Granite Falls is known as the meth capitol of Washington and is dreary in the summer, which is tough here in the Pacific Northwest. Dump trucks were everywhere when I drove into town and the shoulder on the road almost non-existent. So I kept driving figuring I’d turn around once I scoped out the highway. Instead, what I did was just park the car at the Verlot ranger station and start from there.
I’ve not spent much time out here in the summer and while we’ve played out that direction in the winter, the road doesn’t get plowed past Deer Park. So while I knew many of the trail heads, I had to keep thinking about what they look like with snow.
Despite the very gentle grade, it took me almost three hours to bike the 20 miles to Barlow Pass from Verlot because I kept stopping to take pictures. It’s an amazingly easy ride that is very easy on the eyes.
Not one to normally get headeaches, I had a powerful headache this morning. So when I reached the top at almost noon and thought about the 70-80 miles that lay ahead including the fourteen miles of gravel road, I had some lunch, scouted the road to the ghost town of Monte Cristo and turned around for a fast descent back to Verlot.
So all told, my ride only ended up about 40 miles and I was back in my car before 2 pm. Not quite what I was expecting for the day, but it did give me some time for some (sub)urban exploration of Marysville. I picked up a dehydrator for my summer of food preservation in a thrift store, stopped at an outlet mall to discover prices higher than a normal mall, and finally got to visit the Russian suana in Everett which I give very mediocre ratings to.