Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Escape to the Sun

blue skies on the east side
 I was sick of being sick. My cough made me sound like I was a lifetime smoker. I never knew, before opening my mouth to speak, if I could actually get the words out audibly and clearly, or if I would go into a fit of coughing. The solution was clear – go to Eastern Washington for a bike ride and cough the crap out of my lungs. 

Departure time was 7AM for Cle Elum, the first significant town on the east side of Snoqualmie Pass. The skies were grey and, though there was a chance of showers that day, I refused to believe it. This is the sunny side, damn it.

I was on the bike by 9AM (after two pit stops – the result of drinking so much tea) and had my broncho-dilator (just like a smoker) in my jersey pocket, along with camera and snacks. The air was warm enough that I didn't need leg warmers, but I brought the arm warmers to fend off the morning chill. 

I had mapped out my route, printed the cue sheet and I even found a nice way to get out of town without having to ride on the main drag at all. 

Soon I was on Hwy 10, heading east. Uh oh – there was a sign saying the road was closed 2 miles ahead. How closed – enough so I couldn't walk my bike through? I would have to see. So I made sure to really enjoy those 2 miles with zero traffic and views to the Teanaway peaks and watching a couple of guys fly fish in the river.

I've been on adventurous rides before, but I didn't think it was a good idea to try to make my way around the closure; it was a little airy. I suddenly had a vision of me doing a balance beam walk across a girder in my little Italian shoes while precariously carrying my bicycle over my shoulder. No, that one wouldn't end well. I quietly turned around and headed back into town. There was a way around the closure, but it was a gravel road that had some climbing and descending and I wanted to pick gravel bits out of my skin even less than I wanted to cough.
yes, Hwy 10 is really closed

My overall mileage was nothing exciting, in fact I wouldn't normally even get out of bed for such a short ride, but I got with it a change in scenery, sunshine and filled my tank with $3.39/gallon gas. And I coughed a few times.

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