It was late when we left Ellensburg and we had a bit over 100 miles to Chelan, hopefully arriving before dark. Being so far North in mid July, the days were long giving us a good amount of daylight. The scenery varied greatly as we rode North from the sagebrush and into the Wenatchee National Forest. The arid cool was a welcome break from the constant sun and heat that had beat down on us all day. I had been sweating profusely and consuming a ton of water. Luckily we seemed to drink water at about the same rate the bikes sipped fuel, by the time I ran out we had to refuel.
I find this area of Washington shows a great contrast of environments where the rivers provide irrigation for the immediate area, adding color to the otherwise drab high plains desert.
The ride stretched on, 100 miles is a lot of highway after a full day of trail. The relief from the heat kept us going as we dropped down into Wenatchee, though we were all pretty bummed to be missing out some great trail.
A nice sunset, the Wenatchee National Forest in the distance.
We arrived in Wenatchee and it was still friggin' hot. The temperature rose significantly after descending a few thousand feet to the Colombia river valley.
We grabbed some food and adult beverages, then headed North on 97 looking like we may be headed for another wildfire.
We were, but luckily for us this one was contained to a hillside. It didn't look like they were doing much to fight the fire except for keeping it away from the homes at the base of the hill.
After an excellent section of twisties we popped out at the shore of lake Chelan right at the state park campground.
We turned in to the campground and went to find the "host" as the place was jam-packed full.
The host gave us illogical directions to find a place to pitch a tent, and after riding around for a while looking we just gave up and found an open space somewhere. The campground was overfull and insanely busy. People racing around in cars, revving bikes, trying to have family cookouts next to kids playing drinking games. Setting up, we wondered if we'd even get any sleep.
It wasn't my ideal place to camp but we had stretched our days so long that trying to find a trail-side spot would have left us riding to camp in the dark, exhausted. We got showered, set up, and went for a little walk sipping from a bottle Bernie picked up earlier. Surprisingly, the place quieted right down at dusk - the park rangers were out in force to ensure that. Someone had complained about our setting up where we did, but the ranger - satisfied that we weren't causing trouble - let us be. We hit the sack before too long though still closer to midnight than I'd like. Tomorrow would be another long day.