Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 11, June 6

O’Brien Creek over Sherman Pass to Kettle Falls, Washington. First eight miles, that pesky six percent grade - then the top. Stayed in my low gear - needed a lower one but not available - an 18 “gear inch” meaning each turn of the crank took me that far, that’s 26,160 turns to cover the eight miles. It was turn or roll backward. The temperature came up as fast as the sun and we got a good cooking, along with a humbling by incline. Only a hard won and new knowledge of the universe of the possible (think rat in the toilet bowl) got me to the top where ecstasy was to be had for having just survived.

There followed a rushing roller coaster Flight of the Phoenix down to Kettle Falls, Washington, and a beautiful camp on the banks of the Columbia River. There, under Ponderosa pines we pondered our path till now and played in the cold waters hoping they would restore us. We had neighbors in this camp that brought us fresh fruit and wondered about our judgment. A couple from Minnesota - from near our projected route. “Why would you go there - that’s where we left from to be here,” - a case of grass is greener untreated.

Our daily mileage has been lower than expected as reality has been higher and harder than expected. Mountains do not move except for the eons, not for us peons. They loom, we struggle across this land, we muddle.

Dave had a second serious bike crisis incident yesterday which has served to confirm my better choice of bike. Coming down at 36 MPH his bike went into a shimmy. We have both had this happen on previous bikes and a scary thing it is. Somehow, because of harmonics at his speed, the bike did its best to throw him and became almost uncontrollable - with railings on one side and traffic on the other, it was a threatening situation. He joked, “I saw the face of God.” My “mule” bike is looking better. His thoroughbred has weak ankles.

Pat Sewell

No comments:

Post a Comment