It was another little red line on a map that brought me here, a tiny series of dashes on page 72 of my Washington Road & Recreation Atlas. Here is Forest Road 6700, a spotted serpent on the map that promises an adventurous alternative route down off Steven's Pass.
And so I pack 280 miles into two days of riding. I carry too much stuff, of course, but that is part of the learning. My camera proves its worth again, while my GPS only tells me useless things like "you are here." I know that, that's why I'm here.
The mountains and the trees are huge, the roads are small and sparse. A view from some summit shows a tiny, sand-colored line far below, the path ahead. It loops back to home eventually.