Day 76 Leavenworth, WA to Skykomish, WA 51.0 miles Total 3,756.1 mi

 The Enzian Inn in Leavenworth was above average in all respects.  When Steve learned that they offered breakfast, he signed up for the 7:30 seating and decided to sleep in.  Since he has not had a down day, this turned out to be a great idea.  He got a good night's sleep and filled up on a delicious breakfast.  They had an omelette station as well as fruit, meat, cinnamon rolls, pastries, muesli, and special yeast waffles with an amazing berry sauce.  

He was off at 8:10am  for the last challenging mountain pass climb of the ride.  Stevens Pass was an elevation gain of 3,331 feet.  He stopped at the rest area after about 17 mies.  After that, he just climbed.  

I was waiting for him at the top of the pass when he came riding up at about 12:40.  


Finally reaching the peak!



The ski area was all closed up, but there were a lot of day hikers all throughout the mountains.  Steve had a little lunch of tortilla, salami and cheese.  We sat near some jubilant Pacific Crest Trail hikers.  

Steve began his descent, and I dawdled, for two reasons.  One, I hate being the truck that has to pass my own husband on the fast downhill turns.  Two, I am terrified of mountain roads that look like you could drive off the edge into nothingness.  We have had altogether too many roads like that in my opinion.
The bottom line is that Steve and I both made it to level roads, albeit at different times.  

I stopped at a place called the Iron Goat Trail.  Signs at the parking lot explain how the railroad was built through the mountains and how difficult it was to make tracks that the trains could climb, resulting in an elaborate switchback system.  This was later replaced by a tunnel. The pass was protected by snowsheds which covered the tracks, allowing snow and avalanche debris to be carried down over.  Along the trail, you come to a section of the back wall that still stands from one of the snow sheds.  The pass was named for engineer John Frank Stevens, born in 1853 and brought up on a farm in Maine.  Much of the credit for making the Great Northern the best engineered railroad in the country goes to him. Unfortunately this was also the site of a great disaster.  In late February of 1910, two trains were stranded for several days by snow falling as fast as one foot per hour, causing huge snow drifts. After four days some passengers hiked out, guided by the tops of telegraph poles that stuck up out of the snow. The next day a huge avalanche swept both trains down into a ravine, killing 96 people.  




Remains of snowshed wall

The next stop was Deception Falls along Deception Creek before it joins the Tye River.



That leaves us in a motel, officially a dump, in Gold Bar, because there was nothing available in Skykomish, where Steve finished his ride today.  So, in the morning, I will take Steve back to Skykomish for him to start his ride to Snohomish.  

We are getting very excited...this amazing trip is soon coming to an end!



Comments

  1. Wow------your first dump----and so close to the finish line! Hope you had a good night's sleep....

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  2. Way to go Steve! You have grabbed on to this challenge like a bull dog and never let go! I've enjoyed traveling along vicariously (lots easier than the real thing). On to the finish!! Have loved your photos and commentary Allane. Your charm shows through.

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