57.76 Miles / 280.55 Total Miles
4268 Ft. of Elevation Gain / 16,992 Ft.Total Elevation Gain
Today started out with breakfast at the hostel, then a trip to the bike shop to get our spokes repaired. We arrived before they opened, in hopes that we could get our bikes on the repair stands and not have to wait all day for them. Sure enough, the two repair guys put our bikes at the front of the line and had both repaired in about an hour. We headed back to the hostel to load up our gear, and we were on the road by 11 AM. Ahead of us was another big climb: Loup Loup Pass. As we headed out of Winthrop, we cycled on Bike Route 10, which made for little to no traffic.
The road wound its way through ranch land and farm houses till we arrived in Twisp, where we had been advised to check out the grocery store. The first thing we noticed was the GREAT deli. We ordered up sandwiches and I downed some potato salad, a few giant shrimp, a large soft drink and a pint of strawberry milk. This body needed fuel, and it got some. Then there was a little shopping to be done for crackers and cookies to graze on while cycling.
The taxidermy displays were pretty distracting. I somehow kept myself on track to pick up the things I needed, but there really was a lot to take in here. The only other place I’ve seen this many trophies is Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
A few miles past Twisp, we entered the Okanogan National Forest and began our climb. Todays climb was 9 miles long, with over 2500 feet of climbing– much shorter than yesterday’s climb, but also a LOT hotter. There was no snow to cool us down, and during most of the climb, there was zero shade. Why? Over 305,000 acres of the Okanogan forest were burned down in the 2015 Okanogan Fire Complex, another one of the largest wildfires in Washington history. We rode through miles and miles of this recovering scorched earth scenery.
As we descended from the summit, the landscape changed from lush forests to what I think of as high desert. We were now on what is known as the dry side of the Cascades. We passed a few orchards and farms, but otherwise, things were, well, dry.
After passing through Okanogan, we entered the Colville Indian Reservation, where there were some crazy aggressive drivers and a few dogs with fantasies of chasing us down and biting our ankles. Between Ed’s yelling at them, and my sweet talking them, we somehow dodged that bullet..
Margie’s Tent and RV Park, in Riverside, was our destination for the evening. There was only one business open in town that had food, and that was a tiny grocery store. We weren’t going to take any chances on missing out on dinner for a second night, so we headed over to the store before taking our showers. Dinner was a frozen pizza, canned peaches, a pint of chocolate milk and a soft drink–just like Mother used to make. (Just kidding. She would have never served frozen pizza or those beverages with dinner). We were able to do laundry, and Ed got lucky with the wifi, so the evening was a success.