Duff McKagan: Road Tips

Ten essential stops for jocks, socialists, and punks.

The weather is getting good, just in time for one of America's favorite pastimes: the good ol' road trip. Here are my favorites:

1. North on I-97 from Cle Elum to Cashmere: First of all, driving north or south means no sun in the eyes. Going north on 97 transmits you from a western-Washington chill to the warmth of the high desert. Try the Liberty Cafe for the locals and the caffeine.

2. Highway 2 west from Dry Falls to Waterville: One of the best straightaways in the state. Haul ass for about 40 miles! Make sure you get your cop-radar-detector thing working, though.

3. The drive from my house to Slim's Last Chance on First Avenue in Georgetown: Anytime is a good time for chili and beer (well, I don't drink personally . . . but you get the idea).

4. The Vashon Island Loop: If you are in the city and want to get out real fast on your motorcycle, just get on the Fauntleroy Ferry from West Seattle and ride straight off into the country. Epic for such a short distance away.

5. The Ballard Locks to Deception Pass via the west side of Whidbey Island: I've heard that Seattle has the most boats per capita of any American city. Get yourself a small craft and a VHF radio, and grow a pair. This route is dangerous when the weather picks up . . . and make sure you have a full tank of gas, especially when you get to the eddies of Deception Pass. You wouldn't want to get sucked down one of those.

6. My house to Safeco Field: Yeah, well, even though the Mariners have stunk it up pretty good this season, Safeco is still the best place to see a baseball game in the world.

7. Spirit Lake Highway to Mt. St. Helens: If you ever get a chance, just get off the damn I-5 down there and head east.

8. North Cascades Highway: Yes, it is that good. Get off at Ross Dam and see what socialism, er, Roosevelt's Federal Works Program, did for us!

9. Lady of the Lake ferry from Chelan to Stehekin: No roads go to Stehekin, one of the very last places in Washington that has kept its no-Walmart rule. Untouched by larger commerce in a big way, and an awe-inspiring scenic trip.

10. Incoming flights to Sea-Tac (technically not a "drive"): The view on any flight into Sea-Tac is one of the best ever. Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, downtown, floating bridges, boats, and all those lakes make Seattle the best city in the world to touch down in.


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