Is this what normal feels like?
I think I remember but I’m not sure. It could be.
Today I just…was. There weren’t any negative thoughts, no anger, not even feelings of despondency.
I didn’t even think about this blog or what I would write which is a first. Usually it’s something I think about a few times a day.
That being said, this post may jump around or not have a point.
I was just impressed that today was just a day.
We left Kalispell at 7:30. Riding through canyons in the shade and early morning hours, it was really cold. We averaged in the mid 40’s. I gutted it out for over an hour because I didn’t want to stop to put a coat on. I can be retarded like that. We did try to take some riding pics.
I finally had to stop so we pulled into a little town restaurant for hot drinks and a cinnamon roll. That did the trick. When we got back on the bikes it had warmed up to 64. We crossed from Montana into Idaho and enjoyed meandering through the mountains and small towns. I thought about sticking around for the start of “river days” in Bonners Ferry but alas.
Crossing a bridge over the Columbia river took me back into Washington State for the first time in 14 years. I miss this place. For those who don’t know, I grew up in Issaquah Washington and I still have a lot of friends. People I haven’t seen in a long time. I am really looking forward to catching up with and many as I can. A good friend is helping to find a place where we can invite a bunch of people to just hang out for an evening. If you live in the Seattle area, keep an eye out for a post regarding when that will be. I’d love to see you.
In Washington we began following the Pend Oreille river. It was beautiful. My dad even had an eagle fly next to him for a good ten seconds. Turning up onto a winding road, it set the tone for the next few hours of our ride. We were in amazing country. High alpine. Tall Douglas Firs and Ponderosa pines. Rock outcroppings and small towns. Tight corners and high speed straights. We were having a great time.
We found an interesting but good spot for food in Colville. It was Hawaiian flavored Asian inspired noodles and meats. It was a ton of food and more than either of us could eat. I felt bad leaving a half eaten bowl on the table. Oh well.
From there we had more great riding, for maybe an hour. And then we began the downward spiral. Almost literally. The roads began losing elevation and while doing so, the roads were still winding. We were having a blast. But the temperatures were rising. What began as a cold day, had progressed to a very pleasant day. Now it started to get hot. We descended below the alpine treeline and were coming out into brown hills and sagebrush. And 100 degrees. And then it hit 106.
We were baking on the bikes. Finally had to stop at an Arby’s because they had air conditioning. It took about an hour to recover. That, and a milk shake.
We decided to get a hotel just down the road in Pateros. Our hotel literally backs up onto the Columbia river. My dad swam in it. I didn’t. I didn’t want to get the herp. I did swim in the pool for over an hour and it was bliss.
We’ve decided that this is as far as my dad will go. If he went on my route for tomorrow, he’d be committed all the way into Seattle. So he’ll leave here early in the morning. He has a long way to go and I hope he’ll stop in Butte to spend the night.
It has been an amazing three days being able to spend time with my dad exploring this area. What a great experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Much like the rest of this trip.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow.