(To clear things up: I am home now, but will continue to recount my trip to the end.)
Coeur d’Alene to Spokane was only 38 miles so we slept in the best we could then took the morning off. What we did was spend the morning searching the city park for an electric outlet to plug in at. There were either no outlets at the restrooms, pavilions, library, or docks, or the outlets did not work. I charged my phone the night before at the Qdoba, but my backup and Quinton’s devices were all dead.
Near a group of flagpoles on the West side of the park I found light poles with outlets and benches at the base. There I sat, watching all of the morning runners, cyclists, and dog walkers. I was semi-clean, having taken a bird bath in the park bathroom before tearing down camp. After riding every day it is difficult to sit still. I became antsy and wanted to push on. I told myself I would ride along the bike path towards Spokane and stop somewhere with breakfast. I texted Quinton and he was already at a McDonald’s, but it was in the wrong direction. He told me he got a hit off Warm Showers and we had somewhere to stay that night.
Warm Showers, the organization that helps connect cyclists to hosts is great, but has some flaws. Quinton and I divided the list of contacts in Spokane and sent messages to every one. It would be easier and convenient if we could send a mass message to everyone within a certain radius. Of those people we contacted only one contacted us back. The couple that offered us housing lived right off of the bike path in the middle of Spokane.
I stopped at a couple of breakfast places, but they were either too expensive or had a line out the door. I kept riding, now looking for somewhere to change into my riding shorts and shoes, when I saw the sign for the rest area. Still no outlets, but I could plug in when we get to the hosts’ house. I ate the rest of my veggie dogs and salsa and then snacked on apples while typing a blog post. Quinton showed up some time after.
The ride to Spokane was short and we took our time getting there. We stayed on the bike path all the way to hosts’ house. We were worried about camping in Spokane because of the size of the city, but along the path were many perfect camping spots along the Spokane River. At one spot we found a structure that looked like it was built for us to camp in. It was hard not to get distracted by the river and all of the activity on it.
We arrived at the Doctors’ house a little after six. They were waiting for us and had dinner prepared. We were ushered into the garage to drop our gear. The wife told us that we should shower and throw our clothes into the wash before dinner. We quickly gathered our dirty clothes and put them in the washing machine and followed her downstairs. She showed us the room we would stay in and then asked us to change out of our dirty clothes so they too could be washed. It was a little awkward, but we didn’t want to refuse. After my shower, I found Quinton upstairs surrounded by grey heads. We were having a dinner party. We were offered drinks, but Quinton and I both opted out for water. Before dinner, they showed us their son’s book from his trip. He too kept a journal and they had it professionally printed.
For dinner, we moved out onto the balcony overlooking the river. The Doctors were adventurous and they told some of the stories from their trips. They had travelled to several countries and were avid mountaineers. I spoke mostly to the husband, who was an orthopaedic surgeon before retiring. And like most of my conversations with Doctors, I felt somewhat talked down to.
Towards the end of dinner I could see the many glasses of wine taking effect. The three couples were tiring and when the men started telling uncensored war stories it was time for bed. The next day I asked Quinton how he felt about it all and he too was made to feel like a lower class. It is hard to say no to a bed, shower, laundry, and food, but I would rather stay in the woods than in that atmosphere another night. The husband volunteered to ride with us in the morning to help us find our way to Highway 2, which would take us all the way to Seattle. His tour of Spokane did a great deal to ease my feelings of the night before. They were such an interesting couple and we were thankful for their hospitality, but it was hard to shake that feeling.