Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour
Day 7 - Sunday, June 24, 2001
Another day, another pass. This time it was Wauconda Pass, at 4310 feet. Tomorrow is the last pass in the state of Washington (Sherman Pass, 5575 feet) - so stopping in Republic tonight midway between the two passes was the natural thing to do.
Leaving Tonasket in the morning, Highway 20 splits off of US 97 and continues east. That is when 20 starts climbing again.
Much of 20 was under construction (repaving). Most of it wasn't too bad, but the worst part was a 1.5 mile long section that was all gravel. I managed to find a line that was more dirt than gravel and had no problems getting through.
While stopping for a snack, a road bike without gear had caught up to me. His name was Keith and he was riding to Sandpoint, Idaho. His wife was visiting all of the small towns by car, and she'd carry his change of clothes and gear to the next hotel.
As I climbed to the top of the pass, I noticed black clouds behind me. Surely I was not going to make it through Washington state without any rain. I crested the pass quick enough to escape with only a few drops of rain.
When I arrived in Republic, I bumped into Keith and his wife Sharon. We made arrangements to get together for dinner tonight.
Tonight I'm in the campground at the Ferry County Fairgrounds just a couple miles outside of Republic. Hot showers too! Curlew Lake State Park would have been nicer, but it would have been too far out of the way.
I set up my tent just in time, because it is now raining. I recently bought a new rainfly for my tent (Kelty Zen) - it's working a lot better than the old rainfly, which would sag and touch the tent walls and leak.
Keith and Sharon just found me at the fairgrounds. On the way back into town we saw two touring cyclists riding along - could they perhaps be the ones rumored to be riding to New Jersey? Keith mentioned he had seen two other cyclists yesterday - they sounded like Tom and David. Keith and I were both surprised that he hadn't encountered more cyclists on the way - especially since he's riding faster (no gear to carry) and would catch up to people.
I am still the only tent at the fairgrounds, so perhaps the two cyclists ended up going to the youth hostel that the sign said is a half mile away. (I had followed the sign earlier, but then there was another sign after 0.6 miles saying "hostel, turn right, 1/3 mile", so I gave up on that idea and went to the fairgrounds to camp.)