2018 Ride to the Dalton – Day 1


Day’s distance: 352 miles

Clear skies and temperatures in the mid 50s greeted me this morning. I pulled out just after 7am.



My route out of Seattle, taking I-5 north, is mostly counter-commute except around Everett, near the Boeing plant. Traffic was fast moving this morning and I landed in Sedro-Woolley for breakfast before 9am.

Breakfast was fine but I was too excited to eat much.

I reached the North Cascades National Park just after 10am.


The road is in good shape, though a few frost heaves are lurking in the curves . Soon I was at Diablo Lake.


At Diablo Lake, a gentleman introduced himself and asked how I liked the RT. Tom, it turns out, has ridden since he was young and growing up in Orange County. As a teen, he was hiding his riding from the parents, avoiding their disapproval. He still has one motorcycle but doesn’t ride anymore. We talked for about 10 minutes before I returned to the road.

Washington Pass was clear and sunny.



What a wonderful Day 1 morning and preview of the amazing moutain scenery in store for me over the next several weeks.

I stopped at the Rocking Horse Bakery in Winthrop for lunch.


Both the Quinoa salad and the latte were very good. The bakery reminded me of some in Santa Cruz with a bit of a hippie vibe. Usually I eat at Three Finger Jacks Saloon but wanted something lighter today.

I’ll take my jacket liner out before hitting the road again – it is plenty warm enough now.

Just east of Twisp, where Hwy 153 splits off and heads south, the road surface had lots of slippery tar snakes. Fortunately, the worst of it lasted only a few miles.

Hwy 20 joins Hwy 97 as I turn north towards Tonasket. That section of Hwy 97 is not that interesting. Turning east at Tonasket, traffic drops to almost nothing again as I make my way through flatter ranch lands.


Soon I’m in the Colville national forest and climbing towards Sherman Pass  this part of Hwy 20 is called the Sherman Pass Scenic Byway.


Without the snow covered peaks, Sherman Pass is nice but not as dramatic as Washington Pass.

On reaching Kettle Falls, I stopped at Taco Joe’s (inside the Natural Foods Store) for a burrito before heading to the campground.

Many sites here are first-come, first-served. I had many choices.


Tomorrow, I have a shorter ride to Ainsworth Hot Springs along Kootenay Lake. I will likely arrive a few hours before check-in but they allow use of the hot springs pools until the room is ready.



Regular readers of the blog know that I don’t like strapping stuff to the back seat when I travel. However, I usually end up strapping my sandals in case they are wet or dirty. This trip, I’m bringing a second layer of rain gear. I purchased some Frogg Toggs to wear over my riding gear for heavy rains in an attempt to avoid getting wet and cold miles from nowhere. Specifically, I purchased the Road Toad jacket and pants.

To avoid the possibility of the metal tangs on my bungee net ripping my Frogg Toggs, I bought a fabric “bag” designed to store the Frogg Toggs and I am using Rok straps for this trip. I’ll let you know how they work out.

I’m also trying a new location for the GoPro – behind the wind screen. If successful, it will be convenient to be able to record photos or video of my route while staying out of the path of bugs fowling up the lens. The issue so far is it is very shaky there, so I’m trying to better secure it.




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