Day 3 – Marblemount to Twisp

This is part of a series of posts written during my cycle from Vancouver, BC to Minneapolis, MN in June 2013. For the most part I followed the Adventure Cycling Association’s ‘Northern Tier’ Route, but deviated where I saw fit. It was a great experience, read on to find out more…

Today lived up to the promise of the altitude profile. The 50-mile climb that had to be contended with this morning was tough — although I was on the road for 8, I didn’t finish the climb until nearly 2pm.

It rained all night but had cleared by the time I got up, so I enjoyed bright sunshine as I climbed. Although the

Cascades scenery

Cascades scenery

road wound its way up the mountain relentlessly, alpine views of lakes and snow-capped mountains took my mind off the ascent. Two mountain passes in quick succession waited above me – Rainy Pass and Washington Pass. Soon enough I’d ticked them off — upon cresting Washington Pass I had some sandwiches I’d bought the day before and enjoyed the view. Although I was nice to have a break it came at a price — I had delayed long enough for the weather to close in and I to descend off the mountain in the rain.

Where the morning had been tough, the afternoon was easy – I pedaled gradually downhill, assisted by a tailwind, and managed to outrun the dark skies behind me. Soon enough I’d reached my target for the day — the tiny hamlet of Twisp. Pleased to be back in some form of civilization after a day in the wilderness, I went straight to gas station to buy a cold drink.

Diablo Lake, WA

Diablo Lake, WA

As I paid for my drink I got talking to the attendant who told me that the two campsites Google had promised did not truly exist. Unsure of what to do, I went across the road for some food at a local Mexican. It was here that I met three cross-country cyclists following the ACA Northern Tier route. It was great to have some people to eat dinner with — they were retirees and traveling much more slowly than me, but had done a good deal of cycling around the US and were full of stories. They had also hoped to stay at the non-existent campsite, but finding it closed had gone with a motel just down the road from the restaurant. Exhausted, and with the rain beginning to fall, I took their advice and went with them back to the motel. I’m going to need a good night’s sleep – tomorrow is going to be another big day.

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