Night two is cold, and day three begins cold. I stay in the bag until the sun hits the tent, then up for a breakfast of chicken teriyaki and coffee.
Lube and tension chain, check air filter, then off again north towards Thirtymile. Nice. The road meanders through the big burn, over a series of small ridges and meadows, with good views.
I ride through 30-mile to Long Swamp, then over to look at the Chewuch trailhead into the Pasayten Wilderness. The Pasayten borders on the North Cascades Recreation Area and National Park to the west, Cathedral Lakes Park and Manning Park in Canada to the north, so that’s a whole lot of empty out there (cumulatively about 5500 km2, or 2100 square miles if I have the math right), and I can feel that space stretching away to the north and west. It’s not northern big, but it’s pretty good, considering how easy it is to get here.
Nobody around, quiet a quiet can be. Not that I don’t like people and all, but I just like them to be other places than me, mostly. And today they are other places. I ride slow and stop a lot to take it all in. Found a warm spot on a big rock and read more of my Abe Lincoln biography.
After a short afternoon snooze it was on that weird FSR slab down Toat’s Coulee to Loomis for gas and food at the Kwik Stop (world famous chicken fingers - extra tasty!). Ran into some guys on a KTM 530, XRL, and DR650 who were camped on the Methow above Winthrop (the guy on the KTM had an extra sore butt). Made a call home from the payphone behind the Kwik Stop to check in – all was well, so off with me south through the Sinlahekin Wildlife Refuge to Concully. More fuel, some beer, then up the 3820 to Salmon Meadows. Stopped for a lookabout and map check, and this creature dropped in for a visit.
I chewed up a bit of fruit leather and placed a blob of it in front of him. He (at least i think it was a he, as it had kind of a macho way about it for a butterfly) unrolled his proboscis and happily slurped some of the goo. Mild kharma adjustment - check.
Salmon meadows were packed with horse trailers and families on ATVs, so on I went up Lone Frank Pass (highest point on the WABDR proper, 6700’). Nobody up there.
At this point the day was edging towards evening, but i was keen to check out the “Skull and Crossbones Cabin” noted on my map, so I reconnected with the 39 road, then onto an unmarked spur that headed in the right direction. About 15 min down the trail I ran into my pals from the Kwik Stop. I made the cut for their youtube video, about 6 minutes in:
After a quick chat is was on to the cabin – no pic of the cabin proper, but you can see it in the vid above. Cool spot, but decided to head back to Thirtymile Meadows for the night. It had clouded over and looked like it could rain, so I tucked the tent into the shelter at the meadows. Yes, we would burn this down, too.
Have tried to figure out who Dave Yenko is, and but no luck. Musta been a good guy.
And, Elton John was here in 1997. Go figure.
Long day, so a simple dinner of power bars, a can of Fosters, and mug of tea. The clouds moved on and the moon came up over the meadow. I crawl in, read a bit, and lights out. ‘Night.
Day 4 and 5 to come.