Once again I chose to ride highway 20 rather than AC's back roads. The ride from Kettle Falls to Colville was pleasant. Entering Colville, I met a lone woman cyclist towing a trailer containing, along with the usual stuff, two cats. I heard earlier of two men who where biking with golf clubs(!), but cats? She was headed for Seattle and planning to take the ferry to Alaska. She was on the road looking for a good place to live and had first gone from California to Eureka MT. She did not like Eureka and so she was moving on.
I stopped at a big grocery store, the first I'd seen since leaving the Seattle area, to buy some trail mix and ask for advice on a good place to eat breakfast. Then I rode downtown for my second breakfast. Breakfast was good; the waitress advised me, correctly, that the hot cakes were enormous. I heard a discussion about another tourist while I was eating. The discussion was hyperbole about cycling across the country with a support vehicle, your own masseuse, 'assistant peddler', and stuff along that line. At the time, with my loaded bike sitting right outside the door, I wondered what/who they were talking about. Later I would come to understand.
I also visited with a logging truck driver who is a chipper (flint). He told me that he had nearly run over two bicyclists coming down Sherman Pass the day before. He said that they stopped to chat, while blocking half of the lane, as he was driving a loaded logging truck down the pass behind them. He couldn't stop and there was car coming up the pass in the other lane. He said he would have hit them if the car hadn't pulled off onto the shoulder to let him use part of the other lane. I assume those where the guys with the golf clubs. I told him that I had been beeped at by a logging truck on that same descent when I had drifted out to the middle of the lane. I also told him that, with one or two exceptions, logging truck driver had been very polite to me. Then we talked about chipping.
Leaving Colville I saw two tourists on recumbents ahead of me. I caught up with them in a few miles and rode with them for the rest of the day. Kathy and Justin from Madison Wisconsin were doing their first tour together (Kathy had toured in Europe earlier) and they were riding Linear (long wheelbase, underseat steering) recumbents that they bought for this tour. Justin's bike was creaking a bit and Kathy's needed some front derailleur adjustment, so I made deal for supper in exchange for some grease and technical help. As a result, in Ione they went the grocery store while I ate at a restaurant on the Pend Orielle river and that night I camped with them, ate with them, and helped them a little with their bikes. I enjoyed the evening despite the many mosquitos at our camp site on the river. A short day at 70 miles, but with good company.
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