Sumas-Sedro-Wooley, WA: The smell of money! - The Granny Panties Tour - CycleBlaze

June 11, 2015

Sumas-Sedro-Wooley, WA: The smell of money!

Three Rivers Inn right at the junction of 542 and Hwy 20. One bed $89./$99. with tax. The shower pressure alone was worth it. Ahhhh! 360-855-2626 Excellent wifi.

Today was another short day. We had another lazy morning sleeping in. Except I wasn't sleeping so well. I felt like an ice cube with the air conditioning on all night. I knew better than to turn it off. We finally got up about 7 AM and wandered down to have breakfast with Oren. Oren and I ordered hash browns and eggs. Jacinto's plan was to eat Oren's mole leftovers from last night, but he ended up having my toast and Oren's hash browns as an appetizer. Plus lots of coffee! Coffee!

Oren and I were out the door soon after. I believe the pattern for the trip has been established. Oren and I will be the rabbits for Jacinto to chase. Jacinto was waiting for it to warm up. It was sunny and 58 when we left about 8 AM. Perfect riding weather for the moment.

Our first big climb of the trip, to 600 feet of elevation on Reese Hill. Oren strikes out ahead.
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We got to the first (and only) climb. 600 feet up Reese Hill. I told Oren to go on ahead, I'm a slow but sure climber. Off he went. The climb was just fine. It seemed as if every vehicle in the area had to climb the hill at the same time I was there, but it all went well. Nice shade. That was appreciated.

I believe this is a shelter for students to wait in for the school bus. We have some in our rural area of Colorado. I saw a couple today.
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This photo was a total fail of capturing the moss and rotted wood. It was very unique, says the lady from arid Colorado. Typical scenery for the day.
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People here must spend lots of time battling nature. There were plenty of farms (dairy farms) and houses. To a one they were well cared for with the yards freshly mowed. Huge yards. What I would call fields of grass. In the areas without civilization (sort of a grandiose word) brambles, bushes, and trees had taken over. It was a bit spooky to me - all of that thick, green undergrowth. Who knows what was in there?

Even though our route was quite busy, it still felt very rural with all of the farms. In the whole ride today there was only a couple of places that weren't meticulously tended. I can imagine what a hard job it is staying on top of yard work.

Well all noticed, and failed to photograph, the combination wedding chapel and beer museum. Think about that one for a minute.

It's a shame to judge people by their appearance. This fellow carried an interesting conversation. It was worth chatting with him.
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At the intersection of 547 and 542 (our turn), Oren was waiting at the convenience store. He had tried a Muscle Milk. I didn't get a firm review one way or the other. I had my first V-8 of the trip ($1.69). A local fellow struck up a conversation. He suggested taking Mosquito Lake Road as it loops around and comes back in on route for us. Somehow I wasn't too interested in anywhere with Mosquito in the name . . . .

Oren took off, that was the last I saw of him until town. I occasionally checked my rearview mirror for Jacinto. Nope.

I was sorely missing having a bottle of Spiz (meal replacement drink) to sip on. I had brought some Spiz with me, but sure wasn't wasting it on this flat route. I made do with water and two bars. I had carefully doled out five bars to start the trip. Eating two of them took my supply way down. My true emergency food was a foil packet of tuna. I also carried a packet of mayo, one of mustard, salt, and a spoon to mix. If I'm going to have an emergency, at least I'm going to have it in style!

I was getting hungry and the wind was getting stronger. Time to get to town. Finally it looked like we were approaching a populated area. The first food I saw was a strip mall with a Subway and a Chinese place. Hmmm, is this the Chinese that CG Bob V. warned me about? Too bad, I want some veggies I'm going to try it anyway. I know we'll have a good dinner tonight with him at a Mexican place he knows.

As I pulled in, I could see Oren's flag waving down by the Subway. I called him. Oren said he was just finishing up, he'd walk down to the Chinese and talk to me while I ate. I tried calling Jacinto twice. He answered on the second time, but I couldn't hear him.

So - remember I wanted Chinese for the veggies? I walk up to the counter and see the special. Touring cyclists like specials. That's what I get. Not one veggie to be seen not even a single bamboo shoot. Nada. Oh well. Of course I eat it anyway. I try Jacinto again. Nothing. Hmmm.

Oren and I talk about the day. We had seen a large number of trucks en route. Mostly logging trucks. Some with lumber. A few regular semis. I had several occasions where the big trucks hung back until they could pass me safely. That was much appreciated. While the road was busy, I felt reasonably safe. Oren didn't get the same vibe I did. He took a dive off the road a couple of times.

