My FIRST bike trip – Leavenworth to Lake Chelan, WA – Part 1

Route
Before I get into the meat of our most recent weekend adventure, let me start with the inevitable conversation that we would be having if I was telling you this story in person.
Me: “Hey, Maggie and I just finished my first bike trip this weekend!”
You: “What?! You are planning an 18 month bike trip, you leave in three months, and you just finished your FIRST overnight trip? Are you crazy?! Are you feeling well? Should I call your mother?”
Me: “No, none of the above. I just love to be outside and adventure.”
You: “You ARE insane. How did it go? Did you have any problems? Did you like it? Do you think you can make the 18 month trip happen?”
Me: “If you would just breathe and let me tell my story, I’ll tell you all about it.”
You: “Ok ok ok, go for it. I’ll try not to interrupt too much.”
Phew, now that we have that out of the way, how about a little adventure :-)

Long story short, 108 miles, 5000ft of climbing and 4 sore cheeks later, we finished a ride that was beautiful from start to finish. On our way to Lake Chelan it only took us one flat tire and an 8 mile end-of-the-day uphill climb to reach camp. And to get home, it was only 54 miles of riding into a Columbia River headwind to reach the car.
Nothing says “enjoying the open road” like having to downshift and pedal when going downhill :-)
In all, honesty, every challenge we find on the road, and ride through, just adds to our excitement for our big adventure. Every semi-truck that passes us on the highway and every hill we have to climb is coupled with breath-taking views and triumphant lunches at the peak of a pass, or on a lake shore.
Semi-truck selfie
Semi-truck Selfie
We rode from Leavenworth along highway 2 towards Wenatchee for the first 20 miles of our trip, taking a small detour through the town of “Fancy Wool Sweaters”; The town was actually called Cashmere, but Maggie can barely remember my name, so she improvised ;-)
Near Wenatchee we turned north and rode along the Columbia River and HWY Alt-97, spending another 20 miles winding along the river side and chatting with fellow riders on the way. Side Note: if you ever want to make friends when you are in a new place, ride a bike. Every rider on the road wants to say hi; you instantly become a part of the local riding community.
Columbia River railroad tracks
Our “Road less traveled” along the Columbia River
We had an amazing time riding and are now more excited than ever to start our trip. So excited, actually, that we are thinking of starting two weeks earlier. Yikes!!!

Our only close call on the entire trip came when we were viciously attacked by a pack of dogs, both of which can only be described as grouchy squirrels with a Napoleon Complex. The first attack was launched by a tiny critter wearing a bright pink cheerleader outfit, and the second was lead by a plump wiener dog with asthma. While scary :-D, our encounter pales in comparison to the homeless wild dogs we will meet on the streets of Central and South America. After narrowly escaping, we found camp on the shores of Lake Chelan and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset.

Waking up in the morning with the water in front of us and the sun shining helped soothe sore bums and stiff legs, and after a quick breakfast and clean up, it was back on the road for the day.


8 thoughts on “My FIRST bike trip – Leavenworth to Lake Chelan, WA – Part 1

    • It was gorgeous and we had a blast! You should definitely get out on the bike near some water…it makes everything better!

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