Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bike America Day 8: How Remote Can ya go??

Today's distance: 68.51
Average speed: 11.7
Max speed: 34.2
Odometer: 413

On Thursday Josh got to officially join bike America, by accompany me on half the day's miles. But he was still kind enough to let my mom ride the middle miles over a mini mountain range east of the cascades called the Selkirk.

After a breakfast of cold bagels and pb, Josh and I set out, in our Florida bike jerseys, for the first eleven mile of the trip. The scenery on this stretch was beautiful, with quiet farms all around us, and mountains in the distance on all sides.

We met my mom in Colville and bought dinner to go and reapplied some basics. I added nutella to that list of "basics". I left and rode 6 solo miles uphill out of town. When tw others caught me, I was surrounded by more gorgeous scenery, with a field of bulls off to the side.

My mom and I rode the next 30 miles together from there to Tiger, WA over the Selkirk mountains. Josh drove the distance, stopping for pictures and checking on us along the way. About 10 miles from the end of that stretch we stopped at Beaver Lodge to rest and eat our peanut butter banana sandwiches. We talked to the woman in te store who nearly scared us out of our planned route and pre-paid campsite.

The last part of the day would be across the Pen D'oreille river, where we'd also be sleeping. She told us that there was an Indian reservation on that side and that there would be "nothing there" and we'd see "lots of bears". She said the bears have been "peas this year". She has seen one repeatedly in her back yard and her friends' parents had had to shoot one after it lingered and killed their cats.

If you can't tell by now, my mom and I are pretty scared of bears and we were spooked. I am a strange breed with a strong sense of adventure from my dad and a knack for worrying from my mom. We decided to lose the $30 we had paid for our remote campsite and look for a place in one of the towns on the west side of the river.

When we got to tiger, which is nothing but a visitors center, old blacksmith shop, and historic store, the woman in the store eased our fears. She lives a few miles from our panhandle campground and drives our route daily. So my mom left the decision up to me and I chose to stick with our original plan.

Josh and I rode the final 21 miles along this road "with nothing around" that turned out not to be so much in the middle of nowhere. We rolled into camp just before 6. My mom had talked to the host who said they haven't had a bear sighting here in six years. The only others here are a Canadian couple riding the opposite direction as us and a college grad from Boulder who is riding solo from Anacortes to Bar Harbor.

After this pose, Josh said "West siiiide. Of the country, that is."

Dinner was sushi for me, chicken for Josh, and a sandwich for my mom, all bought pre-made at the Safeway in Colville. We spontaneously made a fire to ward off the man moskitos, had a long conversation with the guy from Boulder, and then passed out in our tents for the night. It was our last of many great nights in Washington.

Some general updates:
  • Internet is scarce for us out here. I am trying to blog as frequently as possible but there will be periods of time when I can't. I am still writing, as best I can, about each day individually and I'll post as frequently as I can! Stay tuned!
  • My friend Nathaniel and his friends have created a web app/service that allows people to track trips and outings and they're using my adventure as a test to see how it works for someone who's unfamiliar with it. As with blogging, I'm not able to keep up with it every day but it is a really cool service and it paints a good picture of what part of the country I've covered so far. Track my route here and register yourself for jumbl here.
  • Follow my adventures on twitter and instagram @sweatinginstyle
  • I have organized the links to all my summer blog updates on my Bike America page. For easy access to any specif day, refer to that page. Enjoy!


  1. I'm glad you're having a good time! I love hearing about your adventure!

  2. I'd be afraid of bears too! Glad you've been able to post as much as you have! It's so fun to follow along. :)