Day 11: Republic to Colville - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

June 11, 2021

Day 11: Republic to Colville

It's never all downhill

“Do you need a place to camp?” he asks from his porch after seeing us turn around from the fairgrounds back toward the main road. “I see cyclists all the time, you can set up your tent in my backyard.” At the fairgrounds, a sign is posted “No Tent camping”. The time is about 4:30pm and we were wondering what to do next, perhaps a motel? “Yes, thank you!! You are a road angel.” Rachel says. He replies: “It is good karma, and I know what it’s like. I’m a long haul trucker for Budweiser and this past year was difficult finding things open.”

The day starts early again, and the weather looks threatening. We had a wonderful stay with Patty and Rob but they are not up yet at 7:00 when we decide to leave. We send them a message later in the day when we arrive in Colville to let them know that camping at the fairgrounds in Colville is not an option for cyclists.

We leave Republic on the Golden Tiger Pathway for about 3 miles, avoiding a big dip the road makes before returning to Hwy 20 at the junction at mile post 305. Sherman pass is a 17 miles climb to 5513 feet according to our GPS map and we starting at 2565 feet.

At mile post 312, there’s a sign for the next 7miles slow traffic use turnouts, that’s almost as bad as seeing “passing lane” ahead. We keep climbing, at milepost 319, Rachel says “I’m waiting for the cow bells”.  When we were cycling the Old West Scenic Highway in Oregon, Swiss girls in a car, rang a cow bell for us, a common practice when cyclists are almost to the top of a hill. There’s a curve, then a brown sign in the distance, keep going and finally the green sign of Sherman pass, elevation 5513 feet, another slog, but we made it! We layer up for the downhill.

A sign boasts, “It’s all downhill from here”. And all cyclists know, “it’s never all downhill.” We stop at Conservation Corp monument for a food break, a nice area with picnic table and restroom. There is a hill before we drop down to the Columbia River and cross a narrow bridge. That’s when the downside of a river crossing becomes evident, there’s a climb away from the river. We sign the camping sign to Lake Roosevelt and keep going to Colville. We are now on US395 and traffic is heavy while the shoulder is narrow. It is no fun, until we have passed through Kettle Falls. The next 8 miles to Colville, are fairly flat, the road following the railroad line. Arriving at Colville we first check out a cheap motel, but it is full. Across the road are the fairgrounds where we thought there was an option to camp. At the entrance is a sign: “No tent or car camping”. Great! That’s when we met Irish Patrick from Paddington England.

We set up our tent in his backyard and meet his pet rabbit, Destiny. Patrick leaves his patio door open so we can use the restroom and then leaves, trusting us. We walk to the Dragon Village Chinese restaurant for a big dinner, then retired to the tent .....

....just as the rain starts.

Out of town of Republic for 3 miles is the Golden Tiger Pathway
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Nice to know this road is scenic, not that Rachel could see much, just concentrating on the road and pedaling.
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Cyclist picnic seating area...nice flat top to the guardrail
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Ron SuchanekA very thoughtful addition.
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3 months ago
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Blueberry pie and Pecan Pie for food break
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Not so nice logging truck
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Jeanna & Kerry SmithWe have found that logging trucks are less likely to move over for us than any other big trucks.
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3 months ago
Nice logging truck giving us space
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Patrick arrives to Sherman Pass!
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This hurt
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Jeanna & Kerry SmithCongratulations!
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3 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Jeanna & Kerry SmithThanks, even though tough, it's good to be on the road... Racpat
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3 months ago
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A big pile of sawdust
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Dutch Patrick and Irish Patrick
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Ron SuchanekIt's a Patrickapalooza.
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3 months ago
Camping in Patrick's backyard
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Destiny...the rabbit
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Today's ride: 55 miles (89 km)
Total: 390 miles (628 km)

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