Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 9 - Home

We again wake up at first birdsong. A cup of yogurt and a banana hopefully will get us 15 miles down the road to our first breakfast at an Indian casino. We cast early morning long shadows as we roll south across farm fields of plowed earth and raspberry fields of north western Washington. The winds are calm in the morning so we soon arrive only to find the casino does not open until 10 so we are back to gas station food. We order the whole breakfast pizza and enjoy the biscuit gravy oozing with thick cheese, egg, bacon and sausage - a true artery clogger. A stranger (after buying his vodka at the gas station liquor store) entertains us with a commentary of the area while we eat. People are interesting. We continue down hi-way 9 to Sedro Wooley and then on to the Arlington Safeway for lunch sandwiches. The centennial bike trail then takes us off the highway where the sunny day has attracted lots of bike and walker traffic. John quickly drops us on this stretch as the Snohomish bakery ahead makes an excellent croissant and his sweet tooth gives him extra energy. John is eating a pear croissant as I roll into town. Tom follows shortly and orders a cherry one. I roll ahead of them knowing my legs are tired and needing a head start up the last climb before home. Almost 700 miles and just over 20,000 feet of climbing makes for a good week and a tired rider. Time to start training for a planned back packing trip in August.

Keep Rolling,

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 8 cold descent

We knew the lodge restaurant did not open until 10 so we had prepaired the night before from the small grocery. Microwave lasagne and cheese taquitos we hoped would be enough calories to sustain us for the short climb to the pass as well as the 30 mile descent to the town of Hope. It was a cold 26 degrees as we started the climb and felt much colder on the downhill. We follow the headwaters of the Skagit river down thru a snow capped mountain valley. 20 miles into the downhill the road leveled out for awhile and I noticed a very large black bear on the shoulder on the other side of the road. I watched him until Tom caught up with me. I took off my gloves and got out my camera to take a shot while riding past. I missed the photo but my main priority was not the photo but staying ahead of Tom. Second breakfast was at the Hope McDonalds. A few miles down the road we had a nice lunch at a bar and grill. A beautiful roll down the Fraizier river finaly brings us to the Sumas border crossing and diner at a Mexican restaurant. Our campsite is just down the road and the shower feels very good after a long 100 plus mile day.

Keep rolling,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 7 - the steep climb

We are at the restaurant for breakfast 10 minutes before 6. The biggest climb of the trip starts right from town and goes over copper mountain. I am usually last on a climb but though it was very cold I started the climb lightly dressed and when Tom and John stopped to remove clothes I was able to take the lead. The climb was just over 2000 feet at 7 to 10 percent. After almost 2 hours the top was in sight about 200 yards ahead. I get a glimpse of Tom 100 yards behide me. He is gaining so I am able to bump up the speed from the 3.8 that I've been grinding to 4.2 and then 4.6 and he is still gaining. Now  my pulse rate is climbing faster than I am. He is still gaining when I drop it down a gear and bump it to 6 mph. I am able to hold this for a few seconds before my pulse maxes out and Tom passes me 50 yards from the top. Such is life. The road takes us up and down and each climb is steep. In 4 hours we manage to go 30 miles before reaching a diner for lunch. Another hour plus gets us to Manning park lodge which looks nice so we decide to spend the night. The hot tub was very nice.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Over yellow lake to princeton - day 6

I awake with the sun over looking a sparkling lake - sweet. John is already almost done packing up. Tom wakes up moments later and hurries to catch up with packing. Breakfast is a giant safeway sub divided 3 ways. The climb to yellow lake begins at the campground and is much easier than than anticipated. Second breakfast is in Keremeos which is aptly named by the native americans "where three winds meet". The headwinds keep us cool as we ride upriver to Hedly for lunch. The breeze continues for another 20 miles to Princeton. We get to enjoy the scenery at 8 to 12 mph. We roll into a campsite at the princeton golf course and the boys decide to play 9 holes. Tom is pleased with his 10 on the first par 4. I probably still would not have been competative. I decide to head for the restaurant for an appy and a glass of wine.

