Today promised to be one of the warmest and driest days we’ve had this year. I was ready to take a good long motorcycle ride after so many continuous days of rain and cold temperatures.
This time of year in Washington’s Skagit Valley is the annual Tulip Festival. More tulips are grown here than any other U.S. location. There are also daffodils and other bulbs blooming for a continuous 3 weeks or so. It is a giant tourist attraction, attracting bus loads full of people. The area is quite large with fields of various colors so striking it takes your breath away. Or so they say……..
The Victory and the Vulcan decided to take a ride up North to see just what we’ve always heard about. After all, it is the warmest and sunniest and best riding day this year. We expected to see other motorcyclists out in droves. They were.
We left home and started up I-5 until we got near Mt. Vernon, where you could take side roads and go out towards the fields. The traffic going north was slow from the time we entered the highway. It took us an hour to get through Everett, which should have been 15 minutes. It was hot, and creeping/stopping at about 5-10 mph for many miles. My left hand got very sore manipulating the clutch constantly.
We finally made our way further north and into Mt. Vernon, where we decided to catch a bite to eat. We found a great little Mexican restaurant where there were lots of Spanish speaking families eating there and very friendly waitresses. The food was very good with a homemade quality to it.
The town of Mt. Vernon was packed with traffic. Every street we tried to take was gridlocked with traffic. It was not fun anymore. It was also hot with our jacket liners still in from the cooler weather. We could see off in the distance that there was a bridge we needed to cross and still couldn’t see the tulip fields. Traffic was not moving at all and I decided that was it.
We turned around, headed towards the interstate, and cruised home at 70 mph most of the way. It felt good to be moving. The whole interstate heading north was creeping along for 50 miles or so almost at a standstill.
I was worn out when I got home, just from fighting the wind, bumpy freeway under construction, and the weight of the bike. We rode a total of 114 miles, which took us 4 hours. It was a nice ride partly through side roads and farmland, but no tulips to be seen. I know now why I haven’t tried to go up there all these years I’ve lived in Washington.