Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bike America Day 6: Last Mountain Pass in Washington

Today’s distance: 46.95
Average speed: 10.0
Max speed: 30.3
Overall distance: 344

With beds under our bodies, a roof over our heads, and a speedy internet connection, this was our latest morning yet. We took our time getting ready with the luxury both of a microwave to make tea and oatmeal, and of a pre-packed car without having to take down tents or pack away sleeping bags. I was productive in blogging but I also did a little bike maintenance by cleaning mine and my dad’s pedals and clips.

My dad giving me a lecture on how to read a contour map.

We left a little before 10 and rode a few of the first miles on a smooth bike path with a beautiful view overlooking houses and a valley. When we turned back onto SR20, we began climbing the fourth and final mountain pass on our route in Washington.We had sixteen miles from there to the top and they were long and steady the whole way.

My dad felt that this climb was harder than the previous two but my body felt stronger and more prepared to kick ass on a mountain than it had. We stopped often but we chugged along and made it to the top in time for lunch. On our way up, my dad decided that we should photograph ourselves on hills to try and capture the task of riding up these. I took a few of him and then, when my mom pulled up in the car to pass us, we got her to take pictures of us.

Lunch at the top was in the sun but it was cold and windy. I ate a peanut butter sandwich, an apple, a greek yogurt and a triangle of weebrie. We sat by a sign that read “It’s all downhill from here!” It mostly was.

My mom and I rode down and it was my second favorite descent of the four. The ride from Washington Pass was best but this beat the second and third, by far. We had a wider shoulder and there were few cars. The only downside was that it was incredibly cold from the wind and the rain that had recently fallen. At the end of the ride down, it rained on us some but we had warmed up and it was refreshing. We got to the Columbia River and I embarrassed myself by asking why it is famous. I don’t remember the details of playing Oregon Trail as much as some people do, Josh especially.

We had a long and scenic uphill climb away from the river, on which we saw a woman gardening with a beehive in her front yard and a Shetland pony pulling a family in a wagon. My dad was waiting in TJ’s, a restaurant in Kettle Falls, sipping a beer brewed in Seattle. From there, we headed to our home for the next two nights, another pleasant RV Park and Campground in the woods beside the river.

Dinner was chips and salsa, a hot dog and pasta salad with a s’more for dessert. Tomorrow would be our first rest day, with a trip to the airport to send my dad to Arizonafor the weekend and to pick up my boyfriend Josh, who will be tagging along the next ten days.

I was excited for the day of rest but feeling less like I needed it than I did the two nights prior. I think that’s a good sign of how I’m adapting to and enjoying this biking and camping lifestyle!


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  2. Typo, sorry! Hope you enjoyed your rest day!! What an amazing journey thus far! :)