Day 40: July 23: Ione, WA to Kettle Falls WA: 50 miles

Today officially marks the longest bike trip of our lives! We have passed our total miles from MRT two years ago.

We stayed in an awesome room last night at the Riverview Motel in Ione. We woke up about 7:30 and got on the road at 9:00. This is pretty quick for us. It usually takes us two hours to pack, eat, and get on the road.

We only had a few miles before our big climb of the day started. As we turned onto the road we see a sign that says "Bicyclists - Narrow Shoulders - Logging Trucks - Next 36 Miles," not exactly an exciting announcement when starting up a big hill where we know we will move slowly. We were also riding on a newly chip sealed road with loose gravel. FABULOUS! Thankfully we did not have a lot of traffic on the road, and the logging trucks must have been done for the weekend.

The chip seal is dusty and bumpy, yet they are using it to cover up very nice pavement! None of us can understand why they do this to their roads in the west. Here is what it looks like when a car passes, so you can imagine a bigger RV or semi. PS The dust tastes terrible too, but you have to breathe as you push up the hill!

Our climb this morning was about 1180, but overall we climbed 2000 feet today! So you can see why TJ and Katie are so excited to see a smooth black top surface to ride on.

We had some big downhills then into Colville where we stopped for lunch after 40 miles. We ate at a not so good cafe in town after we found out that the bar the locals were recommending would not allow anyone under 21 to enter. Sadly the food was good, but the service was awful. By the time I got my chocolate shake it was basically chocolate milk.

We also found out the town was having a memorial drive though Main Street with a casket of a local war hero who died on a tour in Afganistan. They had flags lining the street and the local news station was there with a camera to cover the event. A sad moment to see, but it was nice to see a community showing their support for the family.

After lunch, we only had ten more miles to our stopping town, which we did fairly quickly with the wind mostly at our backs for a change today. We found a nice room at the Kettle Falls Inn. He even gave us a discount for being bicyclists - BONUS! The outside of the building looks a little older, but the rooms are clean and nice. The owner even gave us a couple of paper plates from his own house to eat our grocery store dinner.

Now the topic weighing on everyone's mind - Sherman Pass tomorrow. It will not be as tall in elevation as Logan Pass, but it is a bigger climb. The group is getting nervous, but I know we can do it, especially if we take our time. We will have to climb 4300 feet! This will take us several hours with lots of breaks. Hopefully we all get a good night's sleep, a good breakfast, and fair weather in the morning!

50 miles (1773 total)