Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 26, 2010. Colville, WA to Bear Paw Camp. 82 miles.

This was one very long day! We left Colville on a bright morning, expecting a pretty easy day. We were into the rolling hills right out of the gate! And the road we were on was newly chip sealed, which means they tarred and stoned, leaving a rather rough riding surface.

Our cue sheet told us to expect a climb beginning at mile mark 8.9 and ending at mile 17; that was not exactly correct... After the rolling hills of the morning, we had our big climb, finding the sag vehicle and Crystal Falls at the top. We were warned of the downhill with sharp curves, but surprise! We had smooth pavement for a change! It was a great downhill! Of course seven cyclists passed me on the way down, and I was going over 30 MPH.

At the bottom of the hill we turned on to State Route 31 North, and found the Cabin Grill on the right, the only food stop of the day at mile 40. I entered and asked for a turkey sandwich, and found out that they would not serve "lunch food" until 11:00. It was then 10:50. I was annoyed and went back outside, but realizing that there would be no other options I went back in and asked the waitress to put in my order for a turkey sandwich to go at exactly 11:00, and she did. That was a good move on my part, since by 11:00 there were a couple of tables of bikers and a couple of tables of local folk. I stuffed the (giant!) sandwich and cookies in my CamelBak and went on my way. I was riding alone then, since those I had been riding with went on without me and without lunch. I ate the first half sandwich at the 50 mile point, in the middle of nowhere, and the second half at mile 68 at a roadside picnic table. I have to say it was a superb sandwich! Piled high with turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, swiss cheese and mustard, as requested. As annoyed as I was that I had to wait to order it, I was ever so glad that I did.

Our route took us alongside the Pend Oreille River (say "pon-door-AY") river, and it was a beautiful route, although the head wind was not appreciated by anyone! These flags flying in the gusty wind are evidence--and we were cycling directly into it for the last 40 miles of the ride. We passed through Kalispel Indian Reservation where I saw these buffalo grazing on a hillside.

I arrived at Bear Paw Camp at 2:45 PM. It was as promised, only better! Dianne and I bunked in the "large bunkhouse" rather than the smaller cabins. Our bunkhouse had bathrooms, unlike the smaller ones.... There was a nice pool (of course I took a swim) and sauna, and plenty of picnic tables (where we set up and played Scrabble). Supper was delicious barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, fruit salad, and brownies, all prepared by Patty and Amy in the camp kitchen (and barbecue grill). While we were eating, we saw a bald eagle snag a huge fish out of the river. It was a great day after all. The last photo is the Pend Oreille River out the back of our cabin.


Tom and Kathi said...

Hi Linda this Tom of the Tom and Kathi that Diane met in Winthrop. I have enjoyed reading your blog. You ladies are a real inspiration to me and Kathi. Kathi and I are native Washingtonians so we are familiar with the ground you have cover and it is definitely the most challenging route you will find in Washington but also one of the most spectacular. I hope you have had time to enjoy it. Kathi and I wish the you and Dianne a safe and enjoyable adventure and will be looking forward to reading your blog.

damonster said...

Beautiful photos, Linda! Glad you guys are having a nice trip.