Any Road Tour: Day 46 – Downriver on another tailwind

Last night I stayed in an RV park behind a 24 hour gas station across a busy highway from some railroad tracks. Let’s just say it wasn’t the deepest sleep I’ve ever had.

I was on the road around 7 with a gas station breakfast burrito in hand. It didn’t suit my tummy but it was fuel and I used it.

I followed the Pend Oreille River west to Newport Washington where I had second breakfast: pancakes, OJ, and coffee. A vast improvement over the burrito.

I crossed the river back into Idaho then took a turn that brought me back to Washington for good. Bye, Idaho.

In addition to a fine tailwind the skies were blue and the trees were green.

The air is incredibly clean; you can smell the pines. And there are terrific views around every bend in the road.

I stopped to chat with two credit card tourers. (No camping gear, just a couple of panniers.) They had just talked with Martin, my Swiss buddy from North Dakota and Montana! He rode north through Glacier National Park instead of west through Missoula. I was tempted to try an catch him but I still had 40 miles to ride today and a big climb tomorrow morning.

Today I rode through an Indian reservation. Aside from tribal headquarters, a sign directing people to the pow wow site, and a big nylon teepee in a backyard, I didn’t notice much difference.

The reservation did have many more American flags than elsewhere. Which brings to mind the fact that I’ve seen three Confederate flags in the last two days. (Y’all are a little out of the way for that. Try a swastika instead.)

I passed a sign for a grotto so I stopped and hiked up the groomed switchback trail. Mostly it was naturally formed. One chamber up some stone steps had a stone altar.

For some reason it occurred to me to check the odometer on The Mule. It had just passed 49,000 miles.

The next oddity on the road was a driveway to nowhere bordered by two Stonehenge-like stone circles. I am pretty sure that I would be recruited for a woo woo cult so I hit out of there after taking a picture or two.

The bridge to Ione, my destination, looked fantastic from a distance. The bridge deck was a metal grate. The Mule was swaying all over the place as we crossed. I am glad it was dry or I’d have fallen for certain.

I am camping at an RV place again. It’s quiet. I have a clean shower, laundry, WiFi, and a soft lawn for my tent. Now if only I hadn’t left my razor back at last night’s campsite.

Miles: 81.5

Trip Miles: 3,356.5

End of trip note: I booked a flight home for the 21st out of Portland, partly to meet a DC friend their on her birthday, the 19th, but also to be at home for my son’s visit from overseas. My friend canceled her trip to Portland and my son canceled his trip home so it looks like I have no reason to rush.

I’ll reschedule my flight when I get to Puget Sound. I’m thinking I’ll stay an extra week, including a day or two in Seattle.

I love how my friends are making suggestions for things to visit. They often come a day late or are days off route. One frustrating thing about travel is you are always going to miss something. I am grateful for what I have seen or will see in the days ahead. People I talked to said he road from here to Puget Sound is truly astoundingly pretty. I can’t wait.

3 thoughts on “Any Road Tour: Day 46 – Downriver on another tailwind

  1. I’m sorry you’ll miss your friend and son. However, I’m glad you can stay an extra week I in the Pacific Northwest. It’s an astounding part of our country. I lived in Portland for many years and tried to visit as many regions as I could, but of course I’m grateful for what I could get to. Enjoy your time.

  2. Welcome to Washington State! I have spent a lot of time in Eastern Wa but not in the Colville area where you are, looks gorgeous so I might need to get over there. If you need suggestions for Seattle or logistical help let me know, I would be happy to buy you a beer, or even two ;-).

  3. You’re riding through Cascades National Park? If so it’s amazing! But be aware of water & food stops because they’re sparse leading up to the climb to the park

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