June 23rd – Colville to Ione, WA
June 23rd Statistics – Colville to Ione: Distance – 42.9 miles; Average speed – 11.8 mph; Beginning elevation – 1,915 feet; Ending elevation – 2,110 feet; Total ascent – 2,995 feet; Total descent – 2,460 feet.
Today was planned as a short day (40 miles) due to lack of lodging unless we rode 80 miles – glad we choose the short day. We left early this morning again hoping to beat the weather forecast which was worse than yesterday, i.e. greater chance of rain, thunderstorms, and hail. The entire ride today was on Route 20, climbing nearly 3,000 feet over 30 miles with a steep 7 mile downhill into Ione. Unfortunately, we didn’t beat the weather – cold (low 50s) with light rain that started early and continued off and on for the entire ride with constant thunder in the distance. Fortunately, my cold weather and rain gear kept me reasonably warm (actually, not cold) and dry (actually, just moist).
Regardless of the weather, the scenery was stunning when I was able to look up without water running in my eyes. One of our group had to give up at the top of the downhill due to cold and a concern about the steep downhill on the wet road. Two others riding companions took a wrong turn and rode an extra 20 miles. I made it the entire way, although the downhill did challenge my braking and turning skills as it took numerous sharp turns. At the bottom of the downhill, Jim and I stopped at the Cabin Grill 3 miles outside of Ione to get something warm to drink, get out of the rain, and await the van to arrive with our luggage (they were still supporting the riders on the rode).
Little did we know that the Cabin Grill was the only restaurant for 30 miles and that we would be having dinner and breakfast their as well. The town of Ione was two blocks long with a grocery, church, gas station, and our lodging (see today’s photos). Tomorrow, while flat will be the longest ride of the trip so far, nearly 90 miles into Sandpoint, ID. We will also have our first day off to rest and do laundry – can’t wait.