We got up late and had to take the kid with us, but got some tooling around in the north coulee. Almost creepy-weird good weather for February... dry, no real wind, and so warm I was fine with just a shirt and my sleeves pushed down. Still some soft clay mud in the shaded places along the south cliff, which we bailed out of as soon as we could since the trail-a-bike is more than enough drag by itself.
The wind just started picking up right when we got back to the car. Then we got back up to the basin plateau.
HOLY SMOKES. The wind was so bad it was kicking up a dust storm which looked really ugly out towards Moses Lake. Our Pathfinder was getting blown all over the place with both bikes on the roof rack, but the real 'fun' was getting down the Vantage grade on I90 to the bridge... A cross wind from the cuts in the basalt cliffs plunging to the river came at us and for a couple minutes we were both sincerely worried we might get rolled. :yikes: Fortunately the river crossing wasn't too bad (although I think husby was only doing 35mph in full-on 'screw it this is survival' mode). He noted from his gorge surfing days that the water shaving horizontally off the waves in the lee of the bridge meant it was probably cranking at least 50mph. At about that time the Beverly weather station south of the bridge registered 60+mph gusts.
Who ever thought I'd be grateful to get back to our usual "Ellensburg spring" 40+mph!
The ugly dark blue cloud rolling in from over the mountains backed up the weather forecast's predictions that winter might not be over yet, so we were glad to sneak in yet another 'cheater ride'. Supposedly the Ancient Lakes area might even get snow by Wednesday, in which case it will probably be buttoned back up for at least a little while.
I didn't say anything about it at the time because husby already had enough to deal with, but he admitted at home that he was wondering if we were going to roll there too. I think the kid was back there happily singing "Fly Away" with Kravitz on the CD player... strangely apropos now that I think about it, lol....
It blew hard again last night but is beautiful out here today, so there's one more chance to eek it out!
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