Today was one of our tougher days because we crossed the Cascade mountain range. We rode State Route 20, the Cascade loop highway the whole day. The road largely follows the Skagit river until it ascends to two passes, the Rainy Pass and Washington Pass. The scenery along the way was beautiful, particularly the Diablo Canyon that the river runs through. Most of the climbing was “back loaded” into the last half of the ride.
Today was a lot of sustained climbing at 5 or 7 percent. Washington Pass was particularly steep and about four miles long. On the whole I feel pretty good and the next few days are comparatively easy. People from flat areas like parts of Texas, Florida, or Indiana were not used to this kind of climbing. I’m not either except for time I’ve spent in Arizona, Colorado and South Carolina, for which I was grateful. Today’s ride was 125 miles with 8,000 feet of climbing.