Marble-mount WA to Winthrop WA
Travel time 11 hrs
saddle time 8 hrs
Elevation game 8,514
Today was the hardest day I have ever had cycling. I think the most I’ve climbed in a day was 7,500 ft but that was up and down hills. This was straight up a mtn. I made it to about 15 miles from the peak of Washington pass and I was almost out of water. I saw an RV parked on side of the road and knocked on their door. Not only did this family give me water, but they gave me a banana, a pear, and 20 mins of gab time for me to catch my breathe. But my legs were shot. I kept snacking on Sue’s chocolate granola bars she made me, and drinking water, but my tank was empty. I would bike a mile and stop. Then I started biking half miles and stopping. Then 100 yards and stopping. I would stop at anyone parked on the side of the road and talk to them as an excuse to try to gain motivation. But after 7.5 hrs I made the 58 miles to the summit
At the summit I was met by an animal that symbolized my journey (pics to come later). It was cold at the top and my ride down would be even colder. I quickly got out of all my wet sweaty clothes and put on anything I had that was dry. This included my only pair of long pants, which I taped the pant legs so they wouldn’t get caught in my gears. I put on my winter gloves. And I even shoved my towel down my shirt for additional warmth. Then after making myself a tuna in pita sandwich, I headed down the mtn.
This was an amazing ride. It is not like what you see in Europe where there are lots of switchbacks and turns. This was a LONG, relatively straight ride down. You could have kept your eyes closed (not recommended). I averaged 30 mph for the first 15 miles (Bruce Wolfe would not be happy). I stopped at the first town ,Mazama, for a quick snack. Bumped into a bunch of people that had just started hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (Canada to Mexico). I then rode a mostly downhill ride to Winthrop. So the 30 mile trip down took me two hours, including a 30 min rest stop!
In Winthrop, I am staying with another WarmShowers couple, Tom and Carolyn Sullivan. While my friend Goose recommend a very nice hotel in town, I’m sure it didn’t come with a bed in the basement, free laundry, free wifi, free dinner ( chef salad, rice, and fruit salad, all delicious!)
If you look at yesterday ‘s blog and check out the map, you will see I have to climb a steeper hill tomorrow to 4,020 feet. But tomorrow I’m starting at 2,000 ft where today I was pretty much at zero
Thank you to everyone that are leaving messages on my blog. They are very motivating to me. Don’t expect me to respond to them, I’m just too exhausted.
There is picture below of a tunnel I had to cycle thru while climbing the mtn. Since the tunnel isn’t lighted and bikers don’t have headlights, there is a button to push when a cyclists approaches the tunnel which turns on warning lights to tell drivers that there is a cyclist in the tunnel to aim at!
Because no one would see the evidence!