Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 13, June 8, Monday Cusick, Washington, County Fairgrounds

Camped among the pines within smell of neighing horses gathered at the county fair barn here by all the little adolescent girl horse people for a workshop. The parking lot full of dualies and horse trailers and the camping area, likewise, with tents and pop-up campers. The men - fathers, I presume - are pooled up, many nearby listening to continuous music, drinking and telling tall tales audible clearly in our camp over the music. I guess I’m going to have to whip some ass for quiet, but my plan is to first lay low and then send Dave. The mamas help with the horses, erect the tents and inflate the mattresses in a clear differentiation of roles in these western families.

We’re refugees from the cold and rain of Tiger Pass and Beaver Lodge. Left early - too early, in cold - too cold and rode down the mountain screaming around hairpin curves on wet roads while wet - too wet. My hands and feet out in front of a motionless me down mountain, just blocks of ice - no sensation. So cold couldn’t operate brakes. Had to use my mouth to squeeze the brakes. (Don’t try it). Dave’s bike shimmied again, so the mystery thickens.

Had breakfast in the town of Ione on the North Pend Oreille River. A beautiful valley and a big breakfast that I ate with my elbows since my hands useless (Don’t try it). Had seen on the map the name “Ione” and have continued to enjoy memories evoked of the old friend of my mother who introduced her to Dad in 1924?

The ride up valley beautiful to Cusick and this campground, lush green fields, a long full river, cattle ranches, mountains half-sheathed in clouds. Met only two more bicyclists - a couple riding in tandem - the Northern Tier like us - blowing and going. Man in front, possibly Baptist.

We be tortoises so far. Did have a bigger day out of the mountains. Sand Point, Idaho tomorrow.

Pat Sewell

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