The “Scorcher”.. a great ride.
Mix 5 seasoned riders, with 5 fine motorcyles and 3 days of
fine weather, and you have all the ingredients for a fine ride.
Well, that’s what we did, and that’s what we got!
We set out from Big Al’s in Blaine, down I-5 to Sedro Woolley
and then headed east to Marblemount and Winthrop. As we
rode over the North Cascades Highway we stopped at the
Diablo Lake lookout, to enjoy a view that never gets old. The
route over this mountain pass, and down into Winthrop is a
fabulous ride, and we shared the road with many other like
It was the American July 1 st weekend and so Winthrop, a
Wild West themed tourist town, was one very busy place. No
problem. We rode through town about 700 meters and had
lunch at 3 Bears, a restaurant and fabric shop, and quilting shop
combination. The menu had only 4 entrees on it, but they
were good ones, and we all found something to eat. George
took a photo of the outdoor patio, which looks inviting, for
future reference as a possible future destination.
After lunch, and having now been over the mountain pass to
get to Winthrop, the temperature started to soar, and hit 26C
while riding. Everybody took off a layer or two. We
continued on to Midway, thru rolling hills, farm country, and
perfect riding weather. Midway, which is just over the
Canadian / USA border, was originally Mile zero of the Kettle
Valley Railroad and is presently Mile zero of the Kettle Valley
Railroad cycling path. The ride ended with Geof buying the
beer and everyone enjoying dinner at the motel restaurant.
Thank you Geof.
Things did get a bit interesting when we found out that our
“Double rooms” did not mean two beds, but rather that two
could double up in one Queensize bed. Several very
concerned looks passed among us as the implications dawned.
Ingenuity prevailed as some chose to sleep on the floor, others
threatened bodily harm to anyone trying to share their bed,
and some folded the sheets in such a way as to provide a “wall
of privacy” between themselves and their unexpected sleeping
partner. When I suggested to my bed sharer that he might
be hogging the bed, he replied that if I simply slept on the edge
of the bed, I would soon drop off.
The ferry ride from Fauquier to Needles was quick, with the
ferry making a return trip every half hour. Lots of motorcycles
on the ferry made for some interesting fast and furious passing
on the wonderful twisty road to Coldstream and Vernon. It’s
a wonderful feeling when you hit a curve and hold a nice
smooth line all the way through it. With about 90 kilometers
of the most highly rated motorcycling road in BC in front of us,
we got in lots of practice!
We made our way to the Armstrong Inn, where clean
rooms awaited us, with each having a patio door that opened
up out onto the parking lot where our bikes were parked.
Perfect! Armstrong did disappoint us a little, with our
restaurant of choice being closed for the July long weekend.
We asked directions of a friendly local couple who directed us
to a pub 8 blocks away, and when we arrived, at 7:20 pm, the
chalk board stated that the kitchen closed at 7pm! Non-
negotiable too! We had walked about 20 blocks by then and
were faced with A&W, Dairy Queen, or McDonalds …..”Ya
can’t win them all”.
In the morning, we went for breakfast at a place highly
recommended by consumer reviews….but….yup…closed for the
weekend….. Luckily, we again met a friendly local couple who
recommended a restaurant just a block away, the Station Diner,
and that is where Bob Vaughn found the “English Special”
which you see in the photo. He could not have been
happier…..and George too was happy, who got his meal with 6
strips of bacon laid over the top!
Our final day saw us heading back thru Kelowna, which
wasn’t bad because it was a civic holiday, and we were riding
early. On to the Okanogan Connector, and then down to
Princeton, for a great lunch at Livinit. Riding home from there,
we found a bit of congestion, but the road has so many
reasonable passing lanes now that you need not be stuck
behind anyone for very long. And we weren’t!
We topped off our three days of eating with a final food stop
at Dairy Queen, in Hope, where it was 27C while riding at 100
kph! We said our good byes before leaving Hope, with
smiling faces all around, and rode Highway 7 to Agassiz.
From there we split up, as each of us made our separate way
home. As three day rides go, this one way just about perfect!