Day 18 – Wenatchee, Wa to Nelson, BC

Distance: 628 kilometres
Temperature: Low 24 (Start of day) / High 30 (Tonasket onward)
Riding Time: 7:30am-5:30pm

The trip has come full-circle. This is the bookend to what has been a terrific riding adventure. It’s somewhat fitting that the journey ends where it basically began with the VFR meet. It’s also nice to have one day on the road in a great location that I’m familiar with to stop and simply relax before the last push home – about 650 kilometres again tomorrow.

The beginning of the day along the Columbia river and Lake Chelan was nice. I was surprised at how little the desert-like conditions cooled over night. RIght at the crack of dawn it was still 24 degrees, although it remained at that temperature until I got over into the North Eastern part of the state.

One thing about riding a lot is that you (should) inevitably improve. The roads that I remember as being quite challenging on the way down through Washington when I first got this bike, now seem rather placid and docile. It’s funny how your memory makes things seem more grand then they really were. The ride today was enjoyable but nowhere near as curvy or twisty as I had remembered. Maybe I’ve become spoiled by Southern Washington and Oregon 😉 Even returning for a blast down the 3A between Creston and Crawford Bay had a bit less lustre, although it’s still the best road I’ve ridden in Western Canada.

I’ve become a bit of a Harley ‘stalker’ the last few days. I’ve on several occasions today caught up with groups of people on Harleys and reeled them in on corners. I accidentally snuck up two today just before the ferry to Nelson. I had a really good chat with the two couples on the bikes when we stopped to wait for the ferry and as we were lucky enough to be the last ones to board.

One asked about the ‘clearance’ on my bike as it appeared that I had no problem with quickly going through the last hairpin corners – yes, it’s a sportbike – makes a big difference. He admired how ‘gracefully’ I’d been cornering the last couple of kilometres or so as he watched in his rearview mirror – nice compliment! They were touring across Canada and appreciated some advice about routes and times to their next destination.

The other surprise was running into the sister and brother-in-law of an ex. At first they didn’t recognize me since it’s been ten years. Then I kinda wondered if I should have said hi since things didn’t end well in that relationship. Quick handshakes good-byes and a comment in my usual low-key sarcastic style – “send her my best….” How odd. Small world….

I have a few pictures from stops along the way today, but nothing noteworthy or exceptionally creative. I had a chance to stop in the ‘old time’ town of Republic, a quick wander through the fire lookout at the top of the Sherman Pass, and the return to Nelson.

I’ll be returning home early tomorrow morning to hopefully be back at home in Calgary shortly after lunchtime. I’ll provide a short synopsis of the journey when I return – best of, worst of, etc.
View Larger Map