Day 36: A rest day and a short break from touring

The Detar family were really awesome. Will was the one who toured across america, but his mum was amazing and had toured Washington with him! The rest of the family were all in multiple sports and were hugely enthusiastic about my journey too.

We talked a long while, asking about each others travels and telling stories. They lived in a beautiful house which had a real rustic feel and I was provided with a really comfy bed to sleep on. Ah nothing better.

Cynthia, was a great cook too and made a lot of vegetable and fruit salads that I dug in, heh. It was a nice relaxing day for sure and I felt pretty well rested after the long section of 8 or so days.

I was hoping to ride across East WA or OR and try to get to my brother’s place near Portland, but he decided instead to drive up and give me a ride back to his place. It was a long and hot drive I reckon of 400+ miles (about 6-7 hrs) and he wanted to head back home.

Cynthia and Tom offered for us to stay the night, but given that aish had a few engagements thro the day , we decided to ride back part way in the evening. Fitting the big bike in the boot was a bit of a work, but we managed it and headed out.

We ended up staying after a 3 hr ride in a motel. The place was basic and at 60$ pretty steep for me these days. Still a nice comfy place to sleep is necessary so we can be well rested for the rest of the drive tomorrow.

We got back to familiar grounds in the day and I felt immediately at home with the neighbourhood I have seen evolve in the past decade or so. Glad to be home. The next few weeks are going to be one of binge eating and doing day trips on the bike and foot.

There won’t be much updates on the blog till I start my tour again. May be 3 to 5 weeks I reckon. But do keep an eye out as I might just write about the day trips I end up taking…

So long…

Route: Post Falls
Distance: 0 Km
Time in saddle: hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 0
Comments: A lovely host family!

Day 35: Finally a Rainy day ride

Urban Stealth Camping is only for the brave hearted. I suppose I should have scouted for a church slightly out of town, but the idea of having the public toilets at the park and the stores to get b’fast from was a bit too compelling for me to stay at this one in the middle of town. I tried to hideaway in a small patch behind the building, but even then the noise of arguing neighbours and an occasional jogger passing my my tent was a bit weird.

The noise died down when it got dark, but then later in the night the storm showed up. It pelted rain for a bit and kept me up from 3 AM. I snoozed for a while and had to be up just after 6 AM anyway. I packed all my gear while still inside the tent and packed up my wet tent in the mild drizzle. As luck would have it, the public restrooms were locked in the morning and I had to walk into the Cafe for some b’fast and more importantly to wash up.

Spirit lake felt like a retirement community (apart from being some tourist spot due to a theme park a few miles down the road). As I was having b’fast, a few of the town oldies were chatting and were having a blast of a time making fun of each other. I was sitting by and was chuckling all the time. They were hilarious with their jibes and snide remarks. Was much fun. The b’fast was wonderful too. I can never complain about free flow of coffee for 2$.

The drizzle didn’t seem to quieten and I figured I might as well ride into the next town (with a warm showers host, Yay!) which was just about 20 miles away. Its not usual that I start a ride in the rain, but it was really mild and not cold either. The road was mostly flat and downhill too and I rode as slowly as I could to enjoy the cool morning breeze.

There was a ride to Farragut State park and though I thought of going there, I decided against the 30 mile detour and rode on. I saw a turnoff to twin lakes and figured I would ride up and check it out. It was a nice quiet road with tons of private homes all along. Seems like, as opposed to Canada, people in the USA have claimed so much more of the land as private space. It is always strange to me when I see signs all over the place which say “KEEP OUT”, “PRIVATE PROPERTY”, “NO TRESPASSING”, “POSTED NOTICE BY OWNER” etc Even in remote areas. I suppose its a cultural thing.

IN addition I have noticed in the past few days that there is a “For Sale” sign in pretty much every neighbourhood I am in. This was also true in BC. Makes me wonder if these are new lands being offered for sale or if people are hard up for cash around these parts. May be a combination of both. I have seen more ads by realtors in the past couple of weeks than I have seen in years in the past.

Anyhow, I reached the twin lakes and it was a lazy little suburb and I waled down to the dock. Not a great day for photos, but still I hung out watching the ducks roam around. A couple of cops showed up, they were on a parol of the lakes I reckon. We chatted a bit and then they had to head off to Spirit lake. I rode on and once I hit the next town, the scene turned to more classic Americana. Lots of flat farm lands and frequent sightings of strip malls with food chains, barns and farm stores. The road wasn’t too bad and I rode up into Post Falls after taking a detour thro a crazy fast and noisy I90. I should remember to bypass freeways but I suppose I need better maps.

