Tour without a goal – 17 July 2014


Even these long days
are not nearly long enough
for the skylarks to sing

with and against
As has so often been the case this tour the morning was dramatically different than the afternoon. I did some errands in Ellensberg so got out later than I’d wanted but the wind from yesterday was still present and still with me. The bulk of the mornings ride was in the Yakima Canyon which is just superb riding. Tall, barren rocky cliffs tower above and to ones side is the Yakima River and the riot of green that surrounds it. In between is the shades of tan one has become accustomed to but away from the river the landscape approached a moonscape. As I rode up out of the Canyon I found myself above Yakima and to the northwest I caught my first glimpse of Mount Rainer since leaving the Olympia area. I also ran over a nail, a rusty spike rather, that went through the tread of my tire and out the side. But it did not puncture the tube. This is why I tour with Schalwbe Marathon Plus tires.

the high drone of the crickets,
the lonely wail of the wind in the wires

The route turns north at Seleh and now the wind that had been pushing me along was against me. It picks up in the afternoons and by the evening there were crazy strong gusts. It’s the kind of wind that heralds a storm, but a storm never came. This part of the days ride was the opposite of enjoyable – hot, headwind, rolling hills. Due to there being a S. Wenas and a N. Wenas road and that you ride on both I ended up on North when I should have been on South. While not tragic it was another mile or two of “bonus” riding into the headwind. Once back on track I turned west and now had a crosswind for what is a pretty long, steep climb over the canyon walls above Naches. With the crosswind the descent was also somewhat tricky.

the evening wears on
– the summer sun still so high in the sky

Riding backroads around Naches through apple and pear orchards the occasional blast from a sprinkler was welcome in the hot evening sun. But then I was on hwy 12 riding west toward White Pass. The black rocks of the mountains towered above me and green began to reappear. Today has been the longest ride in a while and I was quite happy to reach Windy Point Campground which was appropriately named on this evening. It turned out the water pump here was busted so I had to filter water from the stream. But it is a more more empty campground which I can’t deny I enjoy.

the wind and the river-
rushing in different directions

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