Note this is going to be a longish post since it is the last official day of the 2016 Scooter Cannonball. If you just want to see the photos and day end comments you can scroll on down.
This morning we left Walla Walla, WA on a cool morning. I don’t know about others but I debated what to wear since while it was in the upper 50s when I left it was supposed to be in the upper 80s for part of the ride an finish at the water in Mukilteo, WA with temps in the mid 70s. Decided on the official Scooter Cannonball t-shirt, kevelar riding jeans and the liner in my mesh jacket. This proved to be both too light for the colder sections and too warm for the hotter ones, sigh. I suspect unless you were willing to stop and add/remove layers that was pretty much how it was going to be no matter how you dressed today.
I had already decided that since I had a virtual lock on sixth place there was no need to hurry since unless George, aka Motovista had two DNF legs I couldn’t catch him and unless I had a DNF for the entire day Kevin, aka Z50 couldn’t catch me why not take it a bit easy. Good thing since despite directions from the clerk at the hotel I couldn’t find a gas station nearby but I had about a third of a tank so said screw it and took my check point 1 photo and hit the road. About 20 miles down the road I saw a station and filled up.
Even though I wasn’t in a particular hurry I opted to take an alternate route to checkpoint 1 that didn’t involve passing through a bunch of small towns that folks on the cannonball who regularly ride in Washington state said were notorious for speed traps. Even if you aren’t in a hurry who wants to deal with that? I wasn’t the only one since I passed ScooterRaton and another rider the way I went.
That took me to checkpoint one where I saw Ken, aka Lostboater with his tools out at the checkpoint. He was just about finished with a spark plug problem so waived me on. I told Ken I was going to get gas before taking my check point 1 photo.
That was a bit of an adventure because although there were signs entering the town that there was a 24 hour credit card station the only station I saw was clearly defunct. A guy was walking out of the grocery so I asked him about gas and he said it was further down the street and he even walked across to show me which direction to head. Well after a couple of loops I finally found it behind some big tanks across half a block of gravel and around the side of a small building, geeze. If I hadn’t been assured by a local it was there I’d have never found it. This is what it looked like.
Took me a bit to locate the credit card reader which turned out to be like the ones at Arco stations in California. Something I hadn’t previously seen with these sort of old pumps.
Filled up and rode the 3 blocks back to the checkpoint. So I ended up on gravel roads today after all. In retrospect I should have taken my checkpoint 1 photo when I first got there with Ken in it. He was back on the road by the time I finally made it back to the checkpoint. Good thing I wasn’t trying to make real time today.
Now we had fields of wheat or some grain and I got to pass next to a big ass piece of farm machinery that was cutting it to an even height. I couldn’t identify what it was in part because the cloud of chaff that was thrown up obscured part of the beast and in part because I needed to keep focused on the road since that cloud of chaff was covering it. I was never so glad to be basically sealed from the elements as bits of straw and who knows what were blown around me. Sorry, no photos as I needed to concentrate on seeing the road while riding through it. Definitely worse than being behind an 18 wheeler hauling hay bales or a lumber truck with both of them spewing shrapnel in the form of slivers and sections of their contents (hay or bark/twigs).
Next checkpoint was a T intersection. Just before it I noticed a gentleman with a camera on the side of the hill. As I passed the road at the checkpoint I noticed a Sienna Ivory GTV so figured he must be one of the local scooter riders. Turned out he was an I met him at the party to welcome Cannonball riders and in particular the return of the Scooters of Destiny Zumo riders to Seattle but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The sun was out and the rolling fields were getting pretty darned warm. Then traffic through Leavenworth before climbing out last pass of the trip. Went from being too warm to being glad I still had my liner in and wishing I’d work long sleeves under it. Cold and damp with just a tiny bit of rain on my windshield. Not enough to really even call rain. Climbing up the mountain I caught up with Leigh. Surprised me that I was able to catch her going up the mountain since she was on a GTS 300 which usually has more torque than the 250 engine in my Sport City. Checkpoint 3 I stopped and chatted for a moment with Chris Smith. I told you I was taking it easy today. When I left I realized as with checkpoint 1 I should have included a fellow rider in my checkpoint photo. I missed so many opportunities to do that, grr. I did take a few of riders in front of me as I reached them but sadly it seems my big fat gloved finger makes them not worth posting.