Jacinto showed up outside. He had seen our bikes. I gave him my leftovers. He didn't want to eat them, can you imagine? Instead he wanted to bring the leftovers from last night in and eat them because they were older leftovers and save the new leftovers for later. Whew. I hope that didn't confuse you!

Jacinto had ten bonus miles in. He had gone east on 542 to Maple Falls. He then asked if that was the correct direction to Sedro-Wooley. Oops. Jacinto said that little piece didn't have much traffic.

Just to note, Jacinto agreed there was lots of traffic, but felt everyone was polite. I did have one short straight truck (like a uHaul) that passed me up a little incline. He then over corrected onto the should and fishtailed around. I was worried for him, not me. But he regained control.

Our motel was just across Hwy 20 from our lunch stop. Five lanes of traffic across. Oren made it, but Jacinto and I had to go down a block and circle back. The ladies inside were very nice checking us in. We have ground floor rooms tonight. Yay! It's the little things when you are riding a long bicycle. Plus our room is spacious, so there's room for two bikes plus still walk about.

I was a good girl and cleaned my chain first thing. Took a shower. I'm writing this journal. Oren and Jacinto had to go downtown and buy Oren a shirt. He was so efficient in throwing away all of his extra clothes that he didn't have an off the bike shirt to wear. Jacinto and Oren went on a scouting trip.

I talked to Bob V. He and his wife are going to pick us up. We are going to dinner at Lorenzo's. I will be hungry, my half plate of Chinese food is wearing off.

Later - Bob and Janey picked us up in Janey's brand new Camry. The parking lot at Lorenzo's was packed. Always a good sign. Lucky us, we got a table in the corner where it wasn't too noisy. Bob filled us in on all kinds of local history and information on our route. I tried to sweet talk him into riding with us for a few days as a local tour guide. I wasn't convincing. My crab and shrimp stuffed relleno was excellent. Jacinto ended up with a free beer when they brought him the wrong beer and then the correct beer.

After dinner we drove up to their house to see Bob's new Velomobile. His old one, a Quest, they had taken to their Florida home and left it there. Bob has had new Milan for five weeks. He has been very busy installing a sound system powered by a 12v battery. Bob can run all of the electronics for two days without having to charge the actual battery.

Now we are back at the motel. It's another easy day tomorrow, so another relaxed start. The Sagit River Highway is closed for repairs. There is a detour, but Bob wasn't real supportive of taking it. Maybe something to do with the big climb en route? There is a rail trail from here to Concrete. 22 miles long. But Bob said there was two washed out areas where it's necessary to walk through the creekbed a quarter mile or so to get back on the trail. So . . . . . we are on Highway 20. A last minute look at the ACA map shows a side road between Rockport and Marblemont. We are planning on that.

It would not be much of an exaggeration to say there were as many barns yesterday and today as houses. Why did I pick this one for my first photo? See the face?
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There was a sign in advance of this crossing saying "Cycles take care crossing tracks." I walked it. Oren and Jacinto? What do you suppose the testosterone driven men did? Ha.
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A brand new barn in the making. It doesn't have doors or windows yet. Barns are taken seriously in this country.
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We had just a glimpse of real mountains. Gulp. Those are coming up, I know!
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Excellent lodging in Sedro-Wooley. Full pressure showers, large room, rags to clean our bikes. Nice ladies at the front desk. Pool. TV is subpar, Jacinto says. Wifi is great says I. $89. one bed. Two thumbs up. Much nicer than last night.
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Just in case you didn't get the reference of the title "The smell of money." That's a common saying in Lamar, CO where we lived for ten years. The town had huge feed lots on three sides. It pretty much always smelled like cows. Just like the last two days. Oren and Jacinto went for ice cream at a local dairy last night. They said the ingredients for the ice cream were so fresh they could still smell the point of origin outside.

Later - Eeegads. Jacinto was trying to call Oren's room to consult on how long to dry the clothes and somehow dialed 911. He immediately hung up. But I don't think you can hang up on 911. I told him he'd better go tell the ladies what happened. They might not be so happy with us now, if their motel is surrounded by emergency vehicles! Let's see what happens.

Update - Jacinto thought he needed to dial 9 to get out. Then he started to put in Oren's room number - 117 - which means he dialed 911. ah, ah. He went down to the office and emergency services already had them on the line. All is well. Good thing he went right down there.

Oren and CG Bob V. and his velomobile. I let Oren's wife know he would really, really like one for Father's Day.
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Bob and Janey and the wonderful view from the back deck of their home.
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Today's ride: 42 miles (68 km)
Total: 67 miles (108 km)

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