TRIP 2003

Update #25 - June 06th
Spokane, Washington - 4216 miles (6746 KM)

The past seven days went really well. In about 320 miles, I went from one climatic environment to another (cloudy, cool, and damp (with occasional rain showers) West of the Cascade Mountain Range near the Pacific Ocean to clear skies and bright sun East of the Cascade Range). There has been almost a twenty degree difference in temperature not counting the cold temperature found at the top of Stevens Pass. I've gone from the fifties and sixties to the seventies and eighties. The sun has been so bright along with some breeze that my arms and nose have become a little burnt and they are starting to peel. There has also been a big change in elevation. I went from either being close to Sea Level, up and over 4,000 feet at Stevens Pass, to around 1,000 feet in elevation. The scenery also changed from mountains and pine forests to apple and cherry orchards and potato fields along the Columbia River to high desert with scrub grass to rolling hills and wheat fields.

I spent three good days off the road with friends in the University District in NE Seattle. I didn't venture outside much. My friend who is an avid cyclist also gave me some bike supplies like lights, a Kryptonite lock, and a new rear tire. It's hard to believe that I had ridden about four days on a tire that I had sewn up with needle and thread.

Friday (May 30), I rode from Seattle to Monroe. This was mostly along the Burke-Gilman Bike Trail. I was going to stop in Duvall for the night because of rain but the Methodist Episcopal Church in Duvall offered to get me a room at a motel in nearby Monroe. From Monroe, I had two short days along U.S. 2 because of more rain and also that my right ankle was hurting some. Sunday (June 1), I had stopped at a small Pentacostal church in Gold Bar. A church member offered me a place to stay in Baring for the night so we loaded the bike in back of his truck.

Monday morning (June 2), my new friend offered to take me to the top of Steven's Pass (4,041 feet) since there was some road construction along the way. He saved me about 4 hours of riding and walking the bike up to the top of the pass. I started down the pass around 6:30 a.m.

Steven's Pass was named after John F. Stevens, a surveyor for the Great Northern Railroad, who discovered a gap in the Cascade Mountain Range on a map in 1890. After three years of surveying and building the first steam trains crossed over the pass. In 1900, the first of two tunnels were blasted and bored under the pass. The first one was 2.6 miles l ong and the second one (used today) was 7.6 miles long and opened in 1929. The very first road for cars was opened in 1929. It had one lane and was fourteen foot wide.

I walked the bike down the mountain about two miles since it was steep. The next 12 miles were tricky because there was some road construction. The pavement had been ground down for repaving and what paved shoulder that was left was narrow and rough. Once out of the road construction zone, the rest of the controlled coast along the Wenatchee River in Tumwater Canyon into Leavenworth went okay. This section of the Wenatchee River is deemed as being one of the most beautiful white water rivers in the world. Since miles down the highway from the top of the pass, I passed the 120,000 mile mark for this adventure since Feb. 19, 1993 in 1980 days of cycling. Leavenworth was a dying logging town that was rejuvenated into a Bavarian-themed village in the 1960's. At least 1.5 million people visit Leavenworth each year.

From Leavenworth, I rode on to Cashmere (home of the Aplets and Cotlets factory). I then went on to Wenatchee and then started the ride along the Columbia River to Rock Island where I stayed for the night in the small community church. Because of some dynamiting at Rock Island Bend and a long hill climb at Trinidad, I did a short day to Quincy. The Presbyterian Church in Quincy hosted me by donating a room at one of the local motels. I had another long day between Quincy and Odessa (where the ministerial association provided me with a motel room) and another long day from Odessa to Spokane.

I used to live in Spokane between 1989 and 1992. I spending a few days off the road in the home of my former Lutheran Pastor. Before heading out, I'll have to get a new front tire. I've traveled almost 1,800 miles on it.

From Spokane, I'll have about a 25 mile ride along the Centenniel Bike Path , which is along the Spokane River, to Couer d'Alene, Idaho. At Couer D'Alene, I'll be riding north to Sandpoint (the northern most point for this trip) and then on to Missoula, Montana. After Missoula, I'll be stopping in Billings, Montana.

I'll try to post an update as often as I can if there are any changes in my plans.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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