Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday update

Monday June 21
This was a 75 mile day that included climbing Stevens pass. That is one of the ways over the cascades in Washington. The day was drizzly/misty – we climbed 16 miles. On the way to the top, we saw a beautiful waterfall. Chris and I stopped and looked at it – we have enjoyed taking detours to see sights, etc.

The top of the pass was thrilling in that we went by a pacific crest trail sign. There was a ski resort there with bits of snow. We put on wind breakers, filled our water bottles and started the 11 mile descent. We had to stop after 2 miles – we got so cold. I put on wind shells for my hands and Chris put on his hat. The descent was cold and wet – we got pelted by rain drops. By the bottom the weather had changed completely. We could see the mountains around us, it was party sunny and it felt great to ride.

The cascades are so beautiful – we were glad to get good views.

Most of our ride that afternoon was along a river – one of those white, rushing mountain ones. It was incredible to be zipping along just next to it. Chris kept saying things like “this is so beautiful, we don't deserve to experience this” - it was so surreal.

That night we camped at a middle school – very windy where tents almost blew over. The plus side was everything dried quickly.

Chris and I got a ride to a local bike shop and were able to replace his broken front wheel. He had been using a loaner for a few days. When he crashed on the bridge the first day, his wheel had gotten caught in the expansion joint. It bent beyond repair. All is good now, though.

Tuesday June 22
This was a 103 mile day that ended with spectacular views of Coulee Dam.
There was another tough 7 mile climb. We are seeing the climbs here are not as steep as PA hills, but very long. The longest we had experienced was about two miles. Still, our training on Hawk Mountain served us well as we can hold a pretty good pace.

I was pretty tired at lunch at the 58 mile point. The consecutive days of riding was getting to me. We had a nice afternoon ride with three others – that made the riding a lot more enjoyable.

We finished the ride with great views of Coulee dam – it is a pretty amazing structure.

Usually we eat at the school, seerved by a service group or staff. This time we walked to a locla restaurant. That was a different change of pace. Chris was so tired from the day he was asleep by 8 pm.

Wednesday June 23
This was a windy 94 mile day.
It started with a 3 mile climb before breakfast. That was an eye opener that got our hearts pumping without any morning coffee. Afterward we had a six mile climb that ended with spectacular views of rolling green fields. One of the default images on Microsoft computers. The view was like we were on top of a dome. For this climb, I was able to lead Chris – pretty unusual. He had a slow start, but later his energy picked up and he pushed well.

The whole day was basically in a headwind. Chris and I took turns in front to make riding easier. This time at lunch I felt better, so that was a good sign. We stopped at Sandys deli for mornign coffee – that was fun as Chris was able to teach them how to make “dirty espresso” (layer of coffee and sugar brewed. After lunch we hit a low point. Route 2 can have heavy traffic with lots of RVs and trucks. The noise gets to you after a while. The headwind and by now monotonous scenery of green fields was wearing thin. We stopped by a side espresso shack. By now we were seeing less of them. This one was “Lynne's – best coffee in town”. Lynne was so happy to hear about all that we were doing and what the ride was about. That was fun. We ended the ride with a trip through a Spokane park. Beautiful river with lots of people walking about.

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