The Cascade Mountains of Washington State are subjected to the regular four seasons of the northern calendar: Nearly Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction. So, it's no surprise to find those familiar orange diamonds indicating road repairs on Highway 2. But this summer, a new, more ominous sign appears: "Motorcycles Use Extreme Caution."
It turns out this is the punctuation-challenged Washington State Department of Transportation (WS-DOT) at work, the same people who brought us "Litter and it will hurt". The missing comma (the sign should read "Litter, and...") renders the sentence incomprehensible. So does the new marker mean motorcyclists should use extreme caution? Or is it a warning to other road users? "Motorcycles: Use Extreme Caution..."
I ponder this while waiting for a flagman in Monroe, Washington, to wave us through a construction zone. I'm riding Suzuki's multi-talented DL650 V-Strom, while my pal Michael straddles his Trophy 1200. Warm spring sunshine on the west coast presages a pleasant three-day ride over five of Washington's prettiest mountain passes.