Day 4 Everett to Fall City Washington: How sweet it is! - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

May 4, 2011

Day 4 Everett to Fall City Washington: How sweet it is!

Picture gliding effortlessly along a country road, by a slow moving river, with fields and cows, historic small towns, snow covered mountains in the distance, a friendly sun, cooling breeze... No, this is not a script from some ad, it is today (so far, anyway) for us. The country road is the Lowell-Snohomish road. The river is the Snohomish. The towns are Snohomish, Monroe, and (no doubt) Duvall just ahead. The mountains are the Cascades - ha, ha, we have just veered South to avoid appreciating them at any closer range. I should have added to the script the Safeway "Signature Cafe" where the lady made us a sandwich so big we had her cut it in quarters, and where a sunny table offers free wifi and a power plug. Omigod, free wifi and power!

The Seattle general area through which we are passing is immediately distinguished by its cultural diversity. Vietnamese Pho shops abound, as do Mexican restaurants and classic tacquerilla vans. A few East Indian people are also in evidence. This is an environment in which we feel the most comfortable. These immigrant groups understand food, in a way that others don't. And they appear industrious and enterprising. Industrious foodies are our favourite!

It would be hard for this ride to now get any better, but just down the road in Duvall is the Snoqualmie Trail. If we can lose the cars (Highway 2 into Monroe again featured the one per second model) that would be super!

Blue Sky! The camera took this on its own, but it was a good decision, to summarize today's story.
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Snohomish River trail.
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Marius, we have room for 25 pounds of this stuff!
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Short trail by the Snohomish.
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The Snohomish River
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We feel the same!
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Dodie surveys the barrier of the Cascades, which we are ducking.
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Let's get outta here!
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We reached Highway 2, made famous by weeks of appearances on our computer screens back home.
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In our T shirts with the sun shining, it's tempting to make a run for sneaking over the pass before the snow and weather notices.
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No cook food supplies. Ritter "Sport" bars can be eaten in unlimited quantities because they are "Sport" bars!
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The road from Monroe to Duvall was really harrowing, with very little shoulder and heavy, hurtling traffic. At the entrance to Duvall we both recognized the scene. Dodie and I had scrutinized it from Satellite View and Street View, looking for the entrance to the Snoqualmie Trail. We stood on the spot where our satellite intelligence had told us we would find the entrance, but it was not there!

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Fortunately, 250m further on we did locate it. The trail surface was sometimes packed gravel and sometimes loose gravel.

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The loose gravel, we decided, was equivalent to a 3% grade on pavement, in terms of the work needed to move forward. Over a period of hours a de facto grade like that can be a bit wearing. However to be free from the cars was great, and the surroundings were gorgeous.

The fields and cows
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Seven ton limit! Good thing for that mailback.
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Opposite the town of Carnation the trail was closed for bridge construction.

The detour was well marked, but the way back up to the trail was for mountain goats, not BoB trailers.
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A detour took us out to the highway and back on the other side of the bridge. The detour was well marked with signs, but we could scarcely believe it when the signs directed us to climb a set of stairs back up to the former railway grade. I tried to haul the bike and trailer up the stairs, but the trailer immediately jammed against the back wheel. Dodie had to lift and tug to free the rig up.

We then located a steep gravelly ramp that lead up to a trestle on the trail. With one pushing and one pulling, the heavy rigs ascended back to the rail bed.

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However from this point onward, helpful officials had 'improved' the trail with a fresh layer of loose gravel.

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Our work load doubled. Later, they seemed to loose heart, and we returned to the packed gravel that had worked well on the earlier section.

It wasn't long on the trail before the charging cars and trucks melted from our minds. However, noise and danger made a brief cameo appearance with some goon on an ATV blasting up behind us. Dodie gave him a jolt with her air horn, but he ignored us and motored on. Later I thought we should have not moved aside, and let him stew behind us. This is a motorized vehicle prohibited trail, after all! Oh well, maybe we'll start a fun confrontation next time.

Dead? Naw, just resting.
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As evening approached, we began to think about where to camp. The ball field in Fall City was the closest thing, but we were high on a ridge above the town. A runner, one of the few souls we had seen for all the time on the trail, directed us to a road that he said came off the ridge and would take us to town. The GPS confirmed it, so we took the 'plunge'. In short order we came to a locked gate, but there was a spot where we could just squeak around. At the bottom of the road another gate was even more strongly constructed. Any squeak around spots were barricaded with heavy logs, and the gate itself could have stopped a tank. To pass over the logs we would have had to unload and disconnect the BoB trailers. But, I had one last idea - maybe the gate was not actually locked. The heavy iron of the gate slid into a heavy box, where presumably the locking action takes place. But, the gate slid open. Hurray!

Thinking outside the block.
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Blocked!
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At the ball park, little kids about four feet high were cracking hits out of the park, in an intense little league battle. The parents, unless spoken to, ignored us. Kind of like the Borg. Unless they find us to be a threat, we can move among them freely! This includes, apparently, setting up a tent in their midst.

Power Kids
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The Borg
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Today's ride: 81 km (50 miles)
Total: 291 km (181 miles)

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