Day 82 – Ione, WA to Colville, WA – 37 miles
From here on out, it will be mountain passes, combined with the availability of overnight lodging that dictate our daily mileages. Today we had a “minor” pass to climb, Tiger Pass. This climb started about 4-5 miles into our day and consisted of 6 miles of climbing in the granny gear, complete with switchbacks / hairpin turns. We figured this would give us a taste of the mountain passes we have coming up, except at a smaller scale. We started our riding day at 7 am, figuring we had fewer miles to go today, and it was nice & cool riding! We did great! We stopped once to rest and drink some sports drink. I think when we do Sherman Pass (22 miles uphill), we should be on our bike by 5:30 am because we’re having some hot weather around here & it’s going to take us all morning (maybe more) to get up that mountain!
We came to a small resort about 15 miles into our ride. Our map showed that there was some sort of a convenience store & a restaurant there. The restaurant didn’t open until 11 and the store was quite sparse but we were very glad to be able to pick up some food. Since our overnight stop was before the next town, we knew we needed to pick up lunch, dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast. We got some tunafish & cracker snack packs, a half dozen eggs, instant cream o wheat, some turkey dinner sausage, and she sold us 2 brat buns from the restaurant supplies. That should do us thru breakfast tomorrow but it’s not going to be enough to get us over Sherman Pass! We’re going to have to find a grocery store tomorrow!
We got to the Bacon Bike Hostel at about 11:30 & it was getting quite warm by then! (Even at 7:30 pm, the temp was 96F) There were signs directing us in off the road and we walked the bike down the gravel drive (not far). I called Shelley, the owner and she told us to go on in & make ourselves comfortable. When we walked in, we were pleased to see a nice comfortable big house awaiting us! We immediately opened our food bag and ate our lunch (tunafish cracker snack packs), followed by showers and laundry.
Once again, I am amazed at the generosity of our WS hosts! Shelley and Barry built this house with the intent to open a bike hostel and they lived in it while building their family home. Their home is now built so this place is open for bicyclists to stay for free! (They take donations to pay the electric bill & for laundry soap, cleaning supplies, etc.). It is very comfortable with a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms (each sleeps 4) with nice, comfy beds and laundry downstairs. She said a previous WS guest stocked the fridge with Gatorade and pop, which we’ve been so grateful to have in this heat!
Tomorrow we’re planning a very short day of riding. This will give us a chance to do some grocery shopping, rest our legs and mentally prepare for our biggest climb – up Sherman Pass. Sherman Pass (5,575′) is a couple hundred feet higher than Marias Pass and we’ll be starting from a much lower elevation. It looks like about 22-25 miles in the granny gear. There are 4 more passes to climb in the following 5 days, so this is where we see what we can do! Hopefully these past 3500 miles of riding has strengthened and toughened us to tackle these mountain passes! This is where we need those words of inspiration from all those coaches (Butch, are you reading this? Coach Woj? 🙂 ), coach-types and encouraging friends! Thanks for your positive words, positive thoughts, & prayers!!!
Check back for pics… OK – here are some pics:
Our route heads up into those mtns:
Curves, switchbacks – and watch for cattle!