Tuesday was great. I planned to ride out to Snoqualmie Falls, a huge waterfall in more rural Seattle. Snoqualmie Falls is only about 30 miles from Seattle so I wanted to go a bit further into the east part of the state to see what was up there. I decided to take Interstate 90 east to make some time rather than cut through town to US-2. Very soon after leaving downtown Seattle, the road does get nice and curvy (for the freeway). I-90 is the longest freeway in the system stretching over three thousand miles from Seattle to Logan Airport in Boston, MA. I planned to travel 50 of them :). Growing up on the east coast you know there is always going to be a town every so often, so you don’t sweat too much about gas until the low fuel light comes on.
As I start to head up the pass, my low fuel light comes on. All of the exits change from being town exits to “national forest recreation” exits, ie, there is nothing there. It’s 20 miles to the top of the pass and 45 miles to the next town. The inevitable question of should I keep going or backtrack to a known town. I keep pushing on as I’m betting there is some type of development at the top of the pass (as there is in California). It’s just a great day to be outside. The sky is clear and the temperature is in the mid 60’s. The cool, mountain air is fresh. Spending so many days on the coast, it’s nice to be in the mountains again. I do regret to say that this is the first time the bike has played in the mountains. I’ve not been up in the Sierra Nevada mountains with it.
The Cascades are much steeper it seems than the Sierra Nevada. A lot of me feels at home here. Even as a kid I’ve always enjoyed the mountains. Up at the top of the pass I found a road that winds through the ski resorts. There was no one out… Kind of like a ghost town up there as everything is shut down for the season. I do find a gas station that was open. I fill up and head back down to Seattle.
On the way back I decide to take one of these National Forest recreation exits, Tinkham Road. Pavement quickly turns to dirt as the road heads back into the thick of the forest. I ride five or so miles into the woods and find nothing interesting (aside from a few bullet peppered signs), so I head back to the 90 freeway.
I check the tire at the interchange and hit the one thing that every motorcycist hits sooner or later: I picked up a staple in the tire. It’s not a deep cut so I decide to keep riding with it in there. At the bottom of the pass I check the pressure and I’m not losing air.
Snoqualmie Falls was incredible.
Andy proposed to his wife Raissa there and over the years I’ve heard a lot about it. Andy joked, “You want to go there?” Yeah, I want to go there. From the moment I get there you can see it’s couples heaven. Snoqualmie Falls is a hydroelectric plant.
Walking down to the falls you see a whole lot of “watch for rising water” signs. At one point the trail is caged in to keep the humans out of the park rather than the animals away from the humans.
The ride back to Seattle was quite uneventful. Lots of suburbia. Not much traffic (for a first!) so all in all a great day.