Day 7. We woke up from our lovely sleep in a lovely bed at 5:15 and were not ready to leave it. I think we laid for at least another 15 minutes. Eventually, Ethan reluctantly dragged us out of bed and we packed up and headed out by 6:15. We had a long day ahead, though we didn’t realize just how long the day was going to turn out to be.
We were headed up Sherman pass, which was about 19 miles up hill. We knew it was going to take us a long time and it did. It wasn’t particularly steep, which was good, but it was exhausting. We stopped several times for snacks and to stretch our legs. My hamstrings were starting to get really tight, which was in turn causing my back to hurt. So annoying.
On the way up nothing crazy happened, but we did see an old gold mine tunnel and a large area where there had been a fire there back in the 80s. It was crazy how you could still tell that there had been a fire. It takes a long time for a forest to recover I guess. Eventually we made it to the top where we stopped for our Vict-Oreos (hehe). As we were munching away a road biker pulled up. We just assumed he was out for a ride and was going back down, but he was just sitting there. Weird. A few minutes later, I saw someone else coming. It was Dan (of Dan and Gina, last seen in Mazama)! Crazy timing!!
We were excited to see him and Gina and talk to them about the last few days. Apparently, they ended up staying in Winthrop because the bike shop they stopped at took so long with Gina’s bike. That meant that they climbed Loup Loup pass (the one we hitchhiked) on the cooler, cloudy day and we were super jealous. As we chatted with them a couple more road bikers pulled in who were with the first guy. Turns out they are also going cross country, but one of their dads was driving a support van for them. Cheaters!! Just kidding (but, seriously they had an 87 mile day already…cheaters). Anyway, a couple of them had wooden bikes, which sounds ridiculous, but they were actually pretty cool. They looked just like regular road bikes, but were wood and one of the guys had actually built them. We were thoroughly impressed.
We chatted with everyone for probably longer than we should have but it was nice to talk to other bikers again. We headed down the hill after a little bit. The downhill pretty much took us all the way to Kettle Falls, which is on Roosevelt Lake/ the Columbia River. We decided to eat lunch just after the bridge and we also walked out on the bridge to take picture. It was gorgeous!
After lunch, we hoped we’d have more energy because we still had quite a bit of ground to cover. And we did get a slight energy burst, but it was quickly thwarted by our arch nemesis – the wind. Curse the wind!! Arghhhhhh! The worst part was the road was relatively flat and even slightly downhill, but we were having to pedal so hard to go at a steady pace. Going into the wind like that has to be the thing we hate most about biking. It’s. Awful.
We trudged on and took turns drafting behind each other until we got to Colville, which was our destination, but we still had 6 more miles to get to the place we were staying. We stopped at Walmart to get dinner food and restock our snack food. We shared a Powerade and a snickers hoping they would help us with the last leg. It helped for a little bit, but as we headed out of town, it got hilly and we were pooped.
The only thing keeping me from losing my mind those last miles was knowing we had a nice, indoor place to stay. It was a really hilly few miles and I wanted to scream because I was exhausted and my body just had nothing left to give. Eventually, we made it to the Bike Hostel though and it was pretty awesome so I’m glad we went the extra miles (my legs weren’t so happy about it).
The Bike Hostel was built by the Bacon’s, Shelley and Barry, because they thought it would be really cool. The hostel is the top part of a big “barn” and had four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and kitchen. It was so cool and free! Apparently, there was a hostel in the area years ago, but it shut down so they decided to build their own on their property. The family actually lived in it while they built their own house. It reminded me of a typical college style apartment. We got our pick of the four rooms since we were alone and jumped right in the shower.
We made dinner and spent the evening doing laundry, stretching and trying to recover from the long day. It was so nice to be able to lay around on the floor and spread out without feeling like we were taking over someone’s house.
We got to bed early hoping to get up early and tackle our last big hill (at least for a few days).