Sunday, August 4, 2019

HWY 2 - Day 12 - Cashmere, WA - End of HWY 2
Final day traveling the Great Northern.  Filled Ol' Sport with the last tank of high test.  Filled me with a big breakfast and several cups of steaming hot coffee.  Heading into Tumwater Canyon HWY 2 sweeps through the evergreen conifer forests winding along the raging Wenatchee River.  Rolled on the throttle, leaned and pressed into the turns...WOW...What a Ride!  Shadows on the road filled with cold air.  Couldn't help but think of the past two weeks on the road with O'l Sport.  Didn't want it to end.  Maybe we could just keep going down the road together forever.
At the crest of the Cascades the road climbs up and over 4,061 foot Steven Pass. The highest and northern most Cascade pass.  A popular ski area, Stevens Pass dishes out grand views of the surrounding peaks.  Stopped to take it all in.  Didn't want the moment to end.
From Stevens Pass it is a downhill run to the end of HWY 2 in Everett.  A few miles down the narrow curving asphalt a small pull-off provides access to one of the regions prettiest and most powerful cascades of bone-chilling snowmelt.  Deception Falls is the perfect example of a classic roaring waterfall.
Far too quickly I was out of the tranquility of the Cascades and on the final leg of my 2800 mile journey.  Pulling into Emerald City Harley-Davidson to drop off Ol' Sport I was met by my two beautiful granddaughters and family.  The perfect ending.  My daughter made a special dinner of fresh caught local salmon tonight.  As we sat around the table talking and laughing about some of my road stories, it became clear what I had experienced the past two weeks on the road.  I had experienced America. The land, the places, the people that make up our great country.  America the Beautiful.

O'l Sport and me.  Just a couple of cool dudes traveling light and simple down that ribbon of highway which connects us all together.  Gonna really miss O'l Sport.  Handed over his key with a misty eye.  Had a hard time walking away.  Stopped and took one final look back.  Put a big smile on my face.  O'l Sport and me.  What a time together. 

A favorite Hunter Thompson quote keeps running over and over in my head tonight..."Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

WOW...What a Ride!

Kickstand down western end of HWY 2 - 136 miles.  Missing having' O'l Sport's key tonight hangin' on my belt loop.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

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