Day 10 to Walla Walla
I have always liked the name Walla Walla. I was, as some who can't forget say, in "the 'nam" with a guy from Walla Walla. He got one of his testacies shot off during a helicopter extraction mission and after that we just called him "Walla".
But I diverge. Today was not a challenging day for navigation.
Go 31 miles north, turn left on highway 12, and ride for many hours until you see the Comfort Inn on the left. It was mildly challenging riding as we climbed over the mountains again and on the downhill side had nice flowing turns on pretty good pavement except in the turns were it was rippled and in the shadows which had some of us backing off from wide ass open. The view was spectacular. We rode along the Clearwater River, which it definitely was for mile after mile. Several riders saw Moose and Capt. Gary saw three but they got away before he could get a picture. Overall another great ride, if on the cool side.
In Walla when I went to get gas for the next day I found many a wine tasting rooms for the local vineyards. I can say they produce some great wines here. The evening was finished off with a impromptu dinner at Smith's in front of the hotel.
Day 11 to The End
Fatigue was showing on lots of riders as they came down for our last breakfast and rider meeting. This was the ride and I think many were ready, including me.
Frist leg was running up a four lane highway towards Spokane. Not much traffic, but windy and the classic riders hate these parts with reason. I turned off to Lind our first checkpoint that is having a combine demolition derby in a week or so, I did not see the exact date. Big Red did and quit right at the check point, the intersection of 1st and 2nd Street. I thought he was out of gas, so I fueled out of the can but that did not make him happy. Further inspection found the spark plug cap off....again. This had happened yesterday, but I inspected the plug and cap and deemed them ok. This time I pulled the plug and though it looked ok, I put the new in and roared of over the hills. We rolled through wheat fields that were planted right up to the road or steep drop offs and on the side of some steep hills. Then it was through the orchards of apples, pears, and cherries, with some grapes and over the last mountain range and Stevenson Pass. On the down side Red quit again, fortunately with a pull off handy. I put the cap back on and roared on down the mountain into Everett where I got very, very nervous. I had to ride some times two lanes from the shoulder to get to were I needed to be and if Red had quit with nowhere to seek refuge in 70 mph traffic we would have been toast.
We safely made it to the end of the journey in the parking lot of the lighthouse in Mukilteo. There were faces full of joy and relief that it was over. Vicki was there to greet me and I was glad to see her.
This had been a great ride. I had dodged the dodgy weather and much to my surprise and relief it had not been blistering hot across the planes. If anything it was on the cool side and that was great with me.
Overall Team Snail did great. Walt #1, flyguy2, finished in second place. Bill #41, wlethold, finished in third, Cheryl #56, cdwise, finished in fifth. The final day scores have not been posted and though I had been in tenth, I think I fell out of the top ten on the last day due the maintenance problem. The winner had a little better handicap, but his main advantage was he had a five gallon outboard engine plumbed into to his system and never had to stop for fuel. Bill is probably upset since he is the one that recommended the Yamaha Smax to Walt. They all road turned in the same times, but the handicap is what made the winner. Cheryl, as I have said before, is a rider. She road hard and steady for the whole ride.
The intent had been to ride home but opening our support trailer became available when Bill decided to leave his Vanessa in with relatives to come back next year to ride it home. So Big Red is on the trailer and he and Capt. Gary are now headed across America for home. Vicki and I are in Wenatchee WA. in the lap of luxury in the new home of our life long friends Ed and Jet. After a few days of my butt setting still we are off to visit Oregon to see new sights.
There are no pictures as my camera in the car headed to FLA. So, next week, when it an I are home I will put up the pictures.
Thank you for following along. (back to edit later)