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Archive for the ‘Washington’ Category

Hi Curtis!

Hi Curtis!

June 13, 2009: Colville, WA to Usk, WA

Today’s ride began in Colville, Washington. The group set-off on an absolutely beautiful day and headed for the day’s destination point of Usk, WA.

As we left Colville, we climbed approximately 800 feet, followed by some pretty serious up and down stretches.  After climbing, we encountered a nice downhill stretch that took us to Ione, WA.  From Ione, the ride was mostly flat all the way into Usk.

While in Ione, we ate at the Log Cabin Grill, a nice place with good food. At the grill, Sue and Mark encountered an old friend, Curtis Patton. Curtis was manning the grill at the Log Cabin and was doing a superb job.

Our camp site in Usk is pretty primitive – no electricity, running water or shower facilities. We used this as an opportunity to use the camp privy that we purchased prior to our departure. Howard assembled and operated the shower while we all took turns cleaning-up – it worked exceptionally well.

Following our showers, we ate a great spaghetti dinner prepared by Ann and Marshall.  The evening came to a close with a little rain, a little thunder and a little lightning.

Today’s numbers: 78.5 miles ridden, 3,300 feet climbed.  After seven six days of riding we have traveled 424 miles and conquered 25,316 feet in elevation gain.

Tomorrow’s ride will take us into Idaho.


The bare essentials

The bare essentials

Ever the loyal Beaver fan

Ever the loyal Beaver fan

Mark with Bob, our camp host in Colville

Mark with Bob, our camp host in Colville

Crystal Falls

Crystal Falls

Howard and Chicken on the road to Usk

Howard and Chicken on the road to Usk

Howard's shower

Howard's shower

Getting clean in Usk

Getting clean in Usk

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Rest Day Addendum

Howard: I have to forward some information about our rest day.

After arriving in camp, Chuck Wood and I took showers. After showering, Chuck suggested that we use Noxema on our saddle sores. As Chuck and I were applying the Noxema, with our shorts down around our knees, in walks a 13 year old baseball player from the field near our camp site. Chuck said, “Don’t mind us, just a couple of old guys greasing-up.” The player’s eyes got real big and then he left. We laughed, saying that he went back to his team telling them about the two old perverts in the restroom.

The next day, Chuck, Debbie, Dennis and myself cleaned and rejuvenated all of the bikes (even Cole’s). When we finished, we thought that we should rejuvenate our bodies….so off to the Acorn Saloon and Feeding Station we went.

After about 4 or 5 pitchers of Mac and Jack Amber Ale, we all felt rejuvenated. The dinner at the Acorn was super. While we were eating, a couple of wild-looking bikers (Long hair, beards, cut-off shirts) took the table next to ours. Sue P., after two glasses of wine, said “Hey, do you know that we are riding our bikes to Bar Harbor, Maine?” The bikers gave Sue a wild look. They turned out to be a couple of real nice guys, two bikers from Vernon, British Columbia.

All-in-all, our rest day was fantastic and we are now looking forward to riding to Whitefish, Montana for our next rest day.

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Rest Day in Colville

Bike maintenance in Colville

Bike maintenance in Colville

June 12, 2009

Today was a scheduled rest day. Time was spent in Colville, Washington doing laundry, performing bike maintenance and relaxing. We have found the people of Colville to be very warm and friendly. We enjoyed looking around the town a bit – breakfast at Arby’s was excellent and The Acorn Bar and Food Station was terrific (Coldest beer in Colville).

All of us have pondered the preceding 5 days of riding and our individual perspectives on the journey so far. However, we would all agree with the following thoughts put forward by Howard Headley:

Our country is so big and beautiful. When you travel across it on a bicycle, you notice things in a different light. When you are climbing a long pass at 5 to 8 miles per hour, you have time to notice the little things: Single flowers along the road. You have time to talk to a couple of old guys on a porch. Smell the new mown hay. Visit with a new born calf.    We have traveled one one of the most beautiful roads in our country, the North Cascades Scenic Highway. For many miles we have been in awe of the sights ahead of us. Hopefully we can keep this attitude throughout our ride.

