Cycoactive, one of our local adventure-rider motorcycle stores sponsored a GPS-only ride in which we had no maps, just routes plotted on our GPS. We downloaded the routes from their website and met up in 2's and 3's to ride all day Saturday, camp Saturday night and ride home on Sunday. All in all, we rode over 400 miles, at least 70% of it on dirt roads.

Click the smaller pictures to see big ones

I met up with Lin, Eric, and Ged at 8am on Saturday morning. We quickly compared notes on our GPSes and headed out over Steven's Pass on highway 2. Eric and Lin had scouted the first route the previous weekend and I'm glad they did since it turned out that one of the roads was blocked by snow. So we bypassed the first route and headed up Sugarloaf Mountain. It was a lovely day, warm and sunny. There were so many beautiful wildflowers in bloom! The trees were sparse, though, since a terrible wildfire devastated Sugarloaf in 1994. We visited with the person at the fire observance post way up on the top of the mountain (what a job!) for a while. Then we rode on down the mountain, enjoying the fairly easy off-road conditions.

Eventually we arrived in Wenatchee, where we had lunch and regrouped. Then it was up over Colokum Pass ("clock-um") with its lovely shale road and on to Ellensburg. We stopped for a few groceries and then set a course for the last route of the day, the one that would take us to the campsite. Lin and I took the wrong route, though (there were three versions of this route) and wound up having quite an experience on a road suitable only for small motocross bikes! Luckily, we were smart enough to figure out that we must have deviated somehow. It was quite a challenge, extricating ourselves from what later became known as the "A-route"! We soon got back on track, though and after a quick water-crossing and we were at the campsite.

Lin cooked up about 8 quarts of chili the weekend before and Jeff brought it along in his pickup truck. We were a welcome sight at the camp since we had the Oreos, though ;) We washed off in the stream, had dinner and fell asleep shamefully early (hey, we were exhausted) with our earplugs firmly in place. After all, we were surrounded by men! No reason to worry about bears that night! Boy, could those guys snore!

The next morning we got up early and I made coffee for several people with my little espresso maker. And off we went for another lovely day of offroad adventure!

Today's challenge was a washed out road and some sharp downhill turns, complete with baby-heads and ankle breakers. We all did just fine, though, gamely picking up our bikes when we fell and helping each other out of some tight spots. I have never ridden with a friendlier or more enthusiastic group of people. Ever. Lin and I caught up to Phil and had breakfast in a little town on highway 412. Then we broke out of the valley and up into the mountains again.

careful the edge of the road!

breathtaking views - we could see for miles

We couldn't have asked for better weather as we rode over hill and dale to I-90 around Stampede Pass. The roads evened out (a welcome change after the challenges of the morning's riding) and we relaxed and enjoyed the summer sights and sounds.

Me, looking very happy

Lin, looking even happier!

We got home around 4pm, tired but quite satisfied with our adventurous weekend! Thanks, Cycoactive!

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