The night before we talked with our hosts about our route and where we are going next. We were told that it was 100 miles to Coulee City and another 80 to Wenatchee. They said we should stock up on water and food and try to do it in four days. Between Spokane and Wenatchee was desert with only a few small towns. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to go for the century (100 miles).
The husband was up when we were and he had his bike ready in the garage. He was riding an old steel 12 speed road bike with cruiser bars. He was wearing loafers and a polo tucked into his khaki shorts. He rode stiff and proud and never faultered on the hills. They were doing construction on many of the roads and he thought it best if he showed us how to get out of the maze. He was a great tour guide: telling us about Spokane’s history, the native tribes, the economy, and so much more. He even pointed out edible plants. It was an enjoyable ride. He stayed with us all the way to Hwy 2, which seemed like an hour. He did get lost a few times and then took us offroading once. Perhaps he was just trying to impress us the night before with his own adventures. We do that sometimes when we first meet people.
We were in a hurry to get out in the morning and only got a small breakfast. Just a few miles outside of town was a Walmart that we stopped at to resupply. The day before I reorganized my food supply to fit in a 1 gallon Ziplock. This helped me compress my gear even smaller in the panniers. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to fit the peanut butter, jelly, and loaf of bread that I got. For breakfast I bought a dozen donuts, which lasted me the day. I told Quinton then that I wanted to try for Coulee City. He was onboard with it.
We made good time and were soon ready to stop for lunch. We stopped at a small city park. If we weren’t just starting the day it would have been a good place to camp, having We ate under a large pavilion and across the park were two kids playing on the swingset. The air was so thick with smoke I’m surprised the kids were allowed to be out in it.
A strong wind came up and for the first time since turning West in Nebraska there was a tailwind! The temperature was in the 90s and the visibility was maybe a quarter mile. We were holding a solid 18 mph pace when I started to hear something. I had started a new audiobook that day but could hear something like metal scraping. Without stopping I check the rack to make sure it is still attached and then adjust the fenders, but I still hear it. When I stopped to check if something were caught in a spoke I see a long piece of wire hanging out of the rear tire. This was my third flat of the trip.
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. I was absorbed in the book, Eragon. To the South were large rock formations that reminded me of when I first entered Wyoming. I caught up to Quinton at a rest stop where we he stopped for snack. I had been snacking on the donuts to keep my energy up so I wasn’t too hungry then. I zoned out again, back into the book and before long we were pulling into Coulee City. It was close to dark when we pulled into the first gas station. There were tables inside that we sat down at to have dinner and use the WIFI. We had ridden 97 miles. There were several places in town to camp at, but we decided on the one on the other side of town so that we would be sure to hit 100. It was pitch black when we left.
We went across a long bridge across Blake Lake that must have lasted two miles. Riding across the bridge was like riding through a cloud of insects. I head to put on my sunglasses just be able to see. The bugs weren’t as bad on the other side of the lake. From there we rode another couple miles down a washboard road. The campground was just a porta-potty and gravel lots cut into the tall grass beds. We got our 100 miles!
Video upside down?!