Breakfast in Usk after a fog-delayed start. Oatmeal and raisins for me - Dave, an omelet with a pound of hash browns - always a pound or more. “Why”? we ask. “This is potato country - and logging country and men need a lot to eat, but they are not working now. The mills are closing. People are getting laid off. There’s no work. Homes are getting foreclosed on.” Everybody chiming in now - a couple at the next table - the waitress. “It’s the system. Inflation will be worse than Germany when it took a wheelbarrow of money to buy a meal. We need to go back to the Gold Standard. Prices have got to come down. The cattle are not worth anything, yet steaks are still high - don’t make sense.“ Social unrest in this river city for breakfast. Nice, friendly highly pessimistic people who see the fabric of this area fraying rapidly.
Everybody has their opinion as to the cause. I have noticed to this point the impossibility of finding a major news source in print as we have passed though these small towns. Today in Newport and Old Town - two days ago in Kettle Falls - no New York Times, Wall Street Journal or major news magazine. “We tried to carry them - nobody buys them,” the clerk at Safeway said today. Found a USA Today finally but not a full meal. Saw Tiger won “The Memorial” tournament. Mother would have been disappointed for Phil Michelson.
Rode 40 - 45 miles through North Pend Oreille Valley. Beautiful. Looks like the Rhine with low mountains crowding shore - without the castles. We’ve been told that the “Californians are buying up the place” and that “they’ve about run off the Ku Klux and Survivalists.”
We had rain off and on and continuous cold. Froze last night in this area. Currently 40 degrees, sun setting with light streaming through the thick stand of pines we’ve camped in. Hot showers - free with the four dollar camp fee.
Came here from Old Town on Old Priest Road. Saw no old priests or young boys. Did see one POW MIA flag flying with an American flag beside it, pit bull in the yard, an old camper on blocks and a “wood for sale” sign at the drive entrance - maybe the last survivalist.
Noticed a possible training effect. On big long hills my doubt is gone
that I can make it, the burn as well. It’s becoming just a time issue. Finished today thinking I could have gone further.
Repairs tomorrow for Dave’s bike shimmy, we hope, in Sandpoint. Our first state is behind us now. Idaho only 60 miles wide.