Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 61 - Republic to Omak, WA

Miles biked for the day: 68
Total miles to date: 3,085
Other cyclists crossing paths: 9

I had another climb to tackle that day and found little motivation to go outside when I peered through the plastic windows of my yurt to see gloomy fog and clouds all around. It was one of the hardest days to get myself together and saddle up. Nearly one hour into the ride the clouds had lifted and I was happy as a clam and super glad to be on a bike. There seems to be something incredibly medicinal for me when the sun beams down on me.

The highlights of my day have shifted dramatically from counting the silos in the plains to now talking to passing by cyclists. I usually stop to talk to each one passing me and we talk anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. My cup of enthusiasm gets filled up and when I depart from my new friends as they head east and I am usually grinning from ear to ear.
I tackled the pass by 12:00 and stopped in for a nice picnic lunch in front of a convenience store. During the 30 minutes of sitting on this picnic table the clerk from the store kept me company and shared all of the small town gossip of the town of Wauconda (population 100). I proceeded for my 20 mile down hill descent.
One shocking storey: One mile outside of the next small town I had a steep downhill and I was biking about 30 mph when a truck pulled out in front of me. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting the truck and when I realized I had a large shoulder to bike on to the right of him. I passed the truck on the shoulder and one quarter mile later I stopped into a convenience store to fill up on water. While shopping in the store an officer fronted me and asked, "Were you just biking down that hill?" After I said I was the biker he said, "I don't know where you come from, but in the state of Washington bicyclists must follow all of the same laws as vehicles. You illegally passed a vehicle on the right. I was going to pull over that truck that cut you off and give him a ticket but when I saw you pass him I decided not to give him a ticket. I could give you a ticket right now." I must have passed through a town with very little crime because the police officer had nothing better to do than track down a cyclists in a convenience store just to show off his authority.
Feeling unwelcome in this town I swiftly departed. It was a hot one and I passed by yard after yard with sprinklers on their lawn. I thought, "How nice it would be to stand in a sprinkler." So that is what I did. I pulled over and stood on the sidewalk of some one's yard and enjoyed the refreshing spray from the sprinkler. The elderly woman of the house came outside and asked, "Are you alright?" I replied, "Yep, just coolin off because it is a hot day." She went back inside after advising me not to drink the water and having a brief conversation about my trip. Just before I left she came back out and said, "Can I give you these cookies? I just baked them, they are snickerdoodles." I exclaimed, "That is my favorite type of cookie!" and gratefully accepted the gift. This was a nice turn around from almost getting a ticket.

I had the world's perfect couchsurfing host, Linda, that evening! She picked me up in town as her house was three miles away up a 6% grade hill. When I arrived she had dinner waiting including seafood curry, fresh fruit salad, and a green salad from her garden. She is from Malaysia and the food she cooked was traditional. She even baked a cake with strawberry rhubarb topping with vanilla ice cream! Her 22 year old son was also at the house and he had also done some bike touring in the past. It was such a pleasant evening all the way around. I thanked her for going above and beyond as host and she replied, "I want to take good care of my guests in hopes that when my son travels other people take just as good care of him.on when he travels"

No comments:

Post a Comment