I-90 Adventure and Weekend Outings

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FRIDAY

I grew up learning how to snowboard at Snoqualmie Pass. My parents would put me on the ski bus and I’d head up to Ski Acres, take lessons and hang out with friends. It was totally rad, and after two seasons of lessons, they asked me to help teach and I thought I was pretty cool. I wasn’t.

So I’ll always have fond memories of I-90. A lot of my friends prefer to go to Stevens Pass. But seriously, who wants to drive for two hours on a mostly two-lane highway to enjoy stop lights through Monroe, Goldbar, and Sultan. The drive home from Stevens can take forever. I think I’d rather drive to Baker or Crystal.

Putting a pin in this story for a side note on Stevens Pass traffic: I had gone over to my friend Jason’s cabin in Lake Wenatchee one summer weekend, and hung out with him and his parents. His parents had towed their backhoe over to Jason’s cabin since he was digging out a drainage ditch and moving gravel around. When we went to leave, they offered to trailer my old jeep and tow it back to Seattle so I could ride over with them. It was rad.

jeep

On the drive home, we ran into the usual Sunday afternoon mega traffic that plagues The Highway of Death. There are a few sections of passing lanes for slow traffic, but this was complete bumper-to-bumper mayhem. Jason’s dad Craig, better known as Daddio, was rad. He was a big dude, with longer white hair and looked like he should be riding a Harley at all times. He had a little white dog named Louie who was definitely his best buddy. To paint the picture, Jason is driving their truck, I’m riding shotgun, Craig is sitting behind Jason and Jason’s mom is sitting behind me. As we roll through this passing lane section barely moving, Jason kind of straddles both lanes, not passing anyone in the right lane, just staying in place. A car behind us punches it to get ahead of us, and is now tailgating the car that was in front of us to ensure we won’t get back into our spot. The car has it’s windows down, so Craig rolls down the back window, and starts heckling them. “Hey why are you in such a hurry? Maybe you should have left yesterday? Or perhaps go back to California.”

The dude passenger in the car has now reclined his seat back because he wants nothing to do with his girlfriend’s driving behavior. I’m trying to not die of laughter because Craig is saying this stuff in such a gentle way. All of a sudden, BANG. The car rear ends the car ahead of them because they’re trying so hard to not let us back in. We then we let them pull out of traffic in front of us, get back into our spot, and eventually let the person who was rear ended back into their spot while the aggro drive has to get back in line way behind us. It was awesome. And classic highway 2.

Anyway, I-90 is just as fun in the summer. A-man told me about this train tunnel that runs under Snoqualmie Pass that you can ride your bike through. THIS TUNNEL IS UNDER A MOUNTAIN. I had been wanting to get out and ride it for a few weeks now, so we made a plan to check it out Friday. After bungee-securing my bike onto the new hitch rack, we headed up to the pass. Ranger Parking Enforcement was out in full force, but luckily, we were in possession of the Discover Pass. Remember when this pass was supposed to cost 30 dollars? It’s $35.

The Iron Horse Trail tunnel is 2.3 miles long and is pretty much pitch black the entire distance. You have to have a headlamp strapped to your head, or maybe a Gorrilapod wrapped around your handlebars. Even though the tunnel is wide enough for a train to fit through, it’s still feels narrow when you’re riding your bike, and I sometimes felt like I was getting too close to the walls.

Tunnel Entrance

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Inside the tunnel

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Backside of Snoqualmie Pass

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Sluggy

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After the bike ride, we drove down the old road by Alpental that leads to Denny Creek to check out Franklin Falls (waterfall #1 I’ve never seen). I had always thought the falls I’d hiked to in that area was Franklin Falls, but I had never been here before. Franklin Falls is awesome!

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Driving down I-90, we pulled onto the shoulder and ran down to a bridge near exit 34 to check out Twin Falls (waterfall #2 I’ve never seen). I guess there are two falls that look exactly like this one, but here’s the upper one.

twinfalls

I-90 is rad. So much to do. So much to see. And super close to Seattle. It’s easy to take for granted how good we have it here. We can be in the woods in an hour. After getting back to the city, we hit up FATL. It was completely insane. I was blown away by the skills of these guys. Some of them are in their 40’s and are still killin’ it! Amazing. I’ll definitely be checking it out again.

Jumping

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SATURDAY

Another morning at Duthie. Rode Bootcamp, Step it Up and Movin’ On. Bootcamp is definitely my favorite, especially the downhill part. Feels like snowboarding. Weekends are a little more crowded than weeknights, so I might just try to go two times a week after work from now on. Stoked on this bike.

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Spent Saturday evening at my brother’s house over in Bellevue. Had a nice view driving home over 520.

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SUNDAY

I was supposed to go hiking with my dad this morning, but got a call at 6am from my mom concerned it was going to rain on the hike. It felt like there was some hope the hike would be cancelled. At 6am when I’m half asleep, I’ll agree to anything, so I was ok with waiting until a sunny weekend. I went back to sleep, and woke up at 8am to two phone calls from my friend Matt wanting to go to breakfast. We hit up Portage Bay cafe in Ballard, then headed over to Golden Gardens.

Saw an art car gathering on the way there:

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Gandolf was exploring the low tide with his walking stick:

gandolf

This lady was hoping to make a trip to cash for gold later:

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There were a few Herons hanging out:

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We then went up to Volunteer Park to do a little exploring. Went into the Conservatory to check out the flowers and cacti:

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We went next door to the park and walked through the cemetery. It was amazing to see how much Seattle history was there. Chief Sealth’s daughter. The owner of The Seattle Times. The Denny family. Nordstrom family. The list goes on and on.

Of course there was a crow there:

crow

Seemed to make sense since we were trying to find this:

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Here’s the Denny Family section. One member buried there was born in 1793. Crazy.

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All in all, got to do and see some cool stuff this weekend. I guess that wraps up my trip report.

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