golden spur, golden china, golden triangle.... - Seattle towards Minnesota - CycleBlaze

July 30, 2007

golden spur, golden china, golden triangle....

I woke up at 7:00, thirty minutes before my alarm went off. I had wanted to be ready to go by 8:00, and I was ready....

Ready for breakfast, anyway.

They made scrambled eggs with pine nuts, hash browns, and bacon. I took the last few pictures on my SD card so John and Mica spent some time copying everything to a DVD, which they then presented to me. John also gave me the phone number and address of his cousin who lives in Sandpoint, Idaho, where I'll be in a couple of days.

I left at 9:30 and started missing them before I even passed the gate.

I crossed the Pend Oreille river and started pedaling south into a stiff headwind. I'd have the river beside me all day today. The terrain was mostly flat with some ups and downs.

On my bike trips I see a lot of abandoned house on the side of the road like this one. I always wonder about the stories behind it... who grew up there, what kind of hardships did they have, and what happened to them. If only the walls could talk....

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I passed a few bikers going in the opposite direction... six or seven, then ten. Then fifteen. 

I started counting. About two hours and eighteen miles later I had counted 248 riders on a variety of bikes ranging from a road bike, like mine, to tandems to recumbents.

The road was small, so I greeted each biker I passed. There's really no way to just ignore them. 

Do you realize what it's like to say hi 248 times? Unless you're a flight attendant, I doubt it.

As I greeted each one of them in turn, my routine went like this:
"Hi" then "Morning" then "Hello."
After a while, in order to avoid getting in a rut, I changed it to "Morning" then "Hello" then "Hi." 

I'm nothing if not flexible. 

Just to stretch my conversational limits, I occasionally said "Good Morning" instead of "Morning."

Interestingly, of the 248 people only 4-5 weren't smiling. That must say SOMETHING about bicyclists. (Although it could be, "I sure am enjoying this tailwind you're pedaling against.")

Rattlesnake Mountain, Echo Mountain, Stone Johnny Peak, Lost Creek, No Name Creek, Ruby Mountain, Cee Cee Ah Peak.... the cool-sounding landmarks keep rolling by. It makes me curious as to how each of them acquired their names.

I crossed the bridge at Usk and went into the Usk Bar and Grille. I arrived at 1:03; the closed sign went up at 1:22.

There's no air conditioning, and it's not much cooler inside. In the back of the place there was a kid sleeping on a couch. Three fans were lined up about every fifteen feet apart in an attempt the move the cooler air in the back, which was near the swamp cooler, to the front of the building.

I didn't linger after finishing my meal. They were already closed, and I wanted to get to the library in Newport (pop 1,921) before they closed so I could post some blogs.

Newport and Oldtown (pop 190) are basically the same city, separated by the Washington/Idaho state line (Yes, that means I finally made it out of Washington). 

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I kept calling it New Town, then correcting myself, and everyone kept looking at me with sympathy.

I was at the library for a little over an hour in an attempt to upload my blog and pictures from my SD card. It had been several days since I posted anything and I suspected people were wondering how things were going. Unfortunately, even with the help of the librarians, I was unable to get the computer to allow me to use my card reader.

After making a phone call they offered one possibility: there's a community college in town. I could sign up for one semester at their computer lab for $25.00. They were closed, but would reopen at 8:00 in the morning.

If I could get my blog and pictures uploaded, it's not a bad idea.... I'd consider it, though I'd end up getting a late start.

I asked about the best place to eat in town, and the unenthusiastic response was Golden China.

I rode to the Golden Spur Motor Inn, one of two places in town. Their marquee said they had wireless, but I stood outside one of the rooms and checked to make sure my PDA got a signal before checking in.

After unloading my bike and waiting until it cooled off outside a bit, I asked the manager how far the walk was to Golden China.

"Only quarter mile," he replied. His daughter looked like she wanted to say something but didn't.

Looking back, I think she might've wanted to say, "He means a mile and a quarter."

It was a decent meal. If I had to recommend it to someone I would, but unenthusiastically.

My fortune cookie: ''Keep an eye open for an opportunity soon to arrive." I sure will.

It occurred to me as I was walking back at approximately 4.3 mph that maybe I should be wearing my helmet. Or my steel-toed boots.

I blogged from 6 PM to 2AM, with an hour off for supper, then went to sleep.

Some pictures I took along the way today:

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Miles 55.12
Max 74.2
Avg 11.6
Time 4:46:11
Cumulative 376.54

Today's ride: 55 miles (89 km)
Total: 377 miles (607 km)

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