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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girlfriend and I decided to finally go see Mt. Rainier yesterday. We were going to head out casually at eh 8 or 9, since I didn't want it to be too cold in the valleys, but she woke me up at 5:30 saying she couldn't sleep, and we were out the door by 6:20! This from the person who told me the day before "I don't do 7 am Greg" , lol.

We delightfully rolled southward past all the traffic on Issaquah-Hobart rd and made our way down to Enumclaw for breakfast. We got there before 8 am and our destination, the Kettle, was closed! It's a fantastic restaurant that's open from like 5am to 2pm and serves HUGE, and I mean HUGE breakfasts for about $7. Think of a big plate, and then fill it (to the edges) 3-4 inches deep, and that's what you get. Even I couldnt finish last time I was there. We settled for the 410 diner which paled in comparison but wasn't terrible. Got some good chicken strips :D

From there we headed east on 410 for a time until I spotted a Forest Service road I'd plotted ahead of time, NF 75. It turned out to be gravel (I was crossing my fingers for pavement) but it didn't stop me. We stopped about 10 miles in when I hit something in the road...



... crap I think I killed it :eek:

I got this cool pic of the huge trees and sky at the same place.



I wanted to keep going to try to find FS 7300 which coulda taken us back out to 410 without backtracking, but I had no idea how much further it was and the gf decided she wasn't too keen on this whole "curvy gravel road with unprotected thousand foot dropoffs" thing. As she put it, "Oh yeah, it's great, you got the forest, you got the bike, and you got the 50-50 chance of horrible death!" Bah!

Bike looks forward, she looks back.




So we headed back to 410 and rode the rest of the way to the Sunrise turnoff. The first half of the road up to sunrise is awesome. Just before the actual ranger station is a parking area in the middle of a U-turn with some amazing vistas, it's labeled "Sunrise Point".



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I love the reflection in the melted snow in this one.



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These silhouetted hills made me think of West Virginia, except they're probably 2 or 3 times as tall :p



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Another shot of the ol' dome.



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We went to the ranger station and such and it was all cool, but like most riders my fun for the day came from the corners getting there. I'm lucky enough to have a girlfriend who can use the camera well and she did me the favor of snapping me in one nice hairpin.











And a crop:



In those pics I was just going casually, but on the way up the mountain I'd been fiddling with a late, race-style turn-in, which isn't my usual technique. I typically go the way I think a lot of people do which is a progressive lean in and out kind of thing. Yesterday I was waiting till a good bit later and then just flopping the bike over, and man - it was a blast!! There's a guy I ride down to SBNW with each year and while we're all railing Windy Ridge hanging off and everything, he does it bolt upright on his Sprint 955 =P Some say he sold his soul to the devil to be able to go so fast without hanging off at all, but I think it may be that he uses this later turn-in. It's really fun and it feels like you're about to slam your head on the pavement, haha. Or so my girlfriend told me... 8) .. she didn't like it. She claimed it made her brain slosh in her skull. In a series of corners though, it was a real hoot for me. It kinda feels like you're totally on your side and just rotating around your head. Try it sometime! =P

Anyway, we did something around 250 miles and were home by 4 o'clock. Got to go past all the traffic coming home too, it's great going the opposite way! :D I wasn't in much pain afterwards or anything but I'm looking forward to getting the Bikemaster bars on my bike instead of these SM1's that put me in a near clip-on position. Hope you had good day with your bike too.
 

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Very cool. I'd like to get back out to that end of the country with a bike one day.

If you scroll really fast through the last few photos, it looks like video of you going through the turn.
 

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Wow, looks like a nice ride. How come you didn't invite any of the other seattle riders to come along? I had yesterday off and all I did was putt putt around the neighborhood. :'( And I think that ride might be too much for my newb ass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah blackout, I made a gif of it for that effect but photobucket resized it to like 250x250 so I just deleted it, heh, couldn't see anything.


Malfeas I woulda posted up, but sine it was my gf and I, I knew I'd be taking a weird pace and stuff. Plus I knew I was gonna hit those Forest Service roads, I'm not sure most other people are as excited about 20+ miles of single-lane gravel with potholes and rocks as I am, lol. Views are great on those roads though, can't beat em. I really oughta start leadin some rides though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mt. Rainier area road conditions/opinions

I got a question in a PM about the condition of the roads near Mt Rainier and my opinions on em so I figured I'd post it here too in case anyone else is thinking about a trip down there soon.

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Temp actually wasn't bad. In the morning it's pretty darn chilly, like 50 degrees in the sun and probably in the 40s the rest of the time, in all the valleys and shade, going by how I felt. However, once we got to 10, 11 am, it started to feel a lot warmer. The cloud cover was starting to burn off and the sun was coming out, probably higher 50s or 60s. Later in the afternoon it actually got pretty warm, but that was as we were leaving around 1 or 2, and in Enumclaw again. Started to see tons of bikes then and the traffic picked up as well, I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence. Up on the mountain of course is a whole nother story. It's only a 12 mile ride from 410 up to Sunrise so you could do it without, but you'll be happier if you have cold weather gloves and such on that climb in elevation. The snow started about halfway up orsooner, and you end up at 6100 feet at Sunrise Point and 6400 at the top at the ranger station. It's plenty cold, like most any mountain.

The roads were in good shape imo. There were a few frost heaves on Sunrise road but no potholes, and only 1 rock in the road when I went up and down. I loved that road, it had some awesome twisties. It's the road the pics of me in the corner are from. 410 is in great shape from Enumclaw to the Sunrise turnout, but it isn't a very exciting road. It's a valley road so it's got some bends but no turns, just sort of blast through. Very scenic but hardly a ton of fun riding wise. I didn't get to go down around the south side of Mt Rainier, but it looks really good on the map. Going west to east, 706 turns into Paradise road and hits 123. If you can I'd reccomend taking that route in, then 123 up to 410 for a bit and hit Sunrise, then go back the way you came or if you wanna save time, keep going on 410 to Enumclaw. Depends on where you're coming/going from/to. If you're coming from the northwest, highway 7 has some awesome twisties around Alder Dam/Lake too.
 

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If I were ever to lowside on the street, I'd like to lowside on that turn, looks like it coould be fun!

Snow? Weird.
 
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