Friday, April 15, 2016

Washout Before Galena (2016-04-09)

I was trying to get to the place called "Galena" on the North Fork Skykomish River, the highway was completely washed out only a few miles below it. It was so bad that the entire ROW was turned into a river!

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More after the break…

Part 1: To Bus

Like last weekend, I started at around 05:00 and rode to the bus, which I took to Everett.

Part 2: Outbound

Once there, I didn't stick around long and headed out along the US 2 Trail to one of my normal routes along the northern edge of the Snohomish River, and then got onto US 2 just east of Snohomish.

When I got to Monroe, I started looking for a restroom, eventually setting on using the one in the park on the south side of town, which was a mile or so out of the way.

The group was on a loop ride through the Snoqualmie Valley.

Leaving Monroe, I took US 2 through Sultan, Startup, and Gold Bar.

At Gold Bar, I left the highway in favor May Creek Road for a quieter ride, just like my previous time out here.

I then hung a left onto Reiter Road to head toward Index. Along the way, I found an emergency response going on, with a woman sitting in the back of an SUV and ropes going down the side of the slope to the right.

I eventually made it to Index, and even saw some folks leisurely cycling along the road.

When I stopped at the general store/post office, there was a guy sitting out front at a picnic table talking about stuff being done to the environment by the government to cause people to become more angry and reckless. I didn't really have time to chat, though, so I went into the store after a while to get a sports drink, then left for the park to eat and use the restroom.

While on the way to the park, I chatted with a guy from Outdoor Adventures beside one of their vans about the washout, and they said I'd be able to get around it by walking along a trail for a half-mile.

Done in Index, I started out along Index–Galena Road to see if I could actually get to Galena.

When I did eventually get to where the road gets close to the river, I noticed a stretch of gravel surface atop a manmade riverbank, an obvious sign of a washout. I knew this wasn't the one that kept this road close before Galena, of course.

I had zero trouble with the gravel, as it was more hardpack than the "Loose Gravel" sign advertised.

Heading along the river, I did eventually make it to the big washout.

It was pretty bad! The road's right of way was completely taken over by the river, and a new channel turned the land that used to be between the road and river into an island.

I saw what I thought was a trail or something that led up the hill…

…but it turned out to be nothing.

Rather than getting lost in the woods again, I just went back down and ate a snack before heading back.

Part 3: Inbound

Since I couldn't keep going toward Galena, I simply turned back and followed the road back to Index.

It wasn't easy, though, as I could only get the granny ring if I was careful.

Once I got to Index, I continued on Index–Galena Road to US 2, which I'd never done before. It was a lot easier than Reiter Road.

Once I got to US 2, I noticed a familiar sight seen when I was last out on this section of US 2.

Once on US 2, I buckled down and rode alongside traffic, with the shoulder vanishing at bridges and other random places along the highway. I was hoping to see the Harry and the Hendersons tourist trap, but that was further up the highway.

After a climb up a steep shoulder-less road, I made it to Gold Bar, where I stopped to eat and drink a refreshing beverage.

And then I just continued into the wind.

When I got to Sultan, I decided to take some photos of the downtown and surrounding areas, as I had time to kill.

I then continued down US 2 past the Reptile Zoo, through Monroe, to Snohomish, where I made one last stop.

And then I took the south side of the Snohomish River to Everett. Rather than using the scary restrooms of Everett Station and dealing with druggies and other questionable people, I used a park restroom as it was early enough for them to still be open. Unfortunately, this also meant that I missed the bus.

During my wait for the next one, a woman asked me to send a text message to one of her friends, as she was lost and had no phone to contact them with. I didn't get a reply, and I have no idea how it turned out.


On the bus, I chatted with someone who was starting to get into cycling who boarded at South Everett. She told me about some of her trail riding and I gave her some helpful advice on clothing.

Part 4: Return Home

I got off the bus at NE 45th Street just like last weekend, then rode home along the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Something I noticed on my ride back down US 2 was how I was bouncing off the saddle. This gave me some insight into bike fit, and made me realize that I've been riding with my saddle far too low all this time! I kept raising it along the ride, and ended up finding what felt best, which was far higher than I thought I was right. After all, hot feet and bouncing definitely aren't ideal.

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