I rode highway 20, rather than ACs back road, from Winthrop to Twisp. A pleasant ride ending with a good breakfast at a cafe just after 20 crosses the river coming into Twisp. Riding out of Twisp the route climbs steeply and then settles down to a moderate climb up to Loup Loup Pass. This is a lower (4000 ft) and easier pass with about 3000 feet of climbing. After my rest day I thought it was easy. Without the rest day I bet it would have been hard. I took it very easy because my left knee was still hurting.
The climatic characteristic kept getting dryer. After Loup Loup, I came down into what looked like high desert. The Okanogan Valley is rural with orchards and fields and lots of Spanish speaking agricultural workers. A entirely different climate and culture from Winthrop which has an entirely different climate and culture from western Washington. This is fun.
I stopped for a mediocre lunch and some drugstore shopping in Okanogan and then rode on, on the AC route, to Riverside. Riverside is a very small town where I enjoyed the best desert of my tour at Molly's Cafe. I ordered coffee and a large homemade cinnamon roll. Joanie (?) said "large or very large?" I went for very large, and she brought me a delicious cinnamon roll that filled a dinner plate! It was the largest, and one of the very best, deserts of my trip. At $2.10 with the coffee, it was also the best food buy. A nice place, and it is right on the AC route. Highly recommended.
I spent the night at Tonasket, after some harrowing riding coming into town. Construction left me no choice but to ride several miles on loose gravel with, sometimes, heavy traffic. The gravel flung up from the road knocked my computers sensors out of wack. 70 miles and less than 4000 feet of climbing on this easy day.
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