Bicycling 4,174 Miles Across the United States

Archive for June 23, 2012

June 22nd Photos

Mile 10 climbing up to Sherman Pass with rain and lightning threatening.

Mile 18 – Reached Sherman Pass without rain, with lots of energy and clouds disappearing.

For Mark and Diane – Reached Sherman Pass wearing the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” bike jersey you graciously gave me – Thanks.


Logging truck similar to ones that harass bikers.


Our guides, Diane and Dale Hart


Mile 37 – Approaching Kettle Falls, WA and the Columbia River


Mile 42 – Crossing Columbia River into Kettle Falls


Mile 50 – Jim riding on Greenwwood Loop Road outside of Kettle Falls


Mile 50 – Jim riding on Greenwood Loop Road #2


Mile 52 – Greenwood Loop Road Outside Kettle Falls



June 22nd – Republic to Colville, WA

Sherman Pass – Washington State’s Highest Year Round Mountain Pass At 5,575 Feet

June 22nd Statistics – Republic to Colville:  Distance – 58.2 miles; Average speed – 11.4 mph; Beginning elevation – 2,573 feet; Ending elevation – 1,915 feet; Total ascent – 4,016 feet; Total descent – 4,964 feet.

We left early hoping to beat the weather forecast of increasing chance of rain, thunderstorms, and hail as the day expired.  While the day started cold, overcast, and wet (see today’s photos), by the time I reached Sherman Pass, 5,575 feet at mile 18, the sun came out for the remaining 40 mile ride to Colville, WA.  The 23 mile downhill from Sherman Pass to Kettle Falls, WA and the Columbia River was wonderful (I am running out of new words to describe the views in the Cascades) as it followed the roaring Sherman Creek down a canyon lined with trees and wild flowers.

The sole complaint is the regular duel between some logging trucks (see today’s photos) and bikers – some logging trucks refuse to budge from the travel lane when passing us and clearly are forcing us to ride well into the shoulder regardless of the lack of oncoming traffic, wide roads, or the condition/width of the shoulder.

The final 17 miles from Kettle Falls to Colville was on valley roads in Stevens County – cattle grazing, lush green fields, horses farms, surrounded by mountain meadows and forests (see today’s photos).  The evening in Colville was exciting.  Shortly after arriving at our restaurant, Maverick Steak House, the bad weather hit – the restaurant loss power, the outside dining area was abandoned, lightening was frequent, and streets flooded.    Nevertheless, dinner was great and the Comfort Inn, well, very comfortable.

June 21st – Omak to Republic, WA

Jim Schnitzmeyer & Steve Prichard celebrating the 29 mile, 3,330 feet climb to Wauconda Pass.

June 21st Statistics – Omak to Republic:  Distance – 69.5 miles; Average speed – 10.7 mph; Beginning elevation – 968 feet; Ending elevation – 2,573 feet; Total ascent – 4,412 feet; Total descent – 2,807 feet.

Today’s ride was basically one long flat ride (26 miles), one long climb (29 miles) and one long downhill (15 miles).  Best weather day so far even if 49 degrees when we began in the morning – lot of sunshine and warmth.  One of the most interesting moments was meeting two women my age from Georgia who are biking from Portland, OR to Freeport, ME to their home in Georgia.  They are carrying all their own gear, including camping gear if needed, on their recumbent bicycles (windshield included) – See today’s photos.  Their husbands and children had no interest in the trip and are following it on two blogs the women are posting.  Nancy, I offered them food and lodging if their ride from Maine to Georgia routes them near us.  You would enjoy them.

While the flat ride was nothing special, the views and scenery on the climb and ride down were magnificent (see today’s photos).

Over dinner at Ester’s Mexican in Republic, WA, population 958, we had conversations with local residents.  Republic is a one industry town – underground gold mining of old mines using new technology.  The future is uncertain as some mines are expected to close in 5 years.  Joining us at dinner were two more cross country riders, Earl from Southern CA & Lewis, a high school math/computer science teacher from Wellesley MA.  They were introduced by a mutual friend, but met for the first time face-to-face when they started the trip in Anacortes.  I have to admire them as they, like the Georgian women, are carrying all their own gear, including camping gear.

June 21st Photos

One of pair of women cycling (with all their gear) over 5 months from Portland, OR to Freeport, ME to their home in Georgia. Their husbands and children, who are in Georgia, following their blogs.

Second Georgia Rider traveling from Portland, OR to Freeport, Me to home in Georgia over 5 months

Omak Inn, Omak – Lodging Day 4

Mile 15 – Route 20 between Omak and Tonasket, WA

Mile 26 – Robert and Georgia Women Cyclist in Tonasket.

Mile 45 – Half way up 29 mile climb to Wauconda Pass, 4,310 feet looking like rain anytime.

Mile 50 – Passing numerous dead trees – Beetle damage?

Mile 52 – Only 3 more miles to Wauconda Pass, 4,310 feet.

Mile 60 – View on 15 mile downhill ride from Wauconda Pass to Republic, WA.

Landmark Inn, Republic, WA – Lodging day 5