Over the hills and far away
August 16, 2020 § 11 Comments
I have camped at an RV park outside of Marblemount. Getting here was incredibly beautiful; there was a bit of traffic on the highway from Rasar State Park, but once off Highway 20 it was gorgeous all the way. I only rode about 25 miles yesterday. I’m dawdling in Washington, I have to admit it. The weather is spectacular, the roads great, and the scenery unmatched.
My day started with an amazing culinary creation of mine. It involves bacon. Please don’t tell me that you make this at home or that everyone does it. I believe it is a first. No one has made one of these before me. So if you are going to claim that they have, I’ll require proof in the form of a dated photo or copy from a print or online publication somewhere that substantiates it.
Until that time I am trademarking, copyrighting, and intellectual propertying the Wanky Baco-lette. Yep, that’s right. It is a bacon omelette, only the egg is the filling and bacon is the outer omelette. Here’s how you make this li’l gem:
- Cut the bacon strips into fourths.
- Fry the fuck out of them but not till crispy.
- Keep every drop of grease in the pan.
- Crack four eggs atop the bacon, which has formed a hard shell on the bottom of the pan. Add cheese if you need a vegetable.
- Cover with a lid.
- Once the eggs are 3/4 done, carefully fold the bacon shell over onto the eggs.
- Watch your mind explode.
Powered with the grease of a thousand dead pigs I motored on to Marblemount, crossing rivers, creeks, fish hatcheries, and ploughing through the middle of miles of deeply forested road devoid of cars. It looked like this, only a thousand times more glorious. There is no cell coverage for ATT in Marblemount, but when I pulled up to the grocery an ancient fellow in work boots, overalls, and a biblical beard was sitting on a bench with a laptop.
“Is there wifi here?”
“What’s the login?”
“Ask the feller at the counter.”
I bought a Dr. Pepper and asked the feller at the counter, one of the only nasty people I’ve met on the trip. He glared at my BLM facemask. “Login for what?”
“The guys outside said there was wifi.”
“Ah. Got it.”
Fortunately there was free wifi around the corner at the fire station/library/community center, a place where you can burn books and watch porn online as a community. I settled down on the porch to figure out where ITF I was going to stay, as my reservation at Bob’s Wagon Camp Resort hadn’t worked out.
Bob had said I could “Just grab any space” and he would “come by later to get the $10.”
All the “any spaces” were either occupied or reserved with namecards, which made sense because Bob had said he didn’t “take reservations.” I figured it might take a while to sort out what had happened, as the options didn’t look great.
- He had lied.
- He had told an untruth to maximize occupancy.
- He had dissembled because lazy and peak season.
- He was stone drunk on the Back Forty, where he had found a nest of wild alcohols and was helping root them out.
Up the road was another park, less scenic but with wifi that was fast, and sockets for my phone and laptop. The wifi worked great until the other slots starting filling up with campers and RVs, and the afternoon wifi porn clog began. I spread all my stuff out on the table, pitched my tent, and decided to hang out here for a couple of days before going up and over Washington Pass.
The day before I’d ridden from Dad’s front yard in Fairhaven to Rasar State Park. There was considerable traffic leaving Bellingham and even one driver who screamed at me to “Get off the fucking road!” In general the drivers here expect you to be on the shoulder, but the shoulder isn’t great because, like shoulders everywhere, they are strewn with goodies that climb underneath your tire and into your inner tube, where they free all the imprisoned air, and you have to go capture it all and stuff it into the tube again.
Once you get to Somewhere, there is a route called the Cascade Trail that is a rails-to-trails bike route going about twenty miles between Somewhere and Otherwhere, paralleling the highway. Numerous people had urged me to take it, so I did.
The beauty and silence were amazing; the down side was that my bike was too loaded to enjoy the gravelly, bumpy route. It kept jarring my panniers loose, and at one point my irreplaceable Molteni wool sweater, which I’d strapped to the rack fell off. I found it, but it confirmed a key rule for bike touring: Don’t strap anything to the back that you can’t afford to lose.
Had I simply been on an unloaded bike this would have been the highlight of the trip. There was a vast expanse of the Skagit River, a deep green that a fellow biker advised was “The color of glacier water. The water in that river was ice three days ago.” It was hot outside and looked inviting as hell, but on reflection hell is really not that inviting.
I ended up staying at Rasar State Park. When calling ahead I’d been told they were full, full, and full, and expected much fullness until basically the end of time. But sure enough, as Ranger Forest had said, when I got there Ranger McCoy easily found me a choice hiker-biker spot away from everyone and everything, beneath towering firs, and only a hundred yards away from my own private toilet with a plug. I would have stayed but the cell coverage was only half a baby bar.
I left Rasar with a tear in my eye. Or was it grime from not having showered in a month?
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