June 26 Tonasket, WA

Scott: We’re one week into our adventure and we’re starting to shift into the bike touring mode. Setup and break down of camp is almost on auto pilot already. Karla and I have pretty much figured out what has to get done and we’ve settled into a nice routine, although Karla has not yet operated the stove (Karla says “Nor will she.”). Everything has it’s place in the trailer or on the bike. We’ve even named some of the storage spots in the trailer. We have the “kitchen”, the “utility closet”, the “medicine cabinet” and the “clothes closet”. Yes, it sounds strange and anal but it helps us communicate and keep organized. I have this handicap that doesn’t allow me to find things. Its called being a male. So keeping organized helps. We also do an idiot check before we ride away from every stop so that we don’t leave anything behind. That’s my other handicap. I’ve already left my glasses behind once.
It’s been a fantastic ride so far. We’ve ridden 272 miles in 6 days, an average of 45.3 miles per day. We had planned to average 50 miles per day but I’m in no way concerned. I’ve decided to defer to Karla at this early stage and have her dictate our pace. She sets the daily distance goals, decides when we stop and when we take a rest day. Its important to ease her into the riding regime since she’s not quite as fit as me. And, besides, its nice to smell the roses. I fully expect to pick up the pace down the road (sound of whip cracking).
Two days ago, we crossed Loup Loup Pass. 2800 ft of climbing in 12 mi. We ground up the pretty steady 5-7% grade with little problem. After the climb, we camped in Omak, WA and befriended a group of Canadians in huge honkin trailers, played bocce ball with them and sat around a gas campfire (yup, they thought it was neato) and yakked, being careful to tread lightly around politics. Yesterday, it started to rain just as we broke camp, light at first then pretty steady with a cold 10 MPH headwind. YUK! The next town we entered, we started to search for a coffee shop to warm up. Instead, we found another couple on a tandem pulling a trailer. We yucked it up with them, they were really nice, and decided to ride together. After all, they said they were really slow, something we could strongly relate to. Uh huh. Within 4 miles, they were a mere speck in the distance and we haven’t seen them since. Another rainy day today so we’re holed up in a hotel room. We had no internet access for a bit and someone told us that the entire region is without internet access (can you believe that? weird) so I wrote most of this blog on my phone – what a chore. 
Tomorrow, we tackle Wauconda Pass 4310 ft and the next day, Sherman Pass 5575 ft, the highest paved road in Washington, but the weather is supposed to improve so we are good to go.

A man’s work is never done.

Numero dos.

“Neato” campfire. Our little tent, in the back, is dwarfed by these nice Canadian folks’ honkin trailers.

 Fun couple from Madison, WI. It sure looked like they were carrying more weight than us (he was even wearing a backpack full of stuff) and they still dropped us hard. How she was riding in that cold, wet weather with bare legs is beyond me.

5 thoughts on “June 26 Tonasket, WA”

  1. Last point first: the woman pushing that other tandem down the road is from WISCONSIN. She probably wears shorts and sandals every month except June back home, and that's just because the mosquitos annoy her a bit for a few days until she toughens up.

    Sounds like you kids are having a great time, working out the routines. Also sounds like the routine you have is the one to stick with – go until it isn't fun any more for one of you and then stop. Maybe at the next city buy Scott a pair of running shoes so he can burn off the excess energy while Karla models a reasonable pace and energy flow for getting two people across the country. [add emoticon here]

  2. Blogging on your phone – very impressive! We are enjoying your blog and wish we were there.

  3. Karla and Scott: this blog is a great idea. It is fun to follow along with you on your adventure. Thanks for the entertaining blog. And, the photos are a great addition! Tamara

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