30 March 2014

I've Ridden That Road

The press has been full of stories over the past 8 days about a terrible landslide in Washington State. The death toll is still uncertain, but a large chunk of the town of Oso was buried as the entire side of a mountain collapsed, the landslide even crossing a river and burying a stretch of Washington State Route 530, the state road through the valley.

As I read more about the disaster, the rain-soaked hillside somewhere NE of Seattle, it sounded very familiar to me, like the rainy, misty, valley we passed through on the final day of the Cascade 1200 back in 2012, soaking wet but recovering from the near-hypothermic conditions descending from Rainy Pass.

I finally took a look back at the route maps of the event, and sure enough, yes, we did ride through the area of the slide, on the Arlington-Darrington Road (Route 530).

I remember stopping for coffee and a snack in the logging town of Darrington.  And I remember the ridges towering above the valley in the mist as I rode between Darrington and Arlington.

I see that this year the Cascade 1200 will take a different route on Days 1 and 2, swinging far south to the Columbia River/Oregon border, and skipping Naches, the eastern side of Mt. Rainier, and Yakima.  I would love to try the road south from Packwood to the Columbia River. ... another time.

Day 4 is again scheduled to ride from Mazama over Washington Pass/Rainy Pass on the North Cascades Highway ... and then on Route 530 past the site of the landslide.  A truly dangerous road.

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