Earlier this week, the road to Artist Point re-opened for the first time since 2010, and it goes without saying that I couldn't wait to get back up there. (Then why did I say it?) David Longdon and I were planning to ride up but after he cancelled, I only had about an hour to sulk before Pat Skaggs e-mailed and invited me to join he and Steve George, a sorta Bellingham legend in the multi-sport, jack-of-all-endurance-trades world. I'd never met Steve before, though had seen him a few years ago when I did the Bellingham Traverse relay race and our team members kept almost catching Steve--who was soloing the event, by the way--only to have him pull away maddeningly and repeatedly. As I found out today, he's a super nice guy. (In the above pic, that's he on the far right, Pat in the middle, me in the French champion's jersey on the left.)
These two pics are what the Artist Point parking lot looks like today.
Below is what it looked like just two weeks ago when Titanium Cancellara and I rode to the top. (Here's that post.)
Looks like the D.O.T. guys got busy over the past fortnight. Here's one of them talking to Steve while taking a break from clearing the mountain of snow atop the privies. (Which aren't open yet. However, the restrooms are open at the Heather Meadows Visitor Center, a couple miles below Artist Point.)
I'll ride this road again and again, any time of the day or night, I love it so much! (Hyperbole, I know, but my brain is still in the throes of that hypoxic Cascade Mountain high.) Always stupendous scenery, always really really challenging--especially the last couple miles when it seems the altitude starts to kick in--always my favorite road on which to spend three or four hours. Highly recommended!