Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dartre's First 200k: The Three Rivers Cruise!

We didn't hunt and we didn't trespass. And sadly we didn't fish, even though the sign didn't exactly say we'd get shot if we fished. Problem is there isn't much of a remedy for being shot unfairly. But we did pass through some of Western Washington's most beautiful river valleys: the Stilligaumish, the Sauk and the Skagit. As steelhead fishers, Dartre and I certainly checked out some prime fishin' spots.

The Three Rivers Cruise is Seattle International Randonneurs Permanent #4089, and it was 200k via Arlington, Darrington, Rockport, Marblemount, back through Rockport, Concrete and returning to Arlington. In the pre-dawn light, this blue barn stood watch. Is the barn saying "Oh!" (top two windows as eyes, double-X doors as nose, and open area as mouth)?

Our companion, John Vincent (see Part 1 here and Part 2 here for John's interview about his recumbent experiences), and Dartre stopped as the sun was emerging. If you look closely you'll see the frost is indeed still on the punkins. It was 27 degrees.

The Sun emerges with its special first light.

John rode ahead of us as we headed upstream along the Stilly toward Darrington. Fire trucks and aide cars sped past us at a very fast clip, and our brains couldn't shake on this quiet Sunday morning a nagging dread that perhaps John had been hit. We were relieved/sorry to see the equipment stopped for a house fire. Hope all ended up relatively OK there!

Heading up the Skagit hoping for Bald Eagles. About three months too soon I'm guessing. A few years ago on a frigid float trip we spotted about 300 one day. Note the fabulous shoulder for cycling!

In Marblemount, John displays...I can't remember what the conversation was exactly, but he was displaying hardiness of some kind! Perhaps he was demonstrating how he wasn't the object for the aide vehicles' speeding so. John let me sit on his recumbent and pick it up. Damn, that is a light bicycle!

Here, Dartre displays...what can I say: a smooch heading my way as I practice my behind-the-back-with-my-phone photography skills. Only on deserted stretches of road, I promise.

The Skagit with snowcaps in the background.

Our day warms as Autumn settles in.

Feet planted in Concrete.

The Skagit is a powerful river, colored by glacial till.

Typical Skagit gravel bars.

On the bridge over the Skagit just before turning onto the South Skagit Highway, and miles of chipseal.

Even chipseal roads can capture the special light of a late afternoon sun.

It was about 3000 feet of total climbing, about all we needed.

And for Dartre, it was her first ever 200k! No small feat.

Congratulations, DartreDame! You are a Randonneur!

Keep it flowin,


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