And... Mt. St. Helen's is close as well....
I started off a little after 7 in the morning. The weather was great as I drove to Abbotsford. The odometer was 26, 980 km and I had a full tank of gas.
After that, I blasted down Highway 9 - a road I had taken before a few times - towards Sedro Wooley. As I rode, I tried to look around and notice things, an important part of every ride. I noticed that there were a lot - and I mean a lot - of American flags almost everywhere. What was causing this massive upswing in national pride and patriotism, I wondered. Then I realized, oh yeah, July 4th was two days ago. Good observation!
Another thing that did draw my attention was the number of rosette things - they look like this.
I wondered - why don't we have these in Canada? Is this some terrible US conspiracy? Then I realized that our flag colours are red and white and if one was made for Canadian colours, it would look at lot like half of a Target sign!
My first stop was for gas at Arlington after 155km and a pretty big fill (1.6 gallons).
A half hour later, I stopped for a coffee break at Lake Stevens. I was amazed by how hard everyone was working - at most Starbucks, people work well but there's a chilled out atmosphere that goes along with the whole Starbucks style. This particular shop, though, felt more like a busy McDonalds with a couple of obvious housewives hustling and bustling and running to get orders filled.
The Vespa proved to be a wonder, once again, on the highway. No problems at all keeping up with traffic and pretty comfortable to ride!
So my plan was to take highway 99 all the way through Seattle, thus avoiding any massive interstates with 12 lanes and 75 mph traffic. North of Seattle, however, I came upon a
Road Closed Ahead" sign and telling my to take I-5! I was not relishing this but finally took the plunge. I found the interstate speed to be a bit fast (70 - 75 mph) but, worse than that, the road surface, which is concrete, feels different to ride on and was a bit chewed up in spots. Also, there is a lot off traffic with 6 lanes going in one direction so I was very tight gripped while riding. I stayed in the right lane and, after a few minutes managed to exit, heading downtown.
After a quick stop to power up my new GoPro camera, I proceeded to video the ride through Seattle, Here is a couple of minutes of that ride.
I was feeling pretty smug about making it through a stretch of I-5 when, all of a sudden, the section of highway 99 disappeared without warning and I was on the far left lane of, you guessed it, I-5!! Tight gripped, I made my way south, first staying in the lane, then slowly changing lanes until I was in a comfortable place. After 20 minutes or so, I finally found an exit I recognized and was off the interstate!
I took secondary highways, some single lane, meandering, twisty roads while others were four lane straight speedy sections. Nothing seemed to bother me after being on I-5 so that was a good thing!
The final road into Longview was Highway 411. It varied in size and speed along the way. At one point, a tree had fallen on some wires so there was a police car and the policeman directing traffic around it.
For dinner, I was told that Ocean Beach Road had great restaurants and was expecting something out of LA or San Diego but I couldn't see the beach from the road and I was too bagged, anyways, so I grabbed a salad, wine, and sushi at Safeway, headed back to the room, and watched Netflix until I nodded off to sleep.
Total Distance - 495km!