Any Road Tour – Day 47: Switchbacks and Martin

Ione is not much of a happening place. I bathed and did laundry before heading into town for dinner. The pizza place made me a gut bomb of an Italian sub. They mentioned that another bike tourist from Switzerland was in earlier and bought a pineapple pizza. Martin!

I asked at the motel registration if he was s guest but he wasn’t. (It turns out that there’s another motel down by the river.)

Up at 5 (I’m on the eastern edge of the Pacific time zone), I broke camp and rode to town to have breakfast at the gas station. They have a grill and make a decent breakfast.

And as any bike tourist knows, gas stations are where Breakfast Club gets together. A group of old white men dit around drinking coffee and discussing the important things like how batteries for tools are crap and don’t drive your new pickup to Canada cuz it’ll sure get stole.

I couldn’t add much to this brilliant repartee so I rode away to confront my first serious hill since Rogers Pass a week ago. The climb was 1,100 feet on about 4 miles. There were 6 switchbacks. Once I got into a rhythm it was a fait accompli. No problemo.

Over the top and down the glorious western side, with forests now dominated by fir trees.

I spotted a country store and pulled in for a celebration ice cream. Who should I find eating breakfast but Martin! After a brief chat I took off knowing his youth and tent-free bike would catch me I no time.

And do we rode down one curvy turn after another. It was a blast. The cool tailwind didn’t hurt one bit either.

We saw two eastbound women testing on an uphill. I could not bring myself to give up a 35 mph descent to chat. Farther down the hill, we were crawling along at 17 mph. We ran into Dave (or maybe Paul) from Connecticut. He described the bike hostel where Martin would be staying as very nice and the mountain passes that lie ahead as not so much.

Martin turned to go to the hostel and I continued to Colville where lunch awaited. After my burrito (muy bueno) I rode on to Kettle Falls. After done confusion with a well meaning volunteer, I received permission to camp for free in the town park.

I am typing this at the bar if the town microbrewery, a place called Northern Ales. Their lager is excellent and is solely responsible for errors in this post.

Tomorrow: Sherman Pass and a Warmshowers stay (with Martin) at a town doctor’s home.

Miles: 53

Total miles: 3,409.5