Next day, the plan is to do segments 5 and 4 down to Packwood.
I'm erring on the side of caution and planning on taking the 'easier' alternate routes if the track looks tricky for big beemers. Mainly because I'm hoping to visit the previous owner of my bike in Portland, and I'd hate to turn up with it bingled after he has kept it in such beautiful condition for 23 years. Well that's my excuse anyway...
Quite surprised by the open plains around Ellensburg.
When we get down to Nile, I catch up with another advrider who has just come up WABDR from the south and suggests we can still head up the 'start' of the track to Bethel Ridge to see the views, then come back to the easier route.
What we forgot to check was whether he meant the start at the south or the north.
Stefan goes for it, and this is what I find when I come around the corner, one big pig having a little lie down.
As usual the photos give no idea of how steep this was.
We, carefully, got the big pig turned around and pointed back down the hill. Stefan wanted to continue up, but I chickened out, so we headed back to the easy route.
As the bike had been on its side for a while, Stefan was blowing clouds of blue smoke out the exhaust for the next 20 miles. We were beginning to wonder if it would stop when it finally cleared.
More lovely country
Then we passed a turn off to Mt Timberwolf. Stefan suggested there might be some good views there, so we headed up the trail a couple of miles, to eventually ride right to the top of the mountain,
and the most stunning 360 degree views. Here's a small section of it.
Views of the 3 largest mountains in Washington.
and a drop of about 1000 metres down to the creek below
I'm holding my breath here as Stefan is right on the edge.
We stayed here for about 1/2 an hour, drinking in the view and the silence.
So, if I can only make one recommendation, if you are planning on doing WABDR, this would be it, take the detour to Mt Timberwolf, you won't regret it.
We headed down into Packwood, only to find out that they also have an event on on the long weekend, with thousands of folks attending a fair of some sort, which seemed to involve lots of ritual consumption of food heavily fried in fat and covered in sugar.
Anyway the joint is packed, and we can't find any RV park to stay at, until we finally reach Morton, and beg the local motel owner to let us put up a tent on his lawn.
Then we take his recommendation to try the local pub around the corner for dinner. Unfortunately they also sell a demon drink call 'The Irish Death' which we manage to consume in vast quantities while playing Shuffleboard on a full size table.
Apparently we stumbled back to the motel around 1am, and one of us walked straight into the owner's pickup truck before staggering to bed. Neither of us can remember doing it.
We're both old enough to know better, but we're not.