Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010: Omak to Republic, WA. 69 miles.

I don't know why I keep forgetting things.... I put the wrong city on the hotel list, I went to the Post Office in Winthrop to mail something and get post card stamps. I mailed the package and forgot the stamps, left my cold drink on the counter.... when I went back a few minutes later, I got the post card stamps and my drink, and left the post cards on the counter. The clerk took my name off the return address on the package and gave the little bag of post cards to another person from our tour. I was so impressed that I saved the little bag and took its photo.

Then when we left Winthrop yesterday morning I was so concerned about the package that went to the wrong city that I left my spare camera battery and charger in the room! It has been found and the Woman Tour group that is one day behind us is bringing it forward to Idaho--we'll see them on our next rest day. (Thanks Michelle). But when I arrived at the hotel in Republic they told me that their mail comes at 4 PM. Mail came, no package for me. When Dianne asked where the post office was, the desk clerk told her it closes at 4 PM.... AAAUUUGHH. Now what?

Today we had breakfast at the hotel (no oatmeal!) and left at 6:30 AM, since we knew it would be a long day. Dianne and I rode together the first 12 miles, and stopped at a little store in Riverside. A local guy took our photo in front of the store, I had half a cup of coffee (and was only charged half price!), and I asked the guys sitting out in front of the store if they knew what this thing in the river was... no idea. It looks like a small space capsule, and rotates slowly as the water passes through it.

The first 28 miles was an enjoyable ride--rolling hills, no big climbs. Many riders stopped in Tonasket for sandwiches and snacks, including me. We knew what was coming--you can see it on the profile. Right out of Tonasket we started climbing (at mile 29). We climbed pretty much non stop until mile 55.7, Wauconda Pass. Of course we stopped several times along the way, including a lunch stop at Wauconda, 3 miles before the pass. While we were climbing, many large ore trucks passed us, and they were fairly considerate. There are also a lot of RVs and campers on the road this time of year, and one RV came way too close for comfort.... This photo shows Claudine, Hollie and Kathy L with an ore truck behind them. Fortunately the mine they were servicing was near the top of the pass and we did not have to worry about them on the coast down.

I passed a road called Sage Hill Rd. and there was a hillside covered with sage. I passed a road called Starvation Ridge Rd. and can only guess how it got its name... these mountain passes were not always paved roads.

Once we crested the pass, the road got really rough. There were signs warning motorcyclists of the rough roads, but no mention of the danger for cyclists! With the exception of a few short climbs, we coasted the last 14 miles into Republic where we are staying at Northern Inn. It is a quaint little town nestled between the mountains. I walked to town and had an ice cream cone while waiting for Dianne to arrive.

I hope we all get a good night's sleep tonight! Unfortunately it is impossible to look at the profile map without seeing what is in store for us tomorrow.

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