Day 36: To Okanogan - Western Canada 2007 - CycleBlaze

August 4, 2007

Day 36: To Okanogan

I was up at 7:15 and on the road at 9. Not too bad. The day started with 8 easy downhill miles to get back to highway 20. Then I pedaled west on US20 to Tonasket. Downhill trend, into the wind, but with a few uphill grades on the way. I'm on the Adventure Cycling Association Northern Tier bike route for the next 50 miles, from Wauconda through Tonasket and Omak, to the town of Okanogan. I saw two eastbound touring cyclists as I pedaled west to Tonasket. One was a Dutch man about 60 years old cycling from Anchorage to Tucson. The other was this old guy who said his left leg is paralyzed below the knee. He's the first person I've ever seen with white dreadlocks.

This guy is 4.5 months into a slow ride around the perimeter of the United States. The bike is a Haluzak Horizon.
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I think that's the North Cascades ahead of me to the west.
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Descending to Tonasket. I'm on the ACA Northern Tier route for 50 miles.
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Downtown Tonasket has everything I need. ATM, grocery store, wireless phone service, and Mexican food.
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I stopped in Tonasket for lunch, groceries, cash, and to make a few phone calls. No more expensive roaming on the Rogers network in Canada. After lunch was a very easy flat 23 miles to Omak. I camped in Omak during a cross-country bike tour in 1989. It was interesting to see how the town has grown since then, especially along the US97 bypass. The town seemed very depressed in 1989 but it seems to be thriving now. I visited the city park where I camped in 1989 and took a long rest, laying down in the shade on the lush irrigated grass.

Irrigated pastures in the Okanogan river valley, Washington.
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U.S. Highway 97 and the Okanogan river.
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I continued south on Hwy 215 to the little town of Okanogan. Basically a suburb of Omak. I planned to go farther but decided to stop at the American Legion campground. It's right next to the river with irrigated grass, shade, and showers. Unfortunately it's also right next to a major road that had noisy traffic very late into the night (Saturday night).

Riverside campsite at the Lions Club campground in Okanagan, Washington. $3 for cyclists plus 50 cents for a shower.
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The temperature was very warm in the evening. I never did put on the rainfly because it would have been too warm in the tent. I could see a million stars overhead and there were very few mosquitoes. Showers cost 50 cents. I used the women's shower because the men's shower didn't work. The campground was nearly deserted. I'm definitely in a desert climate now. The vegetation is mostly sagebrush and grass. Today had a high of 31C (89F) with a steady dry north wind.

Distance: 88 km / 55 mi

Climbing: 200 m / 650 ft

Today's ride: 88 km (55 miles)
Total: 2,950 km (1,832 miles)

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