Day 20 Central Ferry to Colfax, Washington: Fiber - Fixed! - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

May 20, 2011

Day 20 Central Ferry to Colfax, Washington: Fiber - Fixed!

After a last sorrowful look at Central Ferry Park,

The world without us. What happened to Central Ferry Park?
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we headed out of Central Ferry with three liters of water. 30 km down the road was "Dusty" where there might or might not be some supplies (Google Web, for instance, had never heard of the place). Anyway, another 30 km would then bring us to Colfax. Despite the cloudless sky and temperatures in the 30's, this should have been ok.

The first glitch was a 10 km hill, right up from the river. Despite being morning fresh, this hill was mostly a push for Dodie. Pushing takes time, and water. About half way up Dodie noticed her ream rim contacting the brake pads. Indeed, a broken spoke. On the drive side no less.

Before leaving we made a conscious decision not to carry the humongous monkey wrench needed to pull Dodie's freewheel. We did however bring two Fiberfix spokes, which theoretically can keep you going without pulling the freewheel. We scanned the instructions before leaving and figured "we'll study this more when and if we need to". Well, out there on the shadeless hillside, we needed to. The first instruction was "Don't panic", and we found that one of the tougher ones. Also tough was the casual indication that you should pass the kevlar cord through the hole in the hub flange. Especially if there is a (dumb) plastic guard between the freewheel and the spokes, this is well nigh impossible. We tried tweezers, a safety pin, the broken spoke, etc. to try to jam the cord through and around, but no luck. Fiberfix does offer a plan B, and that worked! So after quite a time of rolling around on the gravel fooling with the thing, we were back in business.

Raptor babies had a great view of the fiber fix.
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Man down!
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The fiber fix.
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Don't panic!
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Fixed!
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The road is not much travelled, but there is a grain truck or ammonia tanker about every five minutes, and an assortment of cars. Despite the fact that I was lying beside the road, no one stopped. I guess I needn't be concerned about stopping traffic with one of my routine "power naps" flat out beside the road too. Dodie offered the risky research proposal of seeing whether anyone would stop if I were on the road.

All this fun on the hill had now drawn our water supply down to a concerning level. Fortunately we came to an isolated farm house and found a lady at home. The lady was Carol(sounded like) Khryllo. Of course she filled our bottles. we also learned that her husband had died the previous year. He was of Norwegian ancestry and had been born in the house, and never moved. The farm had been in the family over 100 years. Now, she was hanging on and keeping up the place, but not farming. Rather she accepted some sort of federal payments to keep the land as an ecological reserve. All the children had left to pursue careers, and the farm would now surely be sold. I took the risk of reciting to her from Stan Roger's "The Field Behind the Plow", the part about:

"Poor old Kuzyk down the road The heartache, hail and hoppers brought him down He gave it up and went to town And Emmett Pierce the other day Took a heart attack and died at forty two You could see it coming on 'cause he worked as hard as you"

... it seemed to go over OK. We ended our visit with a Dodie/Carol hug.

p.s. Some of the neighbours are farming 9000 acres. 9000 acres!! Each is quite isolated because of the hills and the distances. Carol said for 50 years now she has been quite happy with it.

Isolated farm
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The land and road opens on the way to Dusty, Washington
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Carol's place, for now.
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Neat rural church.
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Performance cutting horses
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The road now flattened out a bit, and we rolled easily into Dusty. Dusty has the Dusty General Store - hot dogs! Blue Bunny ice cream! Americano (well, sort of). Laurie, it is not lost on us that you are in pastry heaven in Montreal, while it's Blue Bunny for us in "Dusty"!

Dusty store is way bigger inside than outside
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The Dusty BB (Busy Bee) women's club has 13 members.
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Gee, thanks.
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Marius, forget the Traeger, the Pepto Pig is here!
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Yes, it really is scenic
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Yet another farm. We like farms.
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Giant sprayers are too common here. Herbicide overspray killed some wheat in the background, so at least it's not GMO.
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Suitably Blue Bunnied up, we headed for Colfax.

White tree, blue sky.
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Somehow we had formed the fantasy that Colfax was a metropolis, that might even have a bike shop. No way, Colfax is lucky to have two restaurants (one Mexican, one Chinese). However it does have a motel, and we cooly bypassed a possible RV spot at the Fairgrounds to relax in undeserved luxury and catch up on the blog with the Wi-fi.

Colfax. We asked if there is somehow more to the town. There basically isn't.
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All today there were zero bars for the cell phone, and we expect that as we enter Idaho and head for Plummer, there will also be no connections possible. In fact we are not totally sure anyone will hear from us until we near Missoula. We could be wrong though. Maybe tomorrow you will be reading a report from the Starbucks in Palouse, Washington or Tensed, Idaho. Check back and see!

p.s. An advanced statistical note. Somebody paying close attention to this blog might wonder why photos of the bike computer showing 500 and 1000 km don't match exactly with the distance totals at the top of the daily pages. First off, we have two computers that at the best of times do not agree with each other. Next, Dodie's records just about any movement while Steve's does not wake up unless the speed is over 4 kph. Speeds under 4 kph are distressingly frequent for us. Finally we are never sure whether to count distances covered by ferry or not.

Our answer from this point onward is to (a) not count ferry distances (b) rely only on the computer that measures movement under 4 kph (assuming it does not drown again) and (c) gerrymander that computer's odometer to match today's blog figure while (d) tweaking the millimeters per revolution setting to make that computer as objectively accurate as possible. Does anyone care? We do!

Today's ride: 58 km (36 miles)
Total: 1,253 km (778 miles)

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