Nothin’ but blue skies do I see. I had a scare last night. I couldn’t find the card case that contains pretty much everything important except my passport and vaccine card. I tried to convince myself that I could look tomorrow (today, or yesterday to you) and nothing bad would happen overnight. I could tell no one had used the credit card. Sleep was difficult and one of my dreams included finding it. As I packed up in the morning I found it under my sleeping pad. Glad it didn’t disturb my sleep;)
The wind whipped the tents all night, which also didn’t help sleeping. At dawn it was calm and dry so packing up was a breeze.
I took an unplanned detour at mile 3 for some bonus miles so ended up with 109 miles today. Another 100 plus on the agenda tomorrow.
Today had a 7.3 mile climb early, then we settled into a high and dry plateau at 2500 feet. The sky was blue, the traffic was light, the shoulder was wide, well-paved, and clean and my smile was as wide as that shoulder.
On the climb, I slowly worked my way through other riders and found myself alone. In the distance behind me I saw a man in black and he was getting closer. “Inconceivable!”, I cried. A bit later I looked again and he was getting closer still. “Inconceivable! I said again. As he came up on my shoulder and I said it again, I answered “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” He slowed to chat for a few minutes, then disappeared up the road.
At mile 25 we stopped at an espresso stand in the middle of nowhere – an international crew including a Bosnian, two Australians, and two Americans. There would be a picture if I had Wi-fi. At mile 40 I stopped to aid another rider whose rear derailleur wasn’t working. There was nothing I could do to help so I rode on – he had a friend with him and was calling the mechanic. Seconds later, I could no longer shift into my two smallest cogs, which continued for the next 70 miles. At mile 45 I was greeted by a brisk tailwind and flew effortlessly at 25 mph for 10 miles. The wind varied between tail and crosswind for the rest of the day.
At mile 82, the cue sheet said “Begin 10 mile climb”. I was going to post a photo of that, thinking that was all you needed to know about today. Without Wi-fi access, there will be no photos or links today. You’ll have to sing “Blue Skies” yourself and rely on your memory for the scene from “Princess Bride”.
The ride ended with a screaming downhill to the Grand Coulee Dam. I stopped for ice cream – 2 scoops because I needed the calories and to celebrate the solstice. (Death by Chocolate and Espresso Explosion.) Tomorrow we will have to climb that hill. The first 3 miles (at a 10% grade) will come before breakfast; then another 101 miles to Spokane. See the 2018 Spokane post.