Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bike America Day 4: Father's Day!

Today's Distance: 70.3
Average Speed: 11.5
Maximum Speed: 33.7
Overall distance: 250

Out here on the road, we've all been very confused about what day it is. So it wasn't until a few hours after waking, while we were sitting in a coffee shop re-charging electronics and checking our various social media outlets that my mom exclaimed "Ohh, is today Father's Day?! Happy Father's Day!" I had remembered it two weeks before when I'd bought a card to bring along but it slipped all of our minds when we woke up. Luckily, it had slipped my dad's too.

Blogging and breakfasting at Noca Cafe in Winthrop, WA

After an hour and a half of blogging and checking e-mail, my mom and I set out for the first ten miles of the day. We got turned around and added about 3 miles to the stretch but had a tailwind so we made it to Twisp in no time. From there, my dad and I set out for the fifteen miles up to our second mountain pass. About 5 miles in, we passed a sign with three towns listed on it and the mileage to each. I said to my dad that I didn't recognize any of the towns and wondered, "what if we're not still on SR20?" He said, "I prefer not to think about it." So we didn't. Then, 6 miles later, when we'd ridden 11 miles with no climbing up a supposed mountain pass, I expressed my growing concern about our route. I pulled out my iPhone and found that we'd missed a left turn to continue on 20. We'd gone 8 miles out of the way on South 153. Woops. The beauty of having a car is that we could call my mom, who was at a laundromat in Twisp, to pick us up and drop us 8 miles back, right where we'd gone off track.

Covered Wagon!

The 12 miles up the mountain were harder than Saturday's 33 because I was tired and sore, with the sun beating on my back. But it was nice to be in the company of my dad, on this Father's Day bike ride. The climb was fairly steady but manageable. It was hot and sunny but we made it to Loup Loup Pass and celebrated our victory with lunch by the side of the road. We high-fived when we got tot he top!

My dad left with the car to claim his first father's day present, a few hours to sit in a bar and watch the US Open while my mom and I made our way down by bike. The descent was a long. The road, with barely a shoulder on this stretch, curved around many bends, and the wind was gusting hard. While it was thrilling to play with gravity and soar down at speeds averaging 25mph, we were extra cautious given the conditions.

Real mountain roads have curves.

On the way down, we were surprised with one long uphill stretch.

A helicopter chilling by the apple orchard.

Down into Okanogan and a few miles east to Omak, where my parents switched for the third time. My dad and I had a final ten miles to ride into Riverside, where we'd spend the night at Margie's RV Park. The landscape had changed yet again having come over another mountain. It was more arid and brushy than it had been 60 miles west and, on this final ride, we felt very much in the middle of nowhere. There were a few trailers and farmhouses, some people in yards with dogs but, for the most part, it was sand and sagebrush all around. With one dead snake flattened on the road.

Upon arrival in town, the woman at Riverside Grocery told us that nowhere in town would the US Open be playing. She said, "Ask Margie if you can watch it on her TV. Tell her I said so!" That's small town life for you!

Margie's was around the corner. It was the daintiest little RV park I have ever seen. A giant green space with handmade pottery for sale in the front and a horse corral in the back. Other campers included a Magruder High School (a rival of my high-school) and Dartmouth College grad from Seattle who was riding his bike solo to Glacier National Park, a 74 year old couple from Denver who was riding from Anacortes to Bar Harbor, Maine, and a family from Olympia in the midst of a reunion.

We cooked up a gourmet feast of grilled veggies, wal-mart's finest Asian salad, bread made with local grains and "wee brie". Dessert was grilled apples topped with greek yogurt and cinnamon sugar. A great way to celebrate Sandy Shaw, wonderful father that he is!


  1. Cute post! That's funny you saw a couple who is going to Bar Harbor, that's where I am originally from!