Friday, August 1, 2014

Day 42: Gee Brief Ahhhh Washington....beautiful bike paths, trees and....WHEAT??? huhh...wwwWHHATT????

August 1
Spokane (which is spoken, "spoh-CAN") WA to Ritzville, WA

Yee Haa!
I bought it, but she ROCKS it.
Broke the 3,000 mile mark today!!!! YEEEE - HAAAA!!! Of course, when you say things like "Yee Haa" you really should be wearing a hat like the one I got this morning at a a local Spokane gas station. However, there are those who wear hats, and there are those who....well to quote Will Smith in the first Men In Black, "...make this look GOOD." Ok, fine, so I'm driving the Honda Civic when we get home, and she gets to keep the hat. Ya,'s all still good.

So, I after saying goodbye to my cowgirl, I headed down the lovely downtown Spokane bike trail (Centennial Trail) until I left town. Read the captions below to follow the story.
I traveled over one cool bridge...
....then over another one.... just kept getting better & better....

...then I found myself in downtown Spokane, in the middle of.... amazing iron rendering of.... annual running event... 

...called Bloomsday. It is said to be the largest timed foot race in the nation. I don't know that for a fact, but I DO know that this sculpture, of that event is one of the COOLEST sculptures I've ever seen. I don't even know if "sculpture" is the right word for it. It's more like an artistic "happening". All of a sudden, you're in the middle of this iron happening that seems lighter than air. To be honest, I'm not even sure the runners are made of iron. I just know that for a moment, I was within a truly different world that was amazing, uplifting, and in the top ten memorable sights I've experienced on this trip.

I then left the town of Spokane completely and found myself on yet another awesome bike trail.

The past three days have found me on just amazing trails starting at Wallace, Montana and ending at Cheney, Washington. The two pics below show more of the the trail that leads to Cheney. If the entire US was connected by these trails, I truly think that EVERY problem any of us EVER had WOULD be solved.

Before I reached Cheney I came across a very friendly and helpful group from the Hobnailers hiking club. Actually, they are a rogue, "Rebel Without A Cause" spinoff of the Hobnailers, since, as you can see, they are NOT really hiking. They are riding there trail "hogs". They informed me that they had left their leather jackets at home, but that they were a tough bunch and not to be messed with. Nonetheless they were a delightful group that represented Washington hospitality to the hilt. It was really pleasant talking with them and one of the highlights of my day. Cheers ladies! Happy cycling!!
Once I reached Cheney, I had one of the best sandwiches I've ever had at the establishment you see pictured below. 
I didn't get a picture of the staff that served me the awesome sandwich, but they were very helpful in helping me decide the route for the rest of my trip. Thanks for the advice guys! (and the great sandwich!)

After leaving Cheney, the nice trail part of the bicycle route was pretty much done. I was back on secondary roads which were OK but much longer than the interstate. So I hopped on I-90 to finish the rest of my day's trip. The wind was at my back and I made truly AMAZING time. In addition, the bulk of the journey was downhill.  I decided to call it an early day, since I'd already logged about 75 miles. J and I had pre-arranged a meeting in Ritzville, so that's where we ended up staying for the night.

But before I got to Ritzville, (I'm so glad I don't have to type "Coeur D'Alene" anymore), I encountered what looked like a mirage......I saw.....this......(look at pic below)

I couldn't believe my eyes.....was it  WHEAT?????  Where the heck were the mountains????
Where were the hills???????

Had I returned to the mid-west????  This picture was on the wall of the diner we ate at in Ritzville....

.....and this one too!!....

....and THIS one!!!
Their porch  looked like a Cracker Barrel....
I asked the waitress if she was aware that this was supposed to be WASHINGTON, not IOWA, or Illinois or Montana! I asked
 her where the Washington mountains were. She smiled, took it in stride and said, "They're over toward the north and west."

That still doesn't work for me.  My image of Washington is now confused with Illinois. (See Video)

To make matters worse, they seem to have the Montana/Wyoming super-polite thing going on. Compare the sign below with you're
typical, "Don't Park here or we will TOW YOU" type signs you would find back east.  OMG I'm saying things like  "BACK EAST" where am I? WHO am I!!!

The wheat fields of Illinois, mixed with the super politeness of Montana and Wyoming.  Where AM I???
Another catchy painting on the wall of the diner in Washington....or was it Illinois, ...or was it....the amazing U. S. of A.!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Jen, you look much better in your hat than G looks in his, but, I believe that the BEST picture of your trek so far is the one taken of you at the gas station somewhere near Lovell, WY. That ones a classic.
    G - just as the runners in the "artistic happening" depicted above, you can truly consider yourself as the "IronMan from Terryville.
    Congratulations on hitting the west coast!