Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

The Mountain Loop Highway is one of my state's most popular weekend drives. It meanders past the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River from its headwaters at Barlow Pass after winding its way through the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. It features any number of camping areas and hundreds of much loved hiking trails as well as access to three wilderness areas: Boulder River Wilderness, Henry M. Jackson Wilderness, and Glacier Peak Wilderness. Gorgeous views peak out from around every curve and every gap in the greenery.

Seven miles outside Darrington the pavement gives way to gravel, and it remains so for 14 miles. This then would be the ideal trip to take on motorcycles, right? Well, Mr. Logo seemed to think so, and since it was Father's Day, off we went.

I am still dealing with the tail end of this cold, and I don't know if my sense of balance was off-kilter yesterday or what, but even on wide, paved roads I was taking it easy on the curves because something just felt a little off. So obviously dirt and gravel roads were not my idea of a good time. Any time you have reduced traction and two wheel there is a bad, messy sort of inverse ratio thing that goes on; bad things happen faster while all the good stuff takes longer.

Winding our way through miles and miles of narrow one lane road, with occasional oncoming cars, massive potholes, muddy patches, loose gravel, littered tree branches, gullies and ruts would have been fun enough, but the road also features the occasion sheer cliff on one side as a bonus.

Then, when we got close to Barlow Pass we found the road was still covered in snow. Now my thoughts on motorcycling and snow are this;

the twain should not ever, Never, (I FRICKING MEAN NOT AT ALL!!) meet.

Mind, I am not telling anyone else they what they should do, I am simply stating how I feel about the situation for myself, and my bike. I don't even like it when there are patches of snow on the side of the highway as we go through the mountains. Skiing on snow is lovely, driving in snow, with the proper equipment, is fine. Riding a motorcycle anywhere near snow just does NOT work for me. Needless to say, we turned around and went BACK down the 13 miles of gravel we just rode on the way IN.

At this point Mr. Logo and both the Things began to express impatience at the snail's pace I was setting. Because, you know,

on a 600 pound motorcycle, in the middle of freaking nowhere, on a gravel road, with your child on the back, proceeding at 15 miles an hour is, what is the word?

We finally made it back to the pavement, despite a couple little close calls, and came home.

At least it was better than my Mother's Day. I spent that day in bed, when I wasn't throwing up :p

So, anyway, Happy Father's Day, 2008.

P.S. Sorry about the rant, but sometimes you just HAVE to!


lime said...

ugh, that does sound much less than fun i have to say. i'm not sure if i'd chose a bike on snow or puking all day,'s a very tough call.

S said...

Next time, stay home and have a bubble bath.
Not commenting though.

Jeni said...

First off, I'm not a bikerette, but I think based on what I know, understand, etc., of bikes, my thoughts about them and snow -pretty much the same as yours there! Given a choice between biking in the snow and puking though -I think I'd go for the biking on that one. Maybe I wouldn't be riding but rather pushing the bike to dry turf but I still think it would be better than the other choice there.

Fred said...

Snow? Eck.

Hope it was a great Father
s Day!

tsduff said...

What a pretty Sporty though.