Sunday, September 2, 2012

DAY 12- Motorcycle Ride to Lake Diablo

Originally I had planned to start heading south through Port Townsend and on to do a bit of camping.  But unfortunately with the holiday weekend and no preplanning of places to stay, I would’ve had nowhere to stay.  (That is the problem with living a sit-of-your-pants lifestyle.)  So I ended up extending my stay at my friend’s place on Whigby Island.  Walt, Jean’s husband, had made the offer to take me on a motorcycle ride up to Diablo Lake. Jean has been recovering from knee surgery and has been unable to be on the bike.  She encouraged us to go because she knows how Walt loves to be out on his motorcycle.  I said yes, of course. 

Just prior to the motorcycle ride we took a quick trip to the Naval Commissary at the Whigby Island Base; a first for me.  This trip all seems to be about firsts for me.  I had always thought that these Commissaries would be similar to shopping at a Sam’s Club warehouse store but it was very much like a regular grocery store with brand names and lower prices.  I went in as Walt’s guest while he did the shopping for a BBQ he was planning on doing when we got back later that night.

At about noon, we left out on Walt’s black cherry Red Wing motorcycle. I was a bit nervous because it had been almost 10 years since I’ve been a passenger on a motorcycle but Walt quickly put me at ease when he explained that he has been driving motorcycles since he was 14years old.  So being a bit more relaxed off we went north off of Whigby Island.  He showed me a local’s back way through part of the Island to miss a great deal of the holiday traffic.

After we got off the Island, we made a quick pit stop to top off the Red Wing’s gas tank at the Swinomish Reservation for gas where gas prices were about 20 cents cheaper than the surrounding area.  There were some lines but there were enough pumps that it was a short wait.  Then off we went east on WA-20 for a bit then we took some back road two lane highways through the Skagit Valley Farm area.  There were signs along the road for places where you could pick your own blueberries and raspberries.  There was tall corn with tassels and plenty of signs that hay was for sale.  There were cows and horses in fields.  It was a scenic flat land and then we started to climb into a canyon area.

Shortly, afterwards we went through a town called Concrete. It was the place where the film, A Boy’s Life, was filmed which starred Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.  I just thought that the name was interesting; Concrete.  A name like that for a small town out near the North Cascades National Park nested in a forested area.

We continued to climb and were heading in a northeastern direction.  Shortly after another small town called Rockport, we started to see a river that ran along the highway.  What amazed me was the blue-green color of the river.  The color was amazing.  Then we continued along the road which wands through forested land.  It made for a wonderful ride on a motorcycle.  Here and there we would pass bicyclists riding along on the side of the road. 
Photos- The Good Food Stop at Mablemount.

Soon we came to Marblemount which is the last fuel stop before a 72 mile stretched to Winthrop.  We had traveled a little over 60 miles and I was ready for a butt break.  There was still about 25 miles to Diablo Lake.  We grabbed a quick lunch at the Good Food place in Marblemount; sitting at a picnic table outside just off of a wooded area.  We could see and hear quite a few other motorcycles riding by.  It seemed to be a popular route.
Photo- The overlook of Diablo Lake. Amazing!
Photo- Walt and myself at the Lake Diablo overlook.

We climbed the last 20 miles, with some amazing views at dams and the unique blue-green colored water.  We turned off to an overlook area and WOW!  We could see the whole Lake Diablo.  It was an amazing view.  We spent some time at the overlook taking pictures and reading the informational signs.  I guess that the unique color comes from rock dust that is created by the above glaciers on the mountains crushing rocks.  But soon it was time to head back.  It was a wonderful day on the motorcycle.
Photo: Mount Baker from the overlook area.

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