June 18th, Day 3 -- from Skykomish to Wanatchee, WA
We begin in the rain with an upward ascent. This means you bear down in low gear going very little distance again and again over a long period of time. And you are wet. Many are in raingear of many colors: acid-orange, shrill-yellow, neon-green. One couple ties plastic bags over their footgear. The wet gets everywhere, soaking your socks, thickening your gloves. My glasses need wipers. I reach the summit and see the snow of the ski-lodges of Stevens Pass.
When I descend from that peak, I speed -- free miles in which I barely pedal. But the acceleration makes the wet wetter and the cold colder.
When I dry, I come upon a Bavarian village -- the town of Leavenworth -- whose government leaders chose to create an Alpine tourist attraction in Washington state. I ride past the umpapa of sound and hotels like gingerbread houses.
Soon I pass the signage of Wenatchee, which makes claim to be the apple capital of Washington. I wonder if Wanatchee apples will be crisper, wetter,and colder than the apples back east.