Four Corners Tour – Ride Day 17 – Tour Day 14 – July 31, 2015 – Friday
Start Time: 12:45 PM PDT
Stop Time: 4:15 PM PDT
Start Location: Bellingham, WA
Stop Location: Winthrop, WA
Lodging: Larrabee State Park
Breakfast: Campsite (bagel with cream cheese)
Lunch: Panda Express (beef and broccoli with chow mein noodles)
Dinner: Campsite (PB&J on flour tortilla, apple, cherries)
Miles Traveled Today: 237
Weather: 57-102, Clear, Sunny and HOT
Route: I-5, US-20.
Today was an unusual day as I did not have 400 plus miles to cover. I made plans as soon as I started planning this trip to drop by FastCap to sit in on their morning meeting, and to get a tour of their new facility.
Paul and Leanne Akers allowed me to sit in on their morning meeting under one condition (the same condition they require of anyone wanting to sit in on the morning meeting), and that is you have to clean the bathroom.
For those that don’t know, I was in the cabinet manufacturing business for 23 years, and FastCap is a supplier to cabinetmakers around the world.
The morning meeting lasts from 30 to 45 minutes, and since this is a motorcycle blog, I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that it was fascinating, informative, fun, funny, and uplifting.
The FastCap facilities are pristine in every respect. Every morning, every single employee cleans the plant top to bottom.
One I got back on the road around 9:30, I decided to run by a Honda Store I had seen on my way up to Blaine, Washington to have them check my oil, add a little air to the tires, and was hoping to get the coolant checked, but they were too busy for that last item.
I was hoping to get it checked because I’ve seen the temperature gauge jump from the normal half way point all the way to the three quarters position.
The service guy asked me about the conditions when it got hotter than normal, and when I told him I was riding up a mountain, fairly aggressively, and only able to reach 35 to 40 MPH because of all the hairpin turns, and the temperature on the mountain was 95 (temperature goes up as you climb here, which is opposite of what we experience in the Southeast).
He was not concerned, especially since the temperature dropped back to normal as I started down the other side. I did go ahead and get a quart of HP Coolant, and will check it one night when I have a little spare time.
After I left the honda dealer, I made a Walmart run to replenish the cooler, and then grabbed a bite to eat and topped off the gas tank.
Finally getting on the road to ride at 12:45, and ride I did. Another beautiful ride, this time through the Cascade Mountains of Washington.
It seems odd to check the temperature and see that it is 102, and yet you’re looking at snow capped mountains.
Then I came across this little oasis. As blue as the water was in Crater Lake, this water seemed to be as intensely emerald (something to do with the minerals in the water).
My destination today was Winthrop, Washington, which was described to me as a cowboy town. You can see why by all the wooden sidewalks and wooden store fronts.
After exploring the town (and getting in my 10,000 steps), I came back to my tent mansion to find it nicely cooled down (remember it was 102 when I arrived today).
The little Artic King 5000 BTU A/C unit does a great job keeping the camper cool, dry and very comfortable, no matter how hot it gets.
So another good day of riding completed safely. Thank you Jesus for safe travels and for parting a path of safety for me as I tour our wonderfully beautiful country. The U.S. really is a georgeous place to ride.
Tour Tip: I have found cherries to be the ultimate touring snack. A bag lasts for days, they will keep in a cooler for a couple weeks, they taste great, and are especially refreshing on a hot day, not to mention that spitting out the seeds feels like a very macho activity.
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