Saturday morning I gassed up and headed out for the Mountain Loop Highway for a ride. (http://www.northwestplaces.com/trips001/MtnLoopHiway.htm ) It's a great day trip of a little over 100 miles. It runs from Granite Falls over Barlow Pass to Darrington. Along the way there are some great views and plenty of interesting road. There is only 13 miles of gravel, but it was enough to get the bike dirty and have a little fun. Here's the road just east of Silverton in deep fir and cedar forest: The view at the Big Four Picnic area is stunning: There are many high meadow streams that cascade down to the river: As warm as it was on Saturday, I think this would have been too cold to try out: When you head north on the Loop it drops out in the town of Darrington. I stopped in the Burger Barn for lunch and it tasted great, or was I just really hungry...? Finally, heading south on Hwy 530 you get to see the west face of Whitehorse Mountain and it's glaciers. All too soon I was back in the busy I-5 corridor heading home, but still had fresh reminders of shady forest, deep woody scents, cool streams and great riding.