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May 9th 2017, 08:05 AM   #1
 Texasl's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
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.

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. )

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.
May 9th 2017, 08:15 AM   #2
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

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.
May 10th 2017, 04:14 AM   #3
 Texasl's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
Take it from the retired old fart, sick leave works. (I may have used that dodge before)
May 10th 2017, 08:30 AM   #4
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasl
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.
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May 10th 2017, 09:34 AM   #5
 Cougar's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Richland

  Yamaha FZ1, KTM Super Duke GT, Yamaha FJR, Yamaha XS650
If I can arrange it I'd like to join you for lunch.
May 11th 2017, 03:37 AM   #6
 Texasl's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar
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.
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May 11th 2017, 09:24 PM   #7
 Arcane's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bremerton WA

  ER-6n
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasl
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.
May 12th 2017, 07:34 AM   #8
 PeteN95's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Muklilteo, WA

  Suzuki DL1000, Honda XR650R, KTM 250 XC-W
I think I'm in.
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May 12th 2017, 06:17 PM   #9
 Quinndog's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Alger

  KTM 1290 Super Adventure, KTM 1190 Adventure, plated WR450F and dirt bikes
Sounds like a KILLER ride but I'm 15 miles north of Bellingham
May 12th 2017, 07:57 PM   #10
 CodeBlue's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Seattle, WA

  KTM 990 Adventure
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.
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May 13th 2017, 06:25 AM   #11
 Texasl's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinndog
Sounds like a KILLER ride but I'm 15 miles north of Bellingham
I found you an alternative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeBlue
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.
May 18th 2017, 06:26 PM   #12
 
  Jan 2016
  Gig Harbor

  BMW F650GS / BMW R12R
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
May 19th 2017, 04:06 AM   #13
 Texasl's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidalgoRob
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 ) 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).
May 19th 2017, 06:13 AM   #14
 MMcN49's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Small Island Surrounded by Puget Sound

  07 Buell XB12STT, (Two) 12 Suzuki DR650 SE 72BMWR75/5 KIA @ 243K
Do you have a meet-up point for those of us in Kitsap?
May 20th 2017, 07:39 AM   #15
 Texasl's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
Cheese and Rice, you expect me to be that organized?

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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