Day 9 - St. John to Harrison - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

June 11, 2016

Day 9 - St. John to Harrison

Up at sunrise - as usual. Chilly after all the rain and a clear and windy night. The campground at St. John was very convenient. With tables and a cement patio area and a bathroom nearby. And the bathroom was a lot warmer than the air temp - that’s for sure.

I packed up pretty quickly and rode over to downtown. Farming town - Saturday morning. Of course, the cafe was open - even before 6:00 - and filled with a bunch of farmers. We call them the “Liar’s Club”. Bunch of nice guys who asked me where I was from and where I was going - even though most of them had probably not been on a bicycle in 50 years. The owner and the waitress were nice, too. Coffee, breakfast, and journaling. And not worried about the heat.

In fact, it was darn chilly when I started out. Stiff southwest wind, but fortunately, I was headed northeast. The hills were as beautiful as ever. I really could not have imagined a lovelier ride - rolling expanses of green in every direction.

More Green Hills
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I'm Glad They Added the "Closed" Sign
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Just Can't Get Enough of the Beauty of the Palouse in June
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By 10:00 I was in Rosalia and had a quart of milk and a sweet roll at the little grocery along with more chat with the local boys one of whom volunteers at the restored Texaco station. Then it was a steep, steep climb out of town. Seems like every town in the Palouse involves a huge drop where you have to brake away all the climbing - then a big climb out.

Downtown Rosalia with the Old Texaco Station
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Let's Be Honest, Now, This Is Sweet Ridin'
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I had a 4-mile dirt section on the way to Tekoa - a little slower but only two cars - and the quiet is worth it. Then a short jaunt into the last town in Washington.

Dirt Roads and Quiet Riding
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They were have an old car rally and the one cafe was clearly overloaded. So I sat out in front of the grocery and had a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Then went down to the little park on Main St. where a building had once been and took a long break.

Downtown Tekoa and One of the Old Cars
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The Tekoa Trestle - which May Be Part of the John Wayne Trail One Day
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Back on the bike again, it was only a mile to the Idaho line and also the border between the Palouse and the foothills of the Bitterroot Mountains. It is amazing how quickly the environment changes - from treeless grassland and wheatfields to pines and aspens. Wow!

The Landscape Is Changing - from Fields to Forests
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Next up was yet another goal of this tour - the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, a paved rail trail 70 miles long. (But not before I grabbed me some fried chicken in Plummer.)

Trail through the Woods
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This trail is, almost certainly, the finest rail trail in the nation. The first section is a downhill ride through a mixed ponderosa forest with rock cuts and the creek far below.

Causeway Bridge
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Then it comes out on Lake Coeur d’Alene with a two-mile causeway over the lake. O.K., so there are seagull droppings galore - but who cares? Then it’s a 10-mile ride along the lakeshore to Harrison, a funky little community will cafes and bars and antique shops and a campground right on the water.

Trail along the Lakeshore
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I wish I could say that I partook of all the town had to offer, but after I had a couple of sandwiches and two cookies, I though it would be nice to catch up on thing in my tent, so very warm and cozy. The sun had already set when I woke up - so I just turned over and went back to sleep.

Lakeside Camping - Lake Coeur d'Alene
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Today's ride: 65 miles (105 km)
Total: 485 miles (781 km)

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