Sunday, August 7, 2011

returned to Seattle

we will most likely plan a move to Maui instead of another try at crossing the country this year.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

83 miles today- Ione to Sagle

Saw a few stands with Osprey nests.

Tried to decide whether to go the Easy Way or the Smart Way...

Rich told me this morning, it will be another long day to Sandpoint, a little more than 60 miles but flatter than yesterday....

Around lunchtime he said he read the maps wrong, forgot a section. It will be closer to 70ish..... But 73 miles came and it was getting past 6:30 ... How much further? He said about 8 miles. My legs tried not to mutiny but kept pedaling.  Pulled into the RV/Camping/Pizza place after 7-1/2 hours of rolling hills- 83 miles is a few more than 60! First real major day.

Kettle Falls to Ione

a long long day with some considerable climbing at the end. Over 60 miles is kind of a milestone. Guess it would be the same old pictures of rolling grassy meadows bordered by forest and blue mountains in the distance. Another postcard waterfall- Crystal Falls.  Blue skies....

Came to another road project with pilot cars- chip and seal again but no schoolbus. But the flagger knew about us- from Washington Pass and Dave the bus driver. Wish we had taken a picture of him, he was so fun to talk with.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


this is the new rig- if I had to do it over again perhaps a lighter steel bike to go with it since the long-haul is built for panniers. Its about 6 lbs heavier than another bike but acceptable for the 26" wheels, very stable.  I've got one small pannier in back for lunch and things I need during the day.

The trailer makes it very easy to make a laundry run or pick up, say, a mini-watermelon in the evening before camp. But what if we didn't eat it? YES, that means I'm carrying a WATERMELON all day (its wrapped up on the back).  As I was climbing rolling hills I kept thinking this will be the best tasting melon ever.

The trailer is awkward to park, so I got a kickstand. The sound takes me back decades, I was a kid the last time I heard that sound on my bike.  Next I may get some shiny streamer tassles for the flag.

Back to America and official route- Grand Forks to Kettle Falls

Getting used to cycling in the heat. What were tailwinds yesterday became challenging headwinds today. But the scenery is still exceptional. 

THOUGHT we would get another early start since we had treated ourselves to the first motel stay of the trip. (TV! Laundry!) But we both had mechanicals in the morning- Rich's shifting is acting up, and my front flat tire flatted from a defective valve. Always something it seems...

Camping tonight in Kettle Falls. Back on the official Adventure Cycling Northern Tier Route. Our detour added a day but well worth it.

Canadian detour was amazing

The descent from the ski area, through Chesaw, around to Curlew, then following the Kettle River up into Canada was up there with the most amazing stellar road cycling rides I've done.  After rolling over and through sweeping farmland valleys and hills dotted with pine and aspens, we descended through steep narrow mossy rock and forest canyon with swoopy twisting road all to ourselves, for miles and miles. Finally leveled out at the river- bordered by lush meadows and rocky cliffs.  Back to dry and hot, but with a brisk tailwind we made good miles.  Border Patrol were interested in our trip.

Havilla to Grand Forks Canada

Almost at the crest of the climb, 4 powerful horses greeted us at the top- one charging down to Rich in front. They were exceptionally inquisitive, looking back and forth between us. When I rode closer, two ran up to get a closer look at me.  I've worked at stables before, I was impressed with these animals.

Passed several historical abandoned homesteads from the turn of the century. 

Passed by the smallest Washington state park, for Ranald MacDonald. Half caucasion and half Salish indian, he is now honored by the Japanese to be the first person to teach English in the 1700's.