Finally, it’s the end of our 4-day cycling week! Tonight we rest, and rest again tomorrow. For most, Friday is a day to look forward to: a day before the start of the weekend, a day when client meetings are booked at 3pm, and client lunches confirmed for 11:30am. It’s a special day reserved for dinner parties that end at 4am Saturday morning (thank you TMG). Our Fridays, today’s in particular, are somewhat different. Having spent Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday climbing a total of 18,280ft we were half hoping that today’s day in the office would be a little easier on mind, body and soul. But there was a problem. The plan for today was to ride 90 miles from Colville to Newport, which on balance, would fail to meet our expectations of a Friday Feeling. So, over breakfast, sitting at a table with a plastic ‘map of Washington state’ as a table cloth, we consumed much food whilst looking at the map and trying to find and alternate shorter route to Newport, WA smack bang on the border of …of …shoot, “I DUN NO”, what’s the state east of Washington? Anyway, as luck would have it, just as we placed the last English Muffin in our mouths we spotted it, “Flowery Trail Road” cutting 25 miles off the original plan …that Friday feeling was getting closer by the minute. A quick check on Google Maps before leaving, we agreed to take the unchartered route over the Flowery Trail Pass (a mere 4,020ft).
Setting off in the pissing rain and mind numbing irritation of the continued SE wind, we headed SE along the very busy Trucking route toward Chewelah. 3 hours later and very wet, and still not having that Friday Feeling, we arrived in Chewelah and found the really cute Flowery Trail Coffee House where Sally, Jodi, Kezia & Tonia served us up with warming soup and sandwiches. We sat in the Coffee House longer than planned but really enjoyed chatting with the patrons Gary and Bob & Jessie. We must have stayed for over an hour, which was good timing, as just as we were about to leave, the sun came out and the rain stopped …yay it’s Friday!
Back on the bikes and turning left immediately, we began our ascent, which at first didn’t seem that difficult, we only had a net climb of 2,300ft. What we failed to realise was that this climb was spread over 7 miles, which turned out to be the steepest long haul climb we have done …and it was Friday, the day following 18,280ft of climbing “…still not feelin’ ya Friday!”
We of course made it to the top and admired the fantastic views and the ‘49 Degrees North’ ski resort before beginning our rapid descent into Usk, WA. During the descent we experienced a first! We saw (rather than smelt) a Skunk. Isn’t it funny how they bounce along when they walk, just like Pepe le Pew!
The last 15 miles cycling beside the Ponderay River were tough. We were therefore very pleased to make it to our great B&B (we love B&B’s). The Walden House B&B is a family home where the owners have enjoyed raising their 15 children (that’s Waldens not Waltons). The owners & team coaches, Farren and Jolene were so welcoming and truly made us feel at home. Thank you the Walden Family.