Summer Solstice

Today is the first day of summer, the longest day(light) of the year. The solstice arrived here in Spokane while I was asleep. To honor the day, here is “Summer” from Astor Piazzolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” (not to be confused with Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”, but I don’t think you’ll confuse the two). It was recorded in Trondheim, Norway, where sunset last night was 11:38 PM and sunrise today was 3:02 AM.

The midnight sun, courtesy of visitnorway.com:

Midnight-sun-Lofoten-122015-99-0004_be9c3c94-8b38-46b6-8d0d-261d1ee4c57bSummer from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” was on the first program of MAYCO in June of 2011, featuring Suzanne Beia on violin.

Day 4 (5 by Cycle America’s count): We’ve arrived in Spokane and are staying in a dorm at Gonzaga University. Between yesterday and today we’ve ridden just a hair under 200 miles. I haven’t ridden mountains in 25 years, but I do remember two essential lessons about mountain riding:

1. Don’t worry about the top, it will be there when you get there;

2. Keep your feet moving in circles and all will be well.

As always, keep the rubber side down. I prefer mountains to headwinds. While both require work, you can see progress climbing a mountain. The vegetation changes, the mountain changes. You can look back and see where you’ve been. Headwinds on the flats lack all of that.

Everything is fine, except that my feet are on fire. I just spent 20 minutes soaking them in the coldest water I could find; some ice cubes would come in handy about now.

We started the day at the base of Grand Coulee Dam (if you want facts & figures, or pictures, Google it). A couple of miles up a 10% grade made us earn our breakfast. Local folks told me the first 20 miles would be the toughest. On-the-road selfie #2 is from the summit. (Look! He’s smiling!)

After miles of wheat fields, no trees or buildings in sight, we came upon this house: That’s a copper roof, either very new or sealed to keep it from weathering.

Tomorrow brings a new adventure – 85% chance of thunderstorms for much of the day as we ride 95 miles and cross the border into Idaho.