Thursday, April 28, 2011

Snoqualmie Starbucks

By noon the rain had stopped and the sun was breaking through cummulus clouds.  I had the Harley Davidson Electraglide Classic packed and ready for a southern road trip the night before.  Rain turned me back.  Not the way to begin a trip.
Today there was sun.  I geared up and threw my bag into the top luggage. My cameras and Western Canada bird book fit in the side luggage.  It was time to go.  I said good bye to Gilbert who believed he'd really enjoy a long high speed freeway ride but I knew better.  A half hour and he'd want to stop and run and sniff and do dog things.  He's ridden backroads to Harrison's Hot Springs from Vancouver but he doesn't like when we go over a 100 km.  I planned on flying on this trip.  Better he stay with Laura who just loves having her canine "baby" with her when I'm not around.  For a cockapoo he's big and tough and barks and protects her too.
With such silly thoughts and prayers to Jesus I was on the road heading out Oak Street south.  Not too much traffic.  Always feels good to be leaving the city.  Past Richmond, I could feel bits of worry and care flying off me when I opened up the Harley at 110 km.  It does more than that in miles but I was just warming up. I had the tunnel to go through then I was smelling the manure north of White Rock.  Green fields and blue skies with fluffy white clouds.
The sunshine was incredible. It kept overhead and I could feel the warmth it was bringing.
I'm convinced I'm part vegetable. Maybe it's just aging. I need sun.  I felt energized as I screamed down the highway in the early spring sunshine.
Even the border crossing was no problem.  Really pleasant guy on the American side. Asked me what I going to the states for, "I've got 4 days before the Canadian election. I'm going south to find the sun."  He thereupon asked me why my son was missing.  I gathered by his comment he'd not been in Vancouver or maybe recently shipped in from some place where there actually is 'global warming' and not just cold precipitation. I pointed at the sun. "I"m following it."  He laughed. A border crossing guy in the age of Homeland Security with nano Ossamas everywhere with weapons of mass destruction and this young good looking border guy laughs.  Maybe he was from Vancouver after all.  Jealous of me with time to seek the sun and the machine for doing it too.
I hardly noticed the stretch of No 5 highway between Bellingham and Skagit Harley Davidson. I was flying.  The wings were out and Hans Solo had nothing on me.  I figure Gilbert needs an enclosed side car to really appreciate the airbourne Harley Experience.  He's my little Chewy.  Skagit Harley had a pair of jeans.  The trouble with laundry is that it robs one of clothes.  After finding out on Easter Morning at church my black cords had a ripped crotch I was sure I should have a second pair of pants for the trip.  I'm staying in Best Westerns so it's not like I have to pack tents or anything more than cameras, computers, t shirts, socks, and now I had the extra pants. I also picked up one of those neck face tube warmers.
Back on the road I noted my fuel was low so got off at a gas stop only to find it was a Costco Gas Station. I love my Costco card. The price really was a saving.
Back on the road again the skies opened  at Everett with rain then hail but I was out of it before it was more than just plain miserable. I 'd crossed over to the slow lane with reduced visibility.     I was  thankful for the neck face warmer. Without it the hail would have ripped chunks of flesh from my face. I felt one piece hit and was surprised it didn't draw blood.  Everett is a navy base.  I knew they'd have good surgeons if the hail got through the cloth peirced the skin and made a beeline for my brain.
When the hail passed so I moved out to the centre lane again to get out of the slow lane truck backwash.  Coming into Seattle I saw the exit lane and signalled to move over, shoulder checked and moved slowly into the lane. This bitch must have been in her own cellphone world because she passed me in that lane taking 2/3's of the lane and leaving me the edge.  I think she realized what she did because she was out of there turn off looking back at me over her shoulder, no doubt expecting me to go American on her with a Glock 9 mm.   I was happy to survive the close call and returned to saying Jesus over and over as the high speed traffic merged and I took the first exit into Seattle.
I've been to Seattle alot.  A few times I've come in on my older Harley Roadster.  This was the first time on the new Harley Electraglide. The new Harley is heavier and prettier and sweet.  I thought the same of the old Harley but I didn't know better like I do now.  Riding into a city on a Harley is like something out of the Old West.  There are all these silly city folk in their carriages and us riders on our hogs.
I liked passing Pike and Pine.  The trouble with Seattle is parking. There is nowhere to park and have coffee and be able to watch your motorcycle. Who wants to park a Harley and go for coffee and wonder if it's being vandalized. I like to look at my bike. Right now it's sitting in the parking lot and I'm sitting here looking at it.
So I drove down along the waterfront in Seattle thinking I'd love to stop for the fabulous Seattle Oysters but finding no parking ended back on the freeway again. It was a nice slow down warm up break. The sun was hot overhead and the town was actually warm.
On the freeway a sign said 90 Spokane.  I had never gone on this route before. It was 120 kms with vehicles all around me like someone had shouted fire in the theatre.  Underpasses, bridges, turns and finally I was out of the city.  That's how I got here.  It's a suburb town of the city I think. South of Bellevue.
Lots of new houses. Pretty little town. A great friendly young guy came in and told me I'd left my lights on. "I looked around for a Harley guy. I didn't want you to have no battery."  What a great guy. This Snoqualmie rocks.  I'd stay the night here but I'd have to buy a new house to do that.  Somewhere around here there are famous ski mountains.
I'm getting back on the road to get to a place called Yakima. Ellensburg is before that.  I'll see how far I can go now that I've warmed up.
Given that the chaps don't have a leather crotch, my poor penis experienced cryotherapy.  It's died and come back to life just sitting here.  Some enterprising fashion sort will come come up with a biker cod piece that's kevlar for the rain and fur lined for warmth.  Otherwise my leathers have been fine and kept me warm.  It's supposed to be 60 and sunny in Yakima.  Spokane was supposed to be hot but the weather forecast was overly optimistic.  Just an hour or two of riding more and I should find a Best Western in either Ellensberg, a rodeo town or Yakima, where 75% of America Hops is produced.  Wonder where I 'll find an AA meeting.
Enough laying about and hanging out in Starbucks scaring the clientele with  mean biker looks.  Time to be back on the road!

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