But in the mean time I've taken a couple of long all-day trips around the state to kind of say goodbye to some favorite places and to escape while the realtors took over the house for open houses and stuff. The weather has been glorious and I've enjoyed the rides -- but nothing quite equals a multi-day trip. Two or three short trips don't equal a long one.
I've sort of been compiling a list of great burger joints to visit on kind of a farewell burger tour this year -- a post I'll finish before I leave. This past Saturday was the last free Saturday I'll have before the moving vans come on September 20th, and wanting to ride Yakima Canyon one more time before I leave, as well as hit up some favorite spots, I took the day to make a nice 320 mile loop around the central Cascades. Although it's barely mid August the leaves are starting to change already on the passes, even though this was also the hottest day of the year so far.
Unfortunately, and even though it was a Saturday, Seattle's soul crushing traffic made my trip from home to Issaquah -- a whopping 18 miles -- take over an hour in stop-and-go surface street and freeway traffic. It didn't open up until I started up Snoqualmie Pass just east of Issaquah. THIS I will not miss when I leave. But once I hit the open road, despite it being I-90, my blood pressure dropped and I got to enjoy the feeling of wind on my bare arms as I rode up the pass in a sleeveless t-shirt. It was warm, but not terribly hot. I-90 is not the greatest road in the world -- rough in many spots and noisy, and so I bailed off at the earliest opportunity and headed up to the small town of Roslyn, some 80 miles from Seattle.
I hadn't been back to Roslyn in some years -- it was a regular stop in the 1990s whenever people would visit after I first moved here as they all wanted to see the town from the show. It hasn't changed much -- my two favorite spots are still there, Roslyn Cafe and the Brick Tavern.
Just outside of Cle Elum is a great old burger stand -- but I just rode on past Twin Pines as I was headed for Miner's in Yakima and I can't eat that much. The road here is the reminant of the old US-10 which was the main highway before I-90 was built. It ambles along the Yakima River between Cle Elum and Ellensburg, following the old Northern Pacific and Milwaukee Road rail lines -- the Milwaukee now an epic rail- trail. There are lots of floaters on the river today cooling off in the near 100 degree temps, floating lazily down the Yakima on tubes and rafts, laughing and splashing and waving at the lone biker riding by on the sparsely traveled WA-10. This is also "Trump Country", with a plethora of Donald Trump signs along the way. If I had my pistol I'd likely shoot at them as I ride along, but I only imagine doing it today.
At the base of the canyon I finally passed them and emerged out into the orchards around Selah -- and promptly got hit smack in the face by a yellow-jacket who doesn't die on impact but proceeds to sting me multiple times until I can brush it off my face. The remaining 10 miles into Yakima are a bit painful to say the least. But ahead was Miner's -- a wonderful old burger joint with traditional fries and ice-cream shakes, and burgers the size of car tires -- and an ice pack for my face. This is a regular sized burger and a medium fry. It was my only meal of the day, along with a peach-pie milk shake, all eaten in their outside picnic grounds in the shade of some wonderful trees.