Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Friday, September 6, 2013

Douglas Washington to Wanachee National Forest, Tumwater campground. Aug 28

57 miles in 5:11.    August 28.    I started out with an uphill, out of the little town of Douglas, into the wind. My legs didn't feel right from the beginning, and it didn't improve. They didn't loosen up like usual and they are just TIRED. The trip started out with the familiar rolling wheat fields, mostly turned over into plowed dirt now it seems.  I went through the small town of Waterville, and was surprised to see a sign just outside of town, announcing a 6 mile descent, at about the 20 mile mark of the ride. I proceeded to fly down the hill, dropping from 2400 ft elevation to 650 ft. That's the closest I have been to sea level since Texas. At the bottom of the hill, I came to a huge reservoir, in the Wanachee Valley, and the famous Washington apple tree farms. US 2 ran along this reservoir for about ten miles, and there were riverside homes mixed in with apple farm after apple farm. After coming to the town of Wanachee, and crossing the river by bridge, I was headed uphill again, gradually, following the Wanachee Creek upstream.  The apple farms gave way to pear farms, and I probably saw more pears than apples. There were fruit stands everywhere, really cheap fruit, and fruit trucks made up a large percentage of the heavy traffic I was getting along this stretch of road. Small town after small town, with farming and river tourism as their main economic focus led my back up to about 1100 ft, where I came to the town of Leavenworth. Wow, was I surprised at what I saw. It was definitely a tourist destination, but it was a Bavarian town in theme, and every building, even McDonalds, looked very Bavarian. Our campground was about ten miles west of this town, in the Wanachee National Forest. There are two forest fires in this area now, the Eagle fire, and the Icicle fire, pretty close to here, but due to wind direction and huge mountains, we didn't even smell them or see smoke. We did see signs for 'incident bases' and update signs for the community, but no fire or smoke.  I continued up the road near the creek complete with heavy traffic. The creek was another of those mountain streams with tumbling rapids, and absolutely clear water, that I like to see so much. The campground (Tumwater) that Pam found is one of the few national forest campgrounds that can handle an RV our size, and we were one of the only people in it. We were deep in the forest with the tallest pine trees I've ever seen all around us. It was nice a quiet, and definitely not out in the open, like most of our sites. Pam was excited to have some German food, so we went into town and had a great meal at a German restaurant, and strolled around the town. I had Jagerschnitzel and Pam had Weinerschnitzel.
At the end of the day, my legs still felt crappy, and I have my last mountain summit before the Pacific tomorrow. Oh boy!

Travelling thru the wheat fields!  A little barn art!


Wanachee valley


Washington apples!

It's apple picking time!  The apples are placed in these wooden boxes.

The boxes are then shipped to a central area


The bike wanted an apple


"Incident base" was the staging area for the Icicle firefighters

Running alongside the creek but climbing!

And climbing


In Leavenworth with its Bavarian style buildings



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