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-   -   Motorcycle Ride: Chinook Pass Ride (http://pnwmoto.com/seattle/chinook-pass-ride-3296/)

Texasl May 9th 2017 09:05 AM

Chinook Pass Ride
 
Almost every year I try to head over Chinook Pass right after it opens and trundle my happy carcass down to the Woodshed Restaurant and Lounge in Nile, WA. Anyone can do this during the summer, but it takes a special type of psychotic to do it when there are still 10 foot snow banks along side of the road and snow melt pouring across the road surface, but if you want a really kewl picture for your bragging wall nothing beats a photo of your trusty bike parked with a background of nothing but tons of snow. :cool:

I fully plan on doing this again this year, but with one disheartening change. The Woodshed is closed pending sale, so I will have to find some other place to shovel in food and coffee when I get to the other side. :( That will be figured out on the fly, and could range from checking up at Whistlin' Jack's, where if you come out of there hungry it's your own stupid fault, to heading all the way into Naches to sample the local fare. Naches is only another 27 miles down the road, so what the heck, and it leaves US 12 and White Pass as a viable option for the return trip. (Read my sig line; I really mean it. :D)

My target date is May 31st, which is a Wednesday, but that is subject to revision based on pass conditions, etc. If you have a decent sense of adventure and can play nicely you are welcome to join in the fun.

The Details:
  • Fuel up at the Safeway gas station in Enumclaw and be rolling by 09:00
  • Stop above Tipsoo Lake for photos (Tentative)
  • Stop at the turn out just over the pass for photos and plotting
  • Find food and coffee and figure out how to get home
  • Go home

The Rules:
  • Gear up for the cold and potentially adverse weather conditions. It will easily be in the 30's for part of the ride out and back, which puts the wind chill factor in the teens. Frost bite is an issue.
  • This is not a race, although there may be a bit of spirited, but sane riding after leaving the viewpoint.
  • Stupidity will not be tolerated. If you feel like you must ride like an idiot around me I hope that you pack a 10mm rope, your harness, and your belay device. I may consider snagging you keys and tossing them off of the nearest cliff.
  • If your backside is not up to going as insanely far as I tend to do no foul, but break off from the group at one of the stopping points so we know that you're gone.

If you're still interested watch this space for more details.

HalcyonSon May 9th 2017 09:15 AM

I'm interested. 300-400 miles sounds like a good day. Wednesday after a holiday might be tough to pull off though.

Will definitely wear my neck gaiter this time. *Shudder* still get chills thinking of riding over Stevens last weekend.

Texasl May 10th 2017 05:14 AM

Take it from the retired old fart, sick leave works. (I may have used that dodge before) :)

HalcyonSon May 10th 2017 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Texasl (Post 35181)
Take it from the retired old fart, sick leave works. (I may have used that dodge before) :)

Added to my phone's calendar so I don't forget.

Cougar May 10th 2017 10:34 AM

If I can arrange it I'd like to join you for lunch.

Texasl May 11th 2017 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cougar (Post 35194)
If I can arrange it I'd like to join you for lunch.

Kewl. As we get closer to the actual date we can work on the logistics.

Arcane May 11th 2017 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Texasl (Post 35181)
Take it from the retired old fart, sick leave works. (I may have used that dodge before) :)

My sick pay doesn't kick in until the second day. Awesome system... everyone comes in while they're coughing and spreading germs.

PeteN95 May 12th 2017 08:34 AM

I think I'm in.

Quinndog May 12th 2017 07:17 PM

Sounds like a KILLER ride but I'm 15 miles north of Bellingham

CodeBlue May 12th 2017 08:57 PM

I wish I could join you. I'll be in calculus class until 11 instead, daydreaming about riding over Chinook.

For anyone who hasn't ridden above the snowline before, please keep in mind that temperatures plummet above that altitude (duh, but some people don't think about it, like me last week in Eastern Oregon), and you'd do well to have gear that can cope with near freezing temperatures.

Texasl May 13th 2017 07:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quinndog (Post 35309)
Sounds like a KILLER ride but I'm 15 miles north of Bellingham

I found you an alternative. :cool:

Quote:

Originally Posted by CodeBlue (Post 35311)
I wish I could join you. I'll be in calculus class until 11 instead, daydreaming about riding over Chinook.

For anyone who hasn't ridden above the snowline before, please keep in mind that temperatures plummet above that altitude (duh, but some people don't think about it, like me last week in Eastern Oregon), and you'd do well to have gear that can cope with near freezing temperatures.

Imagine spending 30-45 minutes in a low temperature walk in cooler, only the cooling fan is blowing at 50 MPH.

BTW: If the Stevens Canyon road does open I'm heading to Paradise for the return trip. (Of course that is seriously weather dependent, because the weather, and the potential for rapid change, on Rainier is no joke.)

Disclaimer: Unless you have a lifetime pass like I have (my reward for being of a certain age) it will cost you money to get into the park, but riding that road between walls of snow is well worth it.

FidalgoRob May 18th 2017 07:26 PM

Larry, it sounds like planning for May 31 might be a little optimistic, per this recent update from WSDOT:

Chinook Pass: Despite our best efforts, SR 410 over Chinook Pass will not reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend as previously forecasted. WSDOT crews experienced a setback after receiving additional snowfall this week. This created unstable avalanche conditions, which resulted in several natural slides and forced crews to backtrack on their clearing efforts. A specific reopening date has not been determined, and we will keep the public posted as new information becomes available.

Might have to wait a few more days.

Rob

Texasl May 19th 2017 05:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FidalgoRob (Post 35572)
Larry, it sounds like planning for May 31 might be a little optimistic, per this recent update from WSDOT:

Chinook Pass: Despite our best efforts, SR 410 over Chinook Pass will not reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend as previously forecasted. WSDOT crews experienced a setback after receiving additional snowfall this week. This created unstable avalanche conditions, which resulted in several natural slides and forced crews to backtrack on their clearing efforts. A specific reopening date has not been determined, and we will keep the public posted as new information becomes available.

Might have to wait a few more days.

Rob

Yeah, Rob, I've been watching the reports, but all that means is that the pass should really be spectacular. I've already got a mental (shut up you trolls :p) reschedule for 7 June.

Meanwhile, if the following comes true, this could make for a spectacular ride on the 31st.

Quote:

Stevens Canyon Road

CLOSED for the season. Estimated to open for the season May 26, weather dependent.

May 12 status: Road crew removed snow to Box Canyon area. Open to foot or bicycle access, Friday Sunday, unless otherwise posted as closed. (The road is closed when heavy equipment is operating, generally Monday - Thursday).

MMcN49 May 19th 2017 07:13 AM

Do you have a meet-up point for those of us in Kitsap?

Texasl May 20th 2017 08:39 AM

Cheese and Rice, you expect me to be that organized? :eek:

Well, if I actually pull the trigger on any of this stuff the Mullenix park and ride would be great. It would be a 07:15 launch because traffic can be a Beatrice Ahsnitch on a weekday morning.

Stay tuned for coming attractions.


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