are a full day behind on the updates ... one day of no internet connection can really through a wrench into things ... we are going to catch up today though so bear with us.

We stayed at the Seasons Motel in Morton which is about an hours drive north of the access to Mt. St. Helens on the east side.  Next planned stop was Oliver, BC. The big challange here was do we split this ride into 2 easy days or do we push on  to Oliver, BC where there are friends with a pool and beer. Not a hard choice....we pushed on to Oliver!  By Todd's guess this ride was going to be about 700km's and would take us through the Northern Cascade Mountains.

Morning was beautiful. First day we didn't start out with liners in our gear. The ride north was great with little traffic and beautiful tree lined roads. This changed as we got closer and closer to Tacoma. The country side around Tacoma is amazing and with Mt. Rainer as the back drop it is not suprising that there are a lot of fantastic homes where people live and commute to the city. Traffic got a little conjested here, so needless to say we found another road heading north.

This took us through Black Diamond, Maple Valley, Fall City and Granite Falls.  We stopped here for lunch at about noon as it's just south of Arlington and not far from where we would turn off to take the 530 towards The Northern Cascade Mountains.

The ride on The Northern Cascade Highway is another road  that is a must do on a bike. The only one issue with this ride today was the smoke. There were 2 fires burning in the park and the smoke was blowing in from the fires in Canada. The views were still amazing as you can see from the photos of where we stopped  close to the top at one of the look outs. Once at the top and over, the smoke got worse but we still enjoyed the ride and plan on doing it again someday in reverse.

Just on the other side of the Cascades is a town called Winthrop.  They have constructed it as an old western town, and not just the main street....all the buildings. Extremely well done. The roads were full of bikes. (That alone will let you know what kind of a ride it was). The town is right at the bend in a river  which runs along the main street. People everywhere. It was just beautiful.

We took the road out of town to hook up with the 97 North to take us to the border. Now, at this point it was a long ride so far and we were both thinking it was time to get off the bike and stretch out the legs...and other thing. We were however trying to make it to Oliver for 6pm as Cyndi and Gord had other company and dinner was planned for 6pm.  When we started on the 97 is was only about 60 miles from there to why stop....lets  just keep going and we'll make it on time. Can you say ouch? 

We stopped for gas, duty free (can't be gone for a week and not buy cheep booze, cigars and cigaretts) and customs....we made it to Oliver at 6:25.  Todd sort of underestimated the distance ....when we were done it was close to 1000 km's. You would think we were riding for Iron Butt  or something.

The last 2 days were amazing and wouldn't change long as they were we saw some fantastic things. The next 2 days we'll be hanging in Oliver BC enjoying the sun and visiting with friends. Still hope to do some site seeing around here...just a shorter ride.

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