Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23: Winthrop to Omak, WA. 48 miles

Postal Service, with capital letters! I waited around until 9 AM to leave this morning, planning to go to the post office to give the postmaster my list of hotels so that when my package comes they can forward it to wherever I am.... Just before 9 I got summoned to the office--the postmistress in Rockport had called--she had my package! I asked how on earth it got to Rockport and she said it was addressed that way--me at Winthrop Inn, in Rockport, not in Winthrop. So we made arrangements for it to be forwarded to me at Republic, our lodging tomorrow. When I got to this hotel I looked at my blog, and sure enough, I had posted Winthrop Inn at Rockford as our rest day! Shame on me! So if anyone else sent me anything at that address, I apologize.

I left out at 9 AM after peeling off my jacket--it was already getting warm. Dianne had gone to town for "real breakfast" while I waited for the post office to open. Dianne made the right choice! She met Tom and Kathy at the restaurant and had a great time with them--they even bought her breakfast! All this while I was pacing the parking lot looking at my watch.

The first ten miles of the trip was lovely: farmland and rolling hills, no hard climbs. I rode alone, having left so late. After about a half hour I saw Pat and Suzanne on the road; they had already changed 2 flat tires. I did not stop at Twisp, where there was a super bakery, because I wanted to finish the ride before it got too hot. After I left Pat and Suzanne I thought I heard a clicking sound so I got off the bike and checked my tires--there was a piece of metal in the front tire--oh man, take it out or leave it in????? So I held my breath and took it out--it did not go flat; I'm very glad now that I bought the Armadillo tires before this trip! A regular tire would have flatted out.

At about mile 11.5 the big climb began--we climbed for 10.5 miles, pretty relentlessly. There were a few sections where I could get out of granny gear, but only up a gear or two, never up to the big ring. On my way up to Loup Loup pass (there must be a story behind that name but I don't know it) I was passed by Patti, Amy, and Kathy L. and I passed several people (including Dianne). At the top Denise was waiting with the van, and took our photos--I was up there with Patti, Amy, Kathy L and Gloria, who is one of the founders of Woman Tours.

The descent was super! It made that climb worth every mile! It was a 7% grade, making it a sweet ride down, around 30 to 32 MPH all the way. We coasted for the better part of 10 miles, had a slight climb and then coasted again! (you can see it on my poorly photographed elevation profile above). There was a shoulder in most spots, but a few places had no shoulder and no guard rail. Most of the drivers of cars and trucks were courteous, but there were a few cowboys who acted like they were trying to see how close they could get without picking us off.

I always try to stay far away from the cyclists who do not budge out of the lane when cars are approaching, and I use the paved shoulder when there is one. After all, I drive a car too.... Share the road, people!

I got to the hotel in Omak before 1:30, which was a fairly good time considering that I left after 9 AM! There were cyclists here, but no van and no luggage. We waited it out until the van got here, unloaded it and here I am... the end to another wonderful cycling day. Now I think I'll have a glass of wine and play some Scrabble.

I am at this very moment missing my husband's retirement bash at Harry's Bar in Detroit. In my defense, not only had he not yet decided to retire this year when I signed up for this trip, he moved his date up to early June at the last minute. So he is in Detroit saying goodbye to 37 years of friends and acquaintances while I am thousands of miles away on a bike trip. Sigh.


Anonymous said...

Hi Di and Linda,
Zappers - that can be discouraging at the beginning of a game. Scenery looks beautiful, quite a ride.

Anonymous said...

I mailed your sticker express, so you should have it at your next rest hotel.