Day 4 started out great. We were pretty sore from the uphill struggle on day 3, but it was pretty flat/downhill to to the next town which was Winthrop. Eastern Washington is basically the Wild West and Winthrop is the quintessential Western town, but fully modernized. It was awesome. We stopped at an outdoor restaurant for a snack of delicious muffins. We also filled up our water and tried to decide where to eat actual breakfast in the next town. I wish we could have stayed in Winthrop longer. It was seriously cool, but we had to move on.
The next town was Twisp and we had actually wanted to stay there the night before, but couldn’t make it. Before we had left for the the trip we knew we might have a place to stay in Twisp. Ethan’s sister’s boyfriend Travis has an uncle, Bob, who lives there and had said we could stay with him. Since we didn’t make it, we just asked him where the best place for breakfast was. When we pulled into town, we stopped to check Ethan’s phone to see if he had responded. As Ethan was checking a truck pulled up to us, so I said hello. I thought maybe he was just an interested person, but then he said “Are you Ethan?” It was Bob! We apparently have impeccable timing because he was headed out to work just then. We decided to meet him at the breakfast place he suggested and we ate and chatted about the trip. The place was called Cinnamon Twisp and I thought that was the most clever name for a bakery. Way to go, whoever came up with that! Anyway, breakfast was great and chatting with Bob was lovely, but we had to get on the road. As we were leaving the owner came out and asked if she could get a picture of us so she could try to encourage more bikers to stop. We, of course, said yes and she wished us well.
On the way out of town we stopped at a grocery store to get food for lunch. We had a pretty big hill to tackle and knew that we’d probably have to eat lunch on the side of the road again. We got peanut butter, tortillas and apples. Yum!
The road headed uphill pretty much right away, going up to Loup Loup pass. It was somewhere around 90 degrees with very little shade. It was pretty miserable. We stopped every mile or so in the shade, although there was not much since a fire had burned most of the foliage in the area last year. It was one of those days where no amount of water could cool you down.
We trudged on and on and tried to drink water, but we didn’t want to run out. At some point we noticed a box by the side of the road. It had a picture of a bike and it said “water for bikes!” Hallelujah!! Apparently they set the box out when they are home in the summer for bikers who are going up the hill. It was awesome! The water bottles had ice in them, so we poured the water in our bottles, and kept the ice so it would melt and we’d have a little bit more water.
It just kept getting hotter and hotter and we had stop a lot. We took a long break for lunch and while we were sitting a nice couple in truck pulled up to check on us. Since we had just eaten and been in the shade for a while, we said were fine. We got back on the road, but about 4 miles from the top I couldn’t go any farther. I was severely dehydrated and just knew I wasn’t going make it. We found some shade and I sat for a while trying to cool down and rehydrate. We were pretty sure we would need a ride at least to the top, so after I started to feel better, we tried to flag down a truck that would fit our bikes. The first one just went past and waved, then there were none going our way for like 10 or 15 minutes. There were plenty going the other way though! At that point, I felt like I could at least walk so we started walking and looking back to see if anyone would stop. We only walked a little ways when a woman finally stopped. She was going to Omak, which we planned on staying in and I decided she should take us all the way there. She was a bike tourer too and told us of her adventures with her husband. As we rode, we went over a couple more hills that I knew I wouldn’t have been able to do. It was about 20 minutes into town and she dropped us off at Walmart so we could regroup and get some Powerade. Once I had some sugar and more water, I felt much better, but was completely wiped out and feeling defeated. I know we made the choice by getting a ride, but I was bummed that I couldn’t make it.
After we got what we needed at Walmart we got in contact with a Warm Showers host, who was less than a mile a way. It was only 3, so we spent the rest of the day rehydrating and resting. The hosts were actually gone and it was their daughter who let us in and she hooked her computer up so we could watch Netflix. It was great.