Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The John Wayne Trail

Today was aggravating - beyond aggravating, actually.  The original plan had been to drive out to Hyak (a ski area), and then ride the John Wayne trail out through the Snoqualmie Tunnel.  The tunnel is two miles long and we thought it would provide some good data on whether we had enough lights for the tunnels we'll be riding in Idaho.  As Jim was about to put the $10 parking fee in the machine, a utilities worker pulled up and told him the tunnel was closed due to dump truck traffic. Well, poop.  We then decided to drive out to Easton because there's a tunnel there, as well.  It should have been a relatively quick drive, but nooooooooooooo.
First, I must digress.  Remember Dennis from Ireland?  He was riding to Boston, and in Washington, much of a cross state bike tour must be done on I90.  There are not a lot of side roads.  What we did not know when we sent him on his way, was how much construction there was out by Lake Keechelus.  Bikes are being detoured off the freeway.  We think they're being detoured on to the John Wayne trail.  See the old railroad grade across the lake?  I hope he didn't have to ride on gravel all the way to Easton.

Construction sheds along the highway.

A giant pile of rock.  Crews are blasting away the hill side.

Anyway, it took us an hour to go about 15 miles from Hyak to Easton.  This is what was impeding our progress.  Traffic went down to one lane and it just took forever.

So after all the suffering in the truck in traffic, this is the pitiful tunnel we rode through.  I have a helmet mounted light, which is good.  It lights where I'm looking, hopefully it will be bright enough for the long tunnels. We did not obtain much data from this short structure.
After a short ride on the trail, we drove out to Cle Elum. Jim wanted to look at a bed and breakfast.  The main building was constructed out of the old bunk house for the defunct Milwaukee Railroad.  They went under in 1980.  The Milwaukee was a huge payroll for Cle Elum.

Out back there are four cabooses in which one could also sleep.

This is the old Cle Elum station.  It's now a barbeque place and it smelled absolutely wonderful.

This is on the way back down the hill into Issaquah.  In the right lane is a snow shed.  That will eventually be demolished as part of the I90 construction.  Jim and I remarked that we may not live long enough to see this completed.

More scenery.

So that was today, mass time in the truck and not that much time on the bike.

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