Dear Family & Friends

Yesterday Brian rode off by himself to visit a friend so this morning Ray and I got up to face a grey, damp day. We rode for about half an hour until we reached a quaint small town in upper Washington called  Snohomish. I really enjoy these old western towns. Not only are they beautiful to look at but the people are so friendly and seem to live at a slower pace. I think they are smarter than us “Californians”. Any ways we went into a local cafe and we each had one of the best omelets ever and they were huge! Mine was an asparagus, bacon, and Hollandaise sauce. I didn’t touch the potatoes and still couldn’t finish it.

Wink

Our waitress was  good looking blond I would guess in her early 40s. She was so helpful and asked about our trip. When I mentioned where I was going she went on line and got me the weather report. Very friendly. I think women think motorcyclist are sexy….

After breakfast Ray decided he had enough and was ready to go home so he headed due south. I wanted to ride into the Cascades and do a little exploring. The sky was very grey and cloudy but at least dry. On the west coast the storms come in from the ocean and generally rain on the western side of the mountain ranges and tend to be dry on the eastern side so I thought if I could get over the mountain soon I would be safe.

If was a beautiful ride up the side of the mountain with dense forests, rivers and lakes everywhere, and dramatic views of jagged peaks. I got to the top and thought I was safe but as I descended down the eastern slope it started pouring hard rain. It was cold and wet for the next hour or so. I figured I could make it to the next reasonable size town of Levanworth and if it was still pouring I would stay the night there even though it would still be early afternoon.

I got to Levanworth and I can highly recommend a visit there. In our area we have the town of Solvang based on Denmark. Levanworth was styled like a Bavarian town in Germany. Lots of shops, wine tasting, beer halls, and German food. And thousands of tourists!

I went into a cafe and had a coffee and snack and amazingly by the time I was done the rain seemed to be letting off so I got on my bike to see if I could get ahead of the storm.

Within an hour I was out of the Cascade mountain range and into the eastern planes of Washington. The eastern side is NOT green and looks more like central California. Within an hour I went from cold rain to sunny and mid 90s! Things change fast on a motorcycle.

I decided to save some money tonight so I am staying in Yakima, Washington which is in an Indian reservation. I am in an old semi run down (but at least clean) Motel for only $60 a night.. I asked the desk clerk if there were any good restaurants  in town and he recommended McDonalds and KFC. That was the best?  I would hate to see the worse!! As I rode into town I did find a small Chinese restaurant in a building that looked more like a cell block than a restaurant. The food was acceptable.

I can tell you don’t come to Yakima for a vacation. The town is rather depressing.

Tomorrow I ride down to the Columbia Gorge and ride along the Columbia River until I get to Portland where I will spend a couple of days. One day exploring the city and another day visiting my daughter Hannah and her wonderful husband John.

For a few photos go to:

Jason

The classic town of Snohomish
My massive omelet that I could not finish..
The Cascade mountain range on a better weather day.
The tourist town of Levanworth.
Behind Levanworth you can see the mountain range and storm I had just ridden through.
My motorcycle with all the stickers from all over the world draws quite a lot of attention and I am always answer questions about my travels.
Entering the dry section of central Washington. From one climate to another in a matter of minutes/
Lots of agriculture from ground water just like California
From snow capped peaks to high desert.
Beautiful downtown Yakima. Only go here if you have to.
The best Chinese restaurant in probably a 100 miles! No exaggeration.


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