Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Granite Falls and Arlington (2014-03-08)

I had to use my GPS to generate a route, as I had accidentally loaded the wrong one. It rained constantly for the latter half of this ride.

More after the break…

Part 1: Familiar Route

I started at about 05:00 and started along my normal route north of Seattle. Unlike most times, however, I met up with a riding partner at N 85th St. and Freemont Ave. N.

We chatted and rode along my route through Alderwood Manor, stopping to eat primarily for me since he would be breaking off fairly soon. While he knew of the northern Interurban Trail, he had never been along my choice route through the area before. He was also faster than me since he wasn't loaded down like I was.

We separated in South Everett: I kept heading north while he headed back to Seattle to meet others for a previous engagement.

When I hit the Interurban Trail in Everett, I took a minute to photograph the bollards that replaced the poorly designed gates, which I noticed on an earlier ride.

My route took me along the low route to Snohomish.

And then along the Centennial Trail until Lake Stevens.

Part 2: Unfamiliar Foothills

I took SR-92 via Lochsloy to get to Granite Falls.

Granite Falls is one of the last towns on the way to Snohomish County's section of the Cascade Mountains.

I took some photos on that hike, but I wasn't very skilled and was using a lower-end camera at the time.

And I could swear the shop below was an art gallery store thing back then.

It even had some form of valve gear!

I noticed that my route had two parts instead of three parts, which caused me to be suspicious. When I took a closer look, I saw that this was my route plan to get to Barlow Pass (red line below).

I didn't end up following it exactly (blue/green spectrum both above and below is the actual track). The red line below was my plan. Looking at the topography, I want to check out that windy road just north of the one I took on the way home.

However, Jordan Road appeared to be the correct road.

Along there, I came across a cool footbridge across the South Fork Stillaguamish.

After that, I just continued to Legion Park, my usual stop in Arlington. This involved taking a bit of upper SR-530, which would be part of what would likely someday be my route to Darrington. It started to drizzle a tad here.

While my route to Arlington was along a valley, my chosen route back to Granite Falls would take me along ridgetops. This meant a major climb at the start.

It wasn't so bad once I got up there, though. It was mainly farms.

However, the hills started getting bad as I approached Lake Roesiger, the hills started getting pretty bad. The rain also got worse in the area, but it was nothing like recent times.

There was actually a country store there, and there were little roadside signs for it around the area.

I wanted to photograph the lake itself, but it wasn't too breathtaking with so much rain in the air.

From there, I had some major climbs until I finally started the big descent into the Pilchuck River valley. I had originally intended to take a lower road between the lake and the valley in one direction, but I didn't have the proper route loaded. Maybe next time.

At least traffic was fairly light.

I headed to my favorite coffee shop in the area to help me feel better.

Part 3: Return Home

I took my favorite route back from there: SR-9 to Woodinville. The drafting provided by the cars zooming by always helps.

However, it did become dark soon after that. I had to deal with what I dislike about riding in the rain when it's dark out.

Things seemed fine until I got to Lake City, but I started having some issues as I passed through there.

I just stayed on the middle chainring for the remainder of the ride after that, but still tried to force it.

I recall side of the hood of that shifter feeling kind of funny after the repairs on 4 July, so that might've been the cause.

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