Federal Way to Memaloose State Park
It's raining as I pull out of the driveway.
Prime opportunity to evaluate the rain gear situation.
I do the I-5 grind in the wet - south through Tacoma, Nisqually, Olympia.
I pick up a couple of stragglers just south of Nisqually, one on a Triumph, the other on an SV650.
They're being cautious and tentative in the right lane and I cruise past to their left at about 70, sticking in the tire tracks, waving as I go by.
They fall in behind, speed up and track me to Centralia. I pull in there for a rest, thinking I'm finally free of the rain.
A quick stop for gas and a snack gives the water a chance to catch up with me so I squirt south again to try and stay ahead of it.
The route cuts east on 205 and then 14 east through Washougal and on along the Washington side of the Columbia.
My first real break is in Washougal near the river front.
Still a little wet out
Which way to go?
I think I'll follow the horse. He's pointed east.
The goal is White Salmon and then the bridge across the river to the town of Hood River.
The ride along 14 is really spectacular - my first time on this pavement and it was a joy.
Lots of sweeping curves with amazing scenery and some cool tunnels.
The highlight was coming through a sweet curve and staring a freight train right in the headlight.
The train slides by me, feeling as if it's just off my right shoulder.
The tracks are so close to the highway that it's an incredibly surreal experience.
Damn the lack of a helmet cam!
That will be rectified before my next ride.
The Bonneville dam is a nice spot to rest along the journey east.
I take a walk down to the fish ladder.
Out of focus, but I had to show these Lamprey - freaky animals
Struggling to Spawn
The bridge from White Salmon to Hood River is an adventure.
A very long grated deck that on it's own is perfectly negotiable, if a little unnerving.
The side gusts are what make this bridge attention grabbing.
This area is famous for the windsurfing and I'm hit by late afternoon gusts of at least 20-30 mph while trying to track the grate.
Great fun - who needs caffeine?
I crossed this bridge twice - not sure I would take it again.
I certainly wouldn't want to take it in the rain, especially with those wind gusts.
Seems like a recipe for rider on the deck soup.
From Hood River to Memaloose is a blast down I-84 while being buffeted by more gale force winds.
Safe at Camp
Goal accomplished, camp set up, time for dinner.