We had a great dinner and an even greater time at the Acorn Bar and Food Station. When we returned to our camp at the Fairgrounds in Colville, we all seemed to automatically busy ourselves with organizing all of our stuff in preparation for tomorrow’s ride. As we climb on to our bicycles again tomorrow, the destination will be Usk, Washington, a distance of about 70 miles.


Dennis and Chicken at the Acorn

Dennis and Chicken at the Acorn

Mark is fueled by pie.

Mark is fueled by pie.

If curious, ask Chuck or Howard.

If curious, ask Chuck or Howard.

Laundry time!

Laundry time!

Terrific breakfast at Arby's.

Terrific breakfast at Arby's.

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Brrr...

Brrr...

June 11, 2009: Republic, WA to Colville, WA

The group awoke at their encampment at the fairgrounds in Republic, Wa. ready for the challenge of Sherman Pass. In his blog, the Asphalt Cowboy had mentioned that he considered the climb up Sherman Pass to be the most difficult of all the Washington passes. At 5,700 feet, Sherman Pass was certainly higher than any of the preceding passes, so the group prepared for a difficult day.

As the climb began, the group experienced its first encounter with inclement weather. About half-way up Sherman Pass, the clouds opened up with rain and hail. The 47-degree temperature and a slight wind made for a very cool ascent. By the time the summit of the pass was reached, we were all soaked and cold.

After spending a very short time at the summit of Sherman Pass, we began the descent, in search of warmer, dryer weather. As we sped down the mountain, everyone was freezing; fortunately Marshall and Ann Schilling came to the rescue in the support vehicles. Marshall put a shivering Chicken Headley into the cab of his truck and turned on the heat. The Schillings then provided warm clothes, energy snacks and water to the rest of us. We all decided that, in the future, we would need to be better prepared for sudden weather changes.

We continued on down the mountain towards Kettle Falls, Wa. and Roosevelt Lake.  Forty-degree temperatures turned into the 90s as we descended….a welcome relief. We continued on into Colville, Wa. where we are camping during our layover day at the fairgrounds.

During discussions following today’s ride, we all came to the conclusion that we disagree with the Asphalt Cowboy – the climb up Sherman Pass was not that tough. The combination of Rainy Pass plus Washington Pass on Day 2 was the toughest.

Total miles ridden today: 52 miles. Altitude climbed: From 2,000 feet to 5,700 feet in 15 miles.  We’re taking our first layover day tomorrow.


A welcome sight

A welcome sight

Bath time!

Bath time!

Sir Winston Churchill - sponsoring dog of POWC2C

Sir Winston Churchill - sponsoring dog of POWC2C

Roosevelt Lake

Roosevelt Lake

Mark's self-portrait

Mark's summit self-portrait

Sue's new bike

Sue's new bike

Tin man and scarecrow keeping watch in eastern Washington

Tin men keeping watch in eastern Washington

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Howard in Republic, Washington

Howard in Republic, Washington

“To all of my pervert friends in Alaska, my ass is sore.”

-Howard Headley


Chicken meets chicken

Chicken meets chicken

Happy birthday Suzi!

Happy birthday Suzi!

Pit stop in Wauconda, Washington

Pit stop in Wauconda, Washington

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June 10, 2009: Omak, WA to Republic, WA

Leaving Omak this morning, we had a beautiful ride through the countryside. We’ve been noticing the changes in the terrain, getting drier as we go east. At Riverside, we discovered an old shop with antique bikes everywhere, an iron rooster, wasp nests hanging from the ceiling, and a variety of old items that reminded some of us of our youth.

Lunch was in a healthy food cafe in Tonkasket. There we ran into a couple from California who are traveling our route, but fully loaded! We also met several other cross country cyclists today and had fun comparing notes.  There was even a young woman coming East to West, who left April 11, towing a BOB trailer. What a brave girl!

Along our climbs, we saw so many old deserted cabins. Our climbs today were much more gradual, but still gave us some exercise, especially with one ascent out of Wauconda. The people there were SO friendly! The ascent was short, compared to the thrilling descent into Republic, a cute Western town. And then it was party time, celebrating Suzi’s birthday with cake and ice cream. As her grandson said “you’re older than Barbie!”.

70.12 miles traveled today, 4,621 feet climbed

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Impressions from our ride across Washington.

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