it's not the heat.... it's the lack of air conditioning on a bike - Seattle towards Minnesota - CycleBlaze

July 27, 2007

it's not the heat.... it's the lack of air conditioning on a bike

I woke up at 8:00, packed, and left by 10:00 to go to the cafe for breakfast.

I met Margie on the way out, standing among her potpourri of pottery, and we chatted a few minutes. She let me know that the cafe closed and, although someone else bought it they were having to do some repairs because the people who moved out didn't empty the pipes and they froze during the winter. You learn all kinds of information on a bike trip.

Tonasken isn't much more than fifteen miles down the road - I'll just get a bite to eat there.

ChipSeal: (noun) a road surface used in eastern Washington which is comprised of broken glass, used razor blades, and carefully sharpened individual shards of gravel. After being placed onto the road it is meticulously formed into a washboard surface, creating a jarring vibration which is used to remove teeth and sanity. When financially possible, cracks, holes, and fissures are placed in it.

That's all I have to say about that.

After what seemed an interminable morning I stopped at 11:45 for lunch in Tonasket. I ate at the pizza place, surreptitiously charging my PDA in a corner.

The temperature here is HOT. Did you notice the capitals? If you look in any basic grammar book you'll see that means to add another fifteen degrees to whatever temperature you're imagining. The hot, arid air dries out your nose and throat with each inhalation and, somehow, the sun seems closer.

the greenery along this section is misleading and makes it look like the temperature isn't to the point where your dermis is nearing spontaneous combustion
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To give you an idea of my impression of Tonasket, here's a conversation I overheard at the pizza place. It was between the owner and an elderly woman in a print dress:

"Are you going on vacation this summer?"
"Yes, we're going to (such and such place)"
"Is it nice?"
"Oh, yes. There's grass and some trees!"
(sharp intake of air) "That IS nice..."

From the pizza place I went to the library so I could upload some stuff to the blog. Unfortunately, you only get thirty minutes, and I never could get the library's computer to open my file, even after changing it to a text file.

So, I wrote in my blog until 4:00, then went outside. It was still over 100 degrees.

I had a couple of decisions to make:(1) Do I want to continue? Do I want to camp? Or do I want to get a hotel? Leaving Tonasket, there's the steepest pass this side of Glacier National Park. There isn't a hotel for many miles, and I don't know if the campground has a shower.(2) Which route do I want to take?
* The southern ACA route, which has a higher pass, steeper climb and a section of twenty miles under construction per Sarin. However, it also has several historical/artistic sites such as the Stonerose Fossil Center, White Mountain Interpretive Site, and the Log Flume Heritage Site.
* The northern route is slightly longer, though the pass doesn't go as high. Historical sites? Looking more closely at the map, I notice... the grave site of Ronald McDonald.

My eyes widen. I'm goin' north.....

I can't remember which reason from my usual list I used, but I do remember thinking, "This freakin' heat SUCKS!" As much as I hate mornings, I justified the motel by planning to be on the road as close to 6:00 as I could.

From the library I called one of the motels and learn there's no vacancy. As I rode to the only other motel I saw a policeman getting out of his car and asked him if the campground had showers.  No...

The motel's office is located at The Junction, a convenience store. There was one room left and I took it... it had wireless internet so I could finally post some blogs.

I blogged for four hours until my PDA died. It just stopped working. It was time for supper so I started some laundry at the hotel/convenience store/laundromat, then walked across the street to the restaurant and ate a giant plate of chicken fettuccini

Afterwards, picking up my laundry, I talked with Jessica as she was cleaning the up the laundromat. She was leaving early to go to her mother's 48th birthday. When she learned I was a bike rider she told me how she lost a hundred pounds simply by riding her bike every day and eating less. "Oh, and no ice cream. That was the hard part."

I learned a couple of other noteworthy things from her. One, without her knowing which way I was going, she mentioned how much she loves to drive the route I'm going to be riding tomorrow. That was good to hear. Two, seven eighths of everyone who lives in Tonasken has been in jail... "but they're all good people." (I knew it!!!! I'm going back to Riverside)

Back in the room I rebooted my PDA. That fixed whatever was wrong with it. I wrote more in my blog and was asleep by 11:00.

Miles 17.35
Max 70.8
Avg 9.8
Time 1:46:46
Cumulative 214.30

Today's ride: 17 miles (27 km)
Total: 215 miles (346 km)

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