A few miles futher along there was Ken on the side of the road again in a turnout. I didn’t see him in time (downhill with trees blocking the turnout) in time to stop but I pulled up maybe 40’ ahead of him and looked back. Ken waived me on so I figured he had things in hand as at checkpoint 1.
Not too long after that it was bumper to bumper traffic all the rest of the way to the interstate. Which I hopped on for about 3 exits before getting off for Mukilteo. My GPS took me down one street where I had a lovely view of the bay with a ferry ship framed by the bushes. A photo that for some reason I didn’t transfer from the camera to the computer this morning – must still be tired. Then it told me to make a u-turn, grrr. Said screw it and continued on where eventually it told me to turn right. The folks who live on that street Mukilteo something or other have lovely views for certain.
Anyway, finally made it down to the ferry terminal area and the other scooters who had arrived earlier than I did.
Family and friends of some of the cannonball riders were there to greet us as well. Skwirly’s parents even had a pizza they were sharing. Something that was very welcome.
Yes we were all illegally parked near the boat ramp on a red curb. But figured we’d move when more folks go in.
We ended up with a pretty long line of scooters.
Ken, Lostboater rolled in and was met by his wife Vicki seen here with Bill, Wleuthold and Walt, Flyguy2 which make up the other riders of Squadra Lumica aka Team Snail. Nothing snail like about the second (Walt) and third (Bill) finish of two of our team members. While I don’t have the official final standings I finished in sixth and Ken was in tenth at the end of Day 10. But unless Ken’s spark plug troubles caused him to be more than 40 points down from ctoper, aka Chris Smith today he should still be a top 10 finisher. Which means the entire team ended up in the top 10. Not too shabby for snails.
Classic Rider who I know I took a photo of with his vintage scoot but can’t find right now and Motovista round out the top 5.
Not a bad place to hang out while waiting for other riders to appear. Especially once we discovered the ice cream shop on the other side of the parking lot,
Got a call from my husband when he got the ping that I had arrived at the finish. Seems he’s going to be able to meet me in Breckenridge. Not only will I be happy to see him but our trailer is in Breckenridge and he’ll be driving up which means that I can put the scoot on the trailer from there and won’t have to ride through Kansas or West Texas which would be the worst part about riding it all the way back to Houston, happy dance.
A nice female police officer came by and suggested that we move our scoots to a paid slot after we finished with a few more photos. She asked why we were all there and we told her about the Cannonball as a charity fund raiser and we were waiting on some Seattle riders who had ridden in it. She pulled out a slap koosie with Highway to Heal, the name the SOD guys gave to their ride asking if it was the same ride. Apparently she had met them at the same place a couple months ago and they had told her of their upcoming ride and that they were they to checkout the finish. She then told us when we moved to the scoots to take up as few slots as possible and she’d comp our parking fees. See, I told you she was nice. Frank, febrail who was one of the three red Helix riders who rode to the start from California and will be riding back from the finish took this panorama.
Since it was now after 3:30 most of us decided to just head to the hotel since we didn’t know how much longer it would be before the others showed up.
According to Kerri, a friend and fellow member of the TPF club the SOD boys arrived at 5:50 pm. The local Seattle/Everett area riders hosted a get together at the Cask & Trotter pub later that evening. Where I had a chance to chat with the gentleman who was taking the photos at checkpoint 2. He’s promised to send me the one that he took of me if it turns out. If it does I’ll put it here in a later post with his permission.
Tomorrow I’ll strap the spare tire and replacement exhaust on the scoot and head down to Tacoma for service. Then a day possibly two of rest and recovery before heading back home.