I woke up excited but I had a couple of things to do first and I was on my way to getting a 1 pm start. I realized after loading things up on the bike and putting it on the kickstand I became concerned about how top-heavy it was. Luckily my friends Mike and Dave were there to see me off. While I was ready to start getting rid of some gear they thought I could still make it work. After a few hours of unpacking, repacking and getting rid of some gear they helped me figure out a system that I was happy with. Thanks guys. Before I left we headed to Tully’s for a coffee and to say our last goodbyes. It’s now 6pm :).
Before leaving I stiffened the rear shock to handle the big load and so I started taking it really easy so I can get a feel for it. It did feel like the rear of the bike was too high, unstable around corners and under braking. Mike was following me and said I looked fine. Cool, it is always important to look good! Right? I softened the shock up a few clicks and checked the tire pressure. After chugging down our venti iced coffees we said goodbye and off I went. Softening the shock helped a bit with stability and I felt better with the setup for the time being.
This was the perfect day to leave as the weather was sunny and warm as I headed towards the mountains. After I rode over Stevens pass going down the other side the roads were starting to get wet and I looked up and saw blue skies. It never dried up and other than a little sprinkle which was the worse of it. I arrived in the German themed town of Leavenworth at 9 very hungry so I decided to stop and grab dinner.
Leavenworth started out in the early 1900′s as a logging community. In 1893 the Great Northern Railway was built and Lafayette Lamb along his brother, Chauncery Lamb built the 2nd largest sawmill in 1903. For the first part of the 20th century the area was heavily logged using the Wenatchee River to float logs to the various mill sites. It also became the site of the Great Northern Railroad headquarters and in 1906 Leavenworth was incorporated. After the Great Northern Railroad relocated their headquarters to Wenatchee in the 1920′s the town’s economy was struggling and almost became a ghost town. In the 1960′s a committee was formed and the town was transformed into a mock Bavarian village and now it is thriving as a very popular traveling destination.
I have been to the Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill before and enjoyed the food and atmosphere there. There were a few people in line so I was worried I wouldn’t find a place to sit but when it came my turn I ordered the BIG “BOB” Bratwurst. This was a Saturday night but I was fortunate to find an empty table which was near the bar. Here you order the food then your drink from the bar. As I was sitting down the bartender kindly asked if I wanted anything and I asked what they had on tap. She had a leftover Bootjack IPA that didn’t belong to anybody so in the spirit of not abusing alcohol I gladly accepted the gift.
After eating I walked back to the bike to end my ride in Wenatchee. I told my old roommate Rob earlier in the week that I would stop by his house but I planned on being there much earlier then getting back on the road. He offered his place for me to crash for the night and the first day ended hanging out with Rob and his brother Aaron which made for excellent company. They are fun to be around and they invited me to go water skiing with them the following day. I was reluctant to say yes because I wanted to get some miles on the road and I declined their invitation. I still have a wedding to make in New Jersey on July 14th and I want to take the long way there.
While lying in bed I kept thinking about what I am going to miss and what I have called home for the past 7-8 years. I started dwelling on the time I spent here, the friends I made and the experiences I had. I learned so much that helped my career. I learned to snowboard, played paintball, bought a reliable motorcycle (or 4), started racing, went traveling, got my SCUBA certification and above all I grew as a person. To top it off I got to live in the beautiful Pacific NorthWest. It was a very positive time in my life and after this I am pretty sure I will come back and call this my home again. I will not stop complaining about the rain though.