Sunday, June 28, 2015

Day 10--To the Gates of Helł

LLast night Jonathan and I dined at the fine establishment of Tania's. It was...let's just say...well, it was food. Fortunately, the conversation with Jonathan was good. He's done quite a bit of touring in Europe. We shared our respective stories. He is calling this current tour "The Glacially Slow Glacier Park Tour". Since he is staying in a hotel in Lewiston, we did photos and said our goodbyes in the morning.

While the "A" (Antoine and Alex) boys were still packing their stuff, a local guy rolled in on his Terra Trike. He was the first one in Pomeroy to get a tadpole. Now there are 15 of them! His name was Lynn, and he was quite nice. He even let me sit in his trike. I gotta say, it was very comfortable. I see the attraction. The boys were ready to go, otherwise Lynn said I could take it for a spin. We exchanged cards.

The three of us took off. We knew we had one big climb up to Alpowa Summit. The boys and I planned to go to Lewiston to get more fuel, then head to Hell's Gate State Park. We passed Jonathan not far out of town (remember, "Glacially Slow").
Just before passing Jonathan.

Today was a first. We had a headwind instead of the much preferred tailwind. One advantage is it kept the temps down a little (and the speed too--dang!). Going up the hills, the boys got ahead of me, but they would take more frequent breaks. Basically, I was the tortoise and they were the hares. We finally reached the summit of Alpowa. There's a rest stop at the summit. We took a good long break there, and Jonathan caught up to us (I took his summit photo for him). As we were standing in the shade, Alex's bike made a ping sound. Another spoke had broken (his second). He flipped the bike over, and Antoine trued the wheel.
Poor Alex...not the best bike for touring.

Next up was the good long descent. The boys and Jonathan all said they don't like going fast down the hill (Alex with good reason). So, I went first. That was the last I saw of Jonathan. None of them caught up to me even on the flat part coming into Clarkston.
Still Lewis and Clark, and now, the Snake River.
Along the Snake.

When I came into Clarkston, I followed the map to a bike path that went along the river. I stopped at the beginning and ate some lunch at a picnic table. I called home to wish Nolan a good trip to New York and China (he leaves tomorrow). 

I've seen one of these types of signs somewhere else.

The bike path. The bridge ahead took me into Idaho.

I got back on a bike path in Idaho. It took me along the Snake River to its confluence with the Clearwater River. I was on a mission to get more fuel for my stove. The boys had found there was fuel at a Sports Authority. However, when I came off the trail and onto the road, I came to a Bighorn Sports store. I figured they would have fuel, and I was right. I got two canisters, as they have been difficult to find. Now I needed to return the way I came to get to Hell's Gate State Park. I was able to stay on the bike path all the way to the park. I had seen a sign that said the campground was full (not surprising as it is Friday). At the registration place, they assigned me to Site 1. When I looked at the map, there was no Site 1. They said, "Oh, it's just in the middle between 2 and 30." I paid $20.14 for a site that doesn't have a picnic table. I told them that Alex and Antoine would be coming, and they could share my site. So, if they show up, we'll split the cost. In addition to fuel, they also needed to visit  a bike shop to fix Alex's spoke issue.

I've set up my tent. It's about 104 degrees, so I (needing to wash my shorts and t-shirt anyway) went swimming in the river. It was nice, and I think I could have spent the whole afternoon sitting in the water!

Curiously, I talked to the guy at the marina. He asked me if I was doing the Adventure Cycling route. I said I was. Before I could tell him I was doing the Lapwai Alternate tomorrow, he said I would have to do the Lapwai because the road is closed on the regular route. I'm glad he told me that because I was almost thinking of staying on the regular route instead of backtracking back to the Clearwater River to do the alternate. I swear, I get lucky so many times!

Now I will wait and see if the boys will join me at the Gates of Hell.

Total miles today: 39.99
Average speed: 9.84

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