June 22nd – Republic to Colville, WA
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.
Hey, what ever happened with the bearing going bad? Seeing any wildlife? I’m amazed at how interesting the hotels look. Hope you’re having the trip of your life. Hang in there! Have you been riding any bike paths? or is it all roads? (Guessing it is certainly all roads by now.) We rode quite a few bike paths in California and they were wonderful, and on them we saw a lot of wildlife such as wild turkeys, grouse, deer. It is nice that your tour company is providing rest stop chairs….truly a luxury.
June 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm
I have seen lots of deer, prairie dogs, a wild turkey, a moose, and many dead rattlesnakes the last two days. While some of the hotels have looked poor from the outside, only two would I not use again – unfortunately there are few alternatives when there may be 50 miles between motels. Most places have been very comfortable, offered firm beds, had hot showers, provided free internet, and had refrigerators, microwaves, and cell service. Riding with only minor exceptions (>20 miles) has been on roads (some rural country roads with no traffic, most highways with little traffic (although on the highways cars and trucks often pass us at 80 mph). Until Montana, we stayed in the road or shoulder to get the best surface condition (if there was any). Unfortunately, Montana doesn’t allow us in the road – it is the only criticism of the riding in Montana.
The bearing seemed to have solved itself with a little cleaning, grease and dry weather.
July 3, 2012 at 12:00 am