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Beartooth Highway - 2011 Trip - Day 1

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Start Location: Everett, WA
Ending Location: Ritzville, WA
Miles Today: 239
Trip Miles: 239
States Visited: 1
Provinces Visited: 0
Low Temp: 64.9° F
High Temp: 97.6° F
Min Elevation: 22'
Max Elevation: 2972'

Route Map:


Today was different than our normal start days.  We normally get an early start and go as far as we can the first day.  We both had things to do this morning so we didn't get started until about 1:00 this afternoon.  The nice thing about that was that there was light traffic on I-5 and I-405 and the temperature was very comfortable.  We also stopped by about 5:30.  Although this was a short day by our standards, we still made almost 240 miles and were not exhausted at the end of the day.

We have made the trip over Snoqualmie Pass many times but it's always  an incredible ride.  It's hard to believe we are only at 3,000'.  It will be interesting to compare this to the Beartooth Pass at almost 11,000'.  It's also interesting to compare the two sides of the mountains.  The west side was overcast and around 70 degrees.  As we got to the pass the clouds cleared out and the sun broke through.  Then, as we rode down the other side, the temperature rose quickly to the mid 90s - a little too warm for our liking.  Fortunately the temperature began to drop pretty soon to the high 80s which felt pretty good after the summer we've had this year.

We didn't really see anything different than normal today but sometimes that's just fine.  The winds were about normal for this side of the mountains and the traffic was very light.  Tomorrow we head for Spokane, cross into Idaho, and then hit Montana.  Not sure how far we'll get but we have plenty of time and are in no hurry.  We want this to be a relaxed trip.

It seems like we always forget something and this time it was our lifetime National Parks pass which we will need to get into Yellowstone.  It's not really a big deal because the lifetime pass for seniors is only $10.00.  I'm sure it will be cheaper to buy another pass than pay the day entrance fee.  If this is the worse thing that we forget, we'll be happy.