Keep rolling, Pete

Penticton - day 5


67 miles should have felt like a short day - it felt long. We rolled into Penticton around one, found a campsite on lake skaha, took a swim and rested an hour before going into town. We stopped for visit to the local bike shop for a new tire for Tom and tubes for john. We had missed lunch so the smells wafting out from the wild scallion drew us in. The food was good but as we rolled back toward camp we picked up a pizza and some chips and salsa. Tom and I both were asleep before 8. Keep rolling, Pete

Day 5 - Penticton, BC

My seat broke and my other seat was sore. The Brooks saddle tightening bolt sheared. I also wore thru my rear tire. Fortunately, I had a extra tire. Pete and John were also tired. I was looking forward to a day off in Penticton.

In Penticton by 1 we found a camp site on the lake and I lolled around on a air mattress. Off to the bike store and we find a tire 2 tubes and duct tape to hold seat together. After dinner put new tire on and finally get camp together just in time for bed.

Thomas G Harrylock

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Heat problem solved day 4

John and I hung out at the Omak safeway from 7 until 2 while Tom did a site survey for an engineering job. Interesting people watching though 7 hours was bit much. Anyway during our free time John and I came up with the solution to our overheating problem. Tube socks filled with ice cubes draped over our necks - nice. A misrouted google bike route gave us an out and back over an 800 foot hill and we did not feel too bad since our chests were cold. We refilled our socks with ice and rode the main hiway to Tonasket. Tom and I stopped to wait for John at a restaurant. John had flatted again on the way into town. Shannon the restaurant owner said we could camp in the yard so we did. The laudromat had showers for 3.75 and we all managed within one time limit.

Keep rolling,

Day 4 - Tonasket

A late, hot start, wrong turn in 90 degree heat, multiple flats for John and we finally arive down the road about 30 miles.
Thomas G Harrylock

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 3

Another 6 am start and today even with three sit down meals we still made 50 miles before noon. As the day got hotter we got slower. Tom got two flats and john had one. We are camped at the Omak stampeed's fairgrounds and are all excited that John was finally successful even without the need for a kickset.

Keep rolling,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 3 Omak

John had a successful inner tube repair.
My "slime" filled tires finally gave up today after successfully carrying me more than 3000 miles and 11 months. Both were "pinch" flats and unrepairable.
Good day of riding though; but a little too hot at end. Fixed one hole in air mattress last night only to find I still had a leak. At least the grass was soft. Fixed another hole and hoping for an event free night.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Another great day

We wake up at sunrise and after short ride we arrive in skykomish for a gas station microwave bean burrito breakfast yum. The 16 miles to the pass takes me three hours and five minutes. Tom and john have been waiting over 30 minutes. A couple of photos and down we roll. Gravity is sometimes my friend as i wait almost 20 minutes for them at the rest area after the descent. I can recommend the jalpeno burger at the 29er diner. 15 miles following the clear blue raging river brings us to leavenworth. By 4:30 we are in wenachee making rotissorie chicken sandwiches on bagels inside the supermarket. 5 miles later we are at the campground on the columbia

Day 2 Baring to Lincoln Rock State Park

Up by 5:15 and 10 miles down road by 6:15. Breakfast at gas station in Skykomish - breakfast burrito for me, bean bomb burrito for Pete and sandwich for John. Then a long slow grind up and over Stevens Pass. Lot's of snow at top. Piled over 20' high in parking lot at ski area on top. Burgers at "59er diner" and dinner at Food Mart in Wennatchee. Campground here along river is beautiful.

Short first day

After a nice breakfast with Corliss she drops me off at great harvest to meet up with Tom and John. We roll at 7:30 and by 9 we are in Snohomish where we make a quick bakery stop. At 10:30 we roll into another bakery for pastries and an omlet. Hmmm, this trip could be a weight gainer.  Tom has a business meeting Monday in Omak so we are in no hurry and we stop at 2 to spend the night near Skykomish. Weather is great and the views are even better.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dinner Day 1

Potato, beans, onion, steak, corn, butter salt, pepper, garlic. Who says we can't eat well and camp.

Day 1 at Skykomish

First day easy day out to Jim Paris's place (tom's friend) on Skykomish river a good day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We roll again

April/May seems like the time for a bike tour. After much talk and a little planning our 10 day ride begins tomorrow at 7. Tom, John and I are meeting at our regular spot - great harvest in lake forest park. After coffee and a slice of bread we'll head toward Stevens pass.
Our ride takes us east to Wenachee and north up to Penticton in Canada. From there we head back west toward Vancouver and then south back home along hiway 9.