After a late start in the morning, we rode from Patrick's to Pike Place Market for some Seattle-scenic photos and then down to the water, where we dipped our rear wheels in the salty west coast water (in anticipation of getting some Atlantic water on them when we reach Boston).
Though we expected a tough time heading out of Seattle on busy roads after that, it turns out that people in Seattle bike a lot, so the roads were full of courteous drivers and lots of other cyclists! Patrick, our sherpa for the way out of Seattle, took us and we headed towards the mountains.
Somewhere around mile 10, we started riding in the vicinity of another rider. We dubbed him "Owl" because he was so wise. Turned out he gave us directions and then we ended up riding with him for a long time- almost all the way to our lunch stop. He warned us about sharp turns ahead of time, busy roads, and was an all around superstar.
Thanks, Owl, for everything. You were our spirit animal for Day 1, definitely.
The rest of day 1 was not quite as awesome. After we left Owl, we had a great lunch stop in North Bend. Twede's Diner (also called twin peaks diner, apparently) have us some awesome endless fries and other tasty things, along with pretty scenery:
Post-lunch, we hit some scattered downpours and intermittent sunshine. After north bend Dave got the first flat tire of the trip, but luckily we were close to the bike shop back in north bend, so we could just head back to switch his tube and tire. Trying to get through the Cle Elum pass in the pouring rain was tough. Mostly because there is no other way to do it than taking I-90, which we emphatically do not recommend. An interstate with fast cars in the rain and avalanche closures is not a great place for cyclists.
Biking after the pass to our campsite in Ellensburg was tough with some windy spots, but it was worth it for our last fifteen miles into camp with some terrific gentle downhills along a deserted smooth road that went alongside a river in a canyon. All in all, an okay afternoon with some hiccups that were good to get out of the way early in the trip.
Dinner at the only restaurant in Ellensburg (population ~2700) because apparently everything closes before 9pm, and then we fell into our sleeping bags the minute we got back.