I've been up and down the Ben-Howard road many times on two wheels. Its a great 'short cut' from Snohomish to Monroe. I used to live on the top of Three Lakes Rd hill for a few years. You probably rode past my old home.
Wait a few months and you'll be able to ride the whole mountain loop highway. 'Highway' is a stretch once you get to Monte Cristo. If you've never rode all the way from Granite Falls to Darrington you should give it a try. I used to drive up to the Ice Caves and hike into Monte Cristo on weekends with my kids. The wife never like hiking and I always enjoyed it. I've even climbed a mountain a few times - Mt Pilchuck. Great hike and there is an old fire watch 'cabin' at the top. Not much of a cabin but a great view of Green Mountain and the Cascades beyond and much of the Mountain Loop area. Try it some day if you have a day to kill. Or the Lake 22 trail. There are many others I've been up and down and can't recall the names of right now. Goat Lake trail comes to mind but its a mid-late summer all day hike due to the elevation and snow.
There is a peak near Monte Cristo that was named after a WWII hero that is also the namesake of the first ship I served on in the USN - USS James E. Kyes - DD-787.
Sometimes I do miss living in Arlington. There are some mighty fine roads around there. But I have some great roads around here too - and I bet you don't have a free State Ferry ride an hour from your home! That would be the Keller Ferry.
Not often you get a free ride out of the Washington State Ferry system. And I know - technically it isn't free.
Daboo - thanks for the link to your rider's report. Nice pics - reminds me of why I'm living here! SUNSHINE!
Well - mostly!