As you can see by the picture (below)of the sign that greeted me and by the picture of the map, these next few days are going to be fun. Also if you look at the map on the right side of my blog you can see where I am and notice all the green stuff I am about to hit. I plan to climb Washington Pass today, the first speed bump! 5,477 feet – I can’t wait for the descent.
I’m going to try to make it to the town of Winthrop because they have two bike stores and I need to buy a back up tire. I discovered a slow leak in my front tire when I was a few miles from my destination on day 1. I was able to pump enough air into it to get me to the destination. I replaced the tube but the new tube would not inflate. I then tried another tube and it wouldn’t inflate. The first thing you do when you have a flat is run your finger on the inside of the wheel and tire to see if there is a foreign object stuck in the tire. Well there was, I had missed it when I first looked. With the help of my host, we pulled out a small piece of glass We put some tape over the hole (on the inside of the tire) but I should have a professional look at it.
I don’t know if I will have cell service going thru the cascades mountains so there might not be updates for a while.
I basically have three options: camping, motels, or Warm Showers. WS is a web site that allows cyclists to find people (usually fellow cyclists) that will allow you to stay on their property for the night. The range of services can vary from allowing you sleep in their barn to welcoming you into their home. Since the Pacific NW has been pretty rainy I have decided not to camp out yet. Also part of the fun is meeting new people so I have avoided motels for the first two nights
Night one I stayed with Alfred Currier, a successful artist who also use to own a bike store. There is a picture below I took in his zen garden with him and his niece. He allows WS guests to stay in the loft over his art studio which also has its own shower and kitchen. Al hosts people almost very other night because Anacortes is the starting point of the Northern Tier and for people going down the west coast. He not only filled me with knowledge about what lay ahead for me, but he also made me a pizza and beer dinner! There is a picture below of how he decorated the trailer he uses to go to art shows
Last night was a crazier night. Rob Klengler states on the WS site that he is the last stop before the next town 80 miles ahead. You pull into his driveway which is off a dirt road that is off another dirt road. I did start to question my decision. But then i arrived at these beautiful gardens and this unique little home and I felt safe. Rob gave me a tour of his complex which include the outhouse, the greenhouse where we had dinner with his partner, and the trailer where I slept. The trailer is in the garage structure that includes a banner of Rob hanging from it! Rob was a computer tech at Xerox where he invented the very successful 200 pages a minute double sided copier in the 80s.
I usually get on the road early, especially considering the ride I have ahead of me today. But last night Rob insisted that it is too cold to ride first thing in the morning and that he traditional makes German pancakes for his WS guests. Rob has biked the Northern Tour and knows how important carbo loading is. And considering there are no stops for the next 80 miles, I will sleep in and eat his pancakes!