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  • Road Trip: Day 10

    Posted on September 7th, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    Who’s crazy idea was it to drive over 400 miles on the backroads of Washington? Yeesh, today was a long day of driving!

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    I woke-up at 6am just so I could get on the road early. After cleaning the bugs off the windshield and topping-off the fuel tank I headed East on Highway 20. The morning traffic was a bit heavier than I’d have liked, but it cleared-out the farther from civilization I got.

    Over the past week I’ve been seeing quite a few bicyclists on the roads with long-distance bags all over their bikes. It’s been crazy to see so many riders on these roads that I’m driving! I’ve also seen quite a few long-distance motorcyclists… I guess this is a great time of the year to be on the roads!

    The first cool area I drove through was the North Cascades National Park. Along the Skagit River there is a series of hydroelectric dams that provide 25% of Seattle’s power. These dams have been in operation since the 1920’s, so there are quite a few historic “landmarks”.

    I spent a while driving through the canyon stopping periodically to look for scenic photos. Unfortunately most of the views of the dams were spoiled by trees and there were no places to pull-over to get photos of the waterfalls. At least I was able to find one nice view…

    The road down from the damns was really fun. Again I played my “how far can I coast in neutral” game… this time I was able to hit 90mph in one section! I would have gone faster (maybe triple digits?) if it wasn’t for a pair of on-coming cars pulling into my lane to get past two slow trucks. There was another section where I got up to ~75mph… it was quite an interesting experience to pass someone over a broken center line while in neutral!

    The rest of the day is a bit of a blur… just lots of driving. Most sections were decent, a few were boring, but there were a several stretches that were real gems. At one point I even found myself 27 miles from the Canadian border. The last mile of the day was the most difficult… I think I made a half-dozen wrong turns, but I eventually made it to my hotel. Now I just need to get some sleep!