Carrie and Brian cresting the top of Rainy Pass with the some of the Cascade Mountains in the background.
Rachel getting ready to cross the mighty Columbia River and start up Sherman Pass. It ended up taking us over 8 hours to climb up Sherman Pass (27 + miles) and we had to make camp at the top due to darkness! Our early morning descent the next day was COLD as the temperature, with windchill factor, was in the low 30's!
Crossing the mountain passes of Washington State...
The last week of the journey provided us with the toughest terrain of the entire trip. The motivation of our friends and relatives on the other side kept us going over each of the five major passes. We just put the bikes in the "granny gear" and kept climbing until we saw the signs and the road turned downward! Though the terrain was difficult, the views were spectacular!!
Some familiar faces we saw along the Evergreen State's Highway 20!
Pictured here in Tonasket, WA, with Rachel and Carrie, are my Aunt Nancy (left), Allison (middle) and my Uncle Rick (the only guy...on the right). It was just great to see your smiling faces after a long day of riding. Thanks for everything, you guys!
Nancy flew in from Green Bay, WI for Grandma's 91st birthday and took a day off to come over the mountains to see & feed us! She definately wins the "Traveled the Farthest to Support The Two Tandems West Gang" Award!
Allison came over the mountains to see ma, pa & her sisters and to provide a welcomed bit of motivation for the last push across Washington's famed North Cascade Highway.
Rick is a Viet Nam veteran (HOOOAH!) and a retired firefighter. He has manned the "Two Tandems West Command Center" for the entire 83 day trip... I bet he wishes he had a nickel for everytime someone asked, "Where are they now?" or "When will they get here?"!! Rick has been a ardent supporter of us all the way. In fact, he even met us on the last day of our trek and rode his bike with us on the final leg of our journey from Silvana, WA to Marysville. After we arrived at his ranch, Rick helped ship all of our gear home, gave us the whirlwind tour of Seattle and took us to the airport at OH-DARK-THIRTY. YOU DA MAN!
Left: My friend since about 5th grade, Debbie, met us at our campsite in Winthrop, WA with lots and lots of delicious food! After climbing 4 passes in the 5 days before, it was great to take a day off, enjoy Deb's companionship and eat a home cooked meal! The only trouble was that the rice-krispie-treats didn't make it very far the next day...they were GREAT! Right: Later in the day we toured the little town of Winthrop, WA at the base of the North Cascade Highway. Great blackberry ice cream!
The end of the journey.
83 days, 3771 miles, memories too numerous to mention!
The Two Tandems West Gang stops for a picture at Bayview State Park near Anacortes, Washington with Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands in the background.
Later the same day, we rode south to Marysville, Washington where Leanne's Grandmother lives at Grandview Village. When we arrived, there were lots of relatives, friends, balloons, flowers and champagne! What a neat way to celebrate the completion of our journey! Grandma had celebrated her 91st birthday a couple of days before we arrived but saved the biggest smiles (and best hugs) for us. She had printed out each of the web pages and put them carefully in a notebook each time I updated the site. All of her friends at Grandview Village (especially the ones without internet access) were kept up to date by looking through Grandma's notebook. It was great that she was able to follow our adventures from the comfort of her own living room!
I would like to thank my Aunt Karen for all of her support during the trip. She is not in these pictures because, unfortunately, she fell from a horse during the last week of our ride and fractured her femur. Not letting a broken leg slow her down, she was able to organize a family reunion that was held at their ranch, Bella Vista, just a few days later! WOW! It was so good to see a few of my cousins and their families. Hey, how did our kids get so big without any of us getting any older?
Love you guys!!!
"Mom, can we sleep in tomorrow?"