A girl, a bike, and an open road

It is good to be on the road again.

I had originally planned to get on the road last week, forgetting that I had to be on-call for my day job, 9am-9pm, Mon-Sun. No real burden, but it did commit me to being within a few minutes of internet access at all times during those periods, and an extended wander across the plains, where Starbucks and McDonalds are a bit thin on the ground, seemed wildly irresponsible.

I finished up my last on-call shift last night, fully intending to pack this evening and hit the road tomorrow, but instead woke up at 4am and got right to work, and by 10:00am took “lunch” and got my stuff together for the trip. Being a minimalist traveller and living in a small space without rooms and rooms of possessions, it only took me about 10 minutes to get my entire traveling kit reassembled, and I realized “Hey.. there’s no real reason I can’t just hit the road right now!”

I finished up my day, loaded the bike, and hit the road, stopping to say au revoir to a few friends before slipping out of Seattle ahead of rush hour traffic and the building “smoke storm” engulfing much of the Northwest. The haze thickened as I climbed into the foothills of the Cascades, shadows disappearing and the light infusing the countryside with a grayish-orange pallor.

The Morrigan feels heavy and tired, being loaded yet again with camping gear, clothing, and travel supplies. She begrudgingly spun up I-90 and across Snoqualmie Pass, the haze lightening but never quite clearing. The new Shinko 705 rear, a compromise tire, wiggles on the grooved pavement, but soon enough the trees thin as we slide down towards Ellensburg, WA. A short afternoon, just 2 hours in the saddle, but it gets me out of city traffic and gives me plenty of cushion for wandering and working tomorrow.

No great poetry or insights on this stretch; I’ve been traveling this corridor for years, and know every dip and turn, every change of pavement, every potential speed trap. The smell of smoke is the only unusual aspect of the day, the dense fog of ash that coats every breeze. Evidence of small roadside fires abound, a common enough site in a normal year, seems to have found conditions ideal along this road during this particular season. I got to my [generic, cheap motel] around 4:30p, and got some work done before wandering over to the nearby Mexican restaurant for a solid Colorado chili. Cleaned the chain in the parking lot (as you do) and fixed a couple small things on the bike, the sun set obscured by the heavy, ponderous sky of smoke.

Miles today: 124.0

Today's Route

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