b'Day 5JUNE 2An orchestra of birds and insects in a rare old-growth forest at Rockport State Park greets us in the morning. The campsite is dry but the clothes we had left on the laundry line overnight are still damp. Even with a clear sky, the sun barely peeks through the towering evergreens as we break down camp and make our way to a caf on Route 20. Built of wood from the neighboring forests, the cafe features planters filled with flowers in full bloom. After breakfast, and another hour of letting our clothes dry out on a sunny rock, we continue east on Route 20, otherwise known as the Cascade Highway. The road twists and turns as we gain elevation, and the peaks that surround us are now snow-capped. Bracketed by the Cascade Mountains, we eventually cross over Diablo Dam and reach a campground, where we once again meet up with Ben Cope, this time joined by his wife, Gretchen, and her little boy Grant. What has taken us 5 days to ride, they drive in just over 2 hours.Grant and I try to make a go with my fishing pole but there is not even a nibble. After setting up camp, and pleased to know that rain is not in the forecast, we settle in for a wonderful dinner that Gretchen has brought us, followed by strawberries and cream for dessert. BEGIN: Rockport State Park, WAEND: Colonial Creek Campground, Diablo Dam, WADISTANCE: 33.6 milesDay 6JUNE 3We set out on our biggest and most difficult day aiming to reach the peak at Rainy Pass, which is 25 miles away. Dressed at first for the cold weather, we start to shed layers after about 10 miles. The road has no downhill or level spots. Just a continuous seven-hour uphill grind. The extra 65 pounds on the back of my bike seems to be pulling me back down the mountain. To make the climb more manageable, we break up the ride into five-mile chunks, stop to gather our strength, discard a layer, and then get on with the next five miles.We reach Rainy Pass, and instead of rain, it begins to snow. From there, and what seems like an eternity of pedaling, we go another five miles and finally arrive at Washington Pass (elev. 5,477). By the time we make it to this part of the North Cascades Highway, we have removed all of our cold weather clothing and are wearing only t-shirts 7'