Operation Moto Dog - North Cascades

OMD Travelogue – Day 6

Rode for


You know that feeling when you’re flying down steep single track on a mountain bike?

Adrenaline fueled excitement sprinkled with a healthy dose of pure terror. Breath catching, muscles tensed, ready to react to the upcoming unknown.

That’s how mountain passes on Rufio feel right now. Heart racing when I can’t quite see what’s past the peaked hill of the road. White knuckling my way around corners. Opening up the throttle on straightaways, coming to a manageable coast on the curves. You got this, you got this, you got this a meditative internal chant.

Having met some Canadians in town yesterday, I made a last minute route alteration – deciding to go west on Highway 20, cross the border at Sumas, make our way North through Squamish and Whistler.

Blue skies and endless sunshine setting the stage, we wind through the North Cascades. Those mountains pull at my Colorado-bred heartstrings and I’m tempted every 1/4 mile to stop for a picture. Certain that this viewpoint is indeed the most stunning, until rounding a corner and being confronted with yet another jagged, snow speckled peak.

The rugged beauty inspiring and the sheer magnitude humbling, I feel like but a speck of humanity when surrounded by wild lands. Minuscule in the big scheme of things. Nature has and will continue to reign king, powerful and resilient beyond our wildest dreams.

My heart rate starts to level as my curve-navigating-skill increases. Towards the bottom of the pass, I take a right hand curve at near 40 mph. I’m elated. Grinning. Mentally pumping my fist.

And then I look in my mirror. At the line up of cars surely annoyed at my relatively slow progress. I want to yell out that they should be celebrating. That I’ve just set a new PR. Instead I swing off into turnout, letting them file past.

Merging back on the 20 I’m thankful for my VW touring past. For the seemingly random wander that gave me so many skills for this current adventure. We continue on our way. Moseying as fast, slow or slower as needed, without concern for the pressures from other drivers. Cause, well, you know how a honey badger be.

Six days down. Many to come.

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OMD Travelogue - Day 5