I headed to the library for some Internet so I could contact Will, my Host. The library internet was patchy to say the least and after trying for an hour I gave up and waled up to the cake shop nearby hoping they would have internet. They didn’t have wifi, but I did have an awesome cupcake! I rode up to a cafe and mooched on their connection for a bagel, heh. I don’t mind feeding myself on the pretext of going online!

Will responded immediately and I ended up riding at noon to his place. His parent’s home where I am staying was beautiful and very old school. with a huge ranch up front and a very comfortable place to sleep. I can’t ask for more. Had a nice shower and did my laundry. I think my first machine wash since Kamloops, about 3 weeks ago, ahem. Just spent the day relaxing and reading and watching some shows on my PC.

Tomorrow will be a well earned rest day. I should take more of these…

Route: Spirit lake To Post Falls
Distance: 46 Km
Time in saddle: hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 28.13
Comments: Beautiful home to rest for the night!

Day 34: Riding is a grind when there are no rest days

I slept very well. Second day in a bed! I am getting used to the luxury I reckon :-) Devin and Family were really nice and have hosted a bunch of people. They had a guestbook and I had to draw my alter ego “dumb-fuck” on it, heh. I thought it was a good idea with guestbooks. Makes the visits a bit more personal I reckon. The kids were pretty cute and gave me a tour around their garden and the chicken coop before I left.

I rode into town and checked out the ‘city beach’ which was kind of like being in Tanjung Beach in Sentosa. I tried to get some maps with detailed roads at the visitor centre, but they didn’t have any. So I guess today I had to go on memory.

The town was cute and I stopped off at a fancy cafe for a second b’fast and picked a muffin for the road. It was a bit tricky to find my way out of town and a cyclint road along with me and showed me the nice cycle path along the main bridge.

At the end of the bridge, I planned to avoid 95 by taking a secnic route. And at the junction I met a girl from New York who was riding the Serikit Loop (part of which I am riding too). We chatted and then I got on to the quieter road. It was a pleasant ride and I just kept to a really slow pace today. It’s been 8 days since I have had a rest day at lake Louise and my legs feel a little like Jello. A small hill felt like I was going up duffy lake road again. Anyway, I was planning a short 60 km day and it was going to be alright to be slow.

A couple from San Diego on road bikes overtook me at some point and we rode together chatting for a while. They were cool and gave me their contact so I could get in touch when I am in SD! Sweet. Later on I met another couple from New Hanpshire, also doing the Serekit loop. After that the route was quiet and I just made my way slowly and steadily towards Spirit Lake. I had to enquire my way a couple of times, but the route was straightforward.

At about 2 PM I was bonking out, and I realized that I hadn’t eaten in a while so I stopped at a private drive and ate my muffin. Ah, the bit of sugar and carbs boost the energy levels so much. i rested for a bit and rode down the last 10 km into tow. As it would be, I had a bit of a hill climb to get into town.

I wanted to see if I could camp and walked into the Police station. They pointed to a paid campsite along the lake. It was quite a descent into the lake, but I was fine as I’d have to climb it in the morning on fresh legs. It was a bummer that the campsite was 30$ per night. Ouch! Feels like I am back in BC. I explained to the nice lady that I cannot afford that and she was really kind and tried calling the neighbor camping places, but none of them allowed tenting (only RV’s). DUh.

So I rode up the hill again and decided to check if the Church would allow me to camp. The Baptist Church had the pastor in and he was kind enough to let me camp by the side of the Church! Awesome. I headed to the Library to work on the blog and back to the church for the night. Wasn’t it Jesus who said, “Ask, and you shall Receive”. I really is true :-)

Route: Sandpoint to Spirit lake
Distance: 65 Km
Time in saddle: hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 15.63
Comments: Legs feel a little like Jello

Day 33: Offroading in Idaho

I was planning to start early (though I was planning a small 50 km day to Sandpoint). but the cozy room and the comfy bed kept me sleeping till 6 AM and when I dozed for a bit it skipped to 8!

Mary was up already and as I had b’fast we started chatting on a variety of topics and it was so much fun discussing things that I didm’t know time passing. By the time we stopped talking, it was Noon! It was such a random encounter that we met and then we realise there are so many issues we could agree on and discuss and talk about. I guess I am glad to have met her, not to mention she was a genuinely sweet person. It’s been one of the pleasures of the way I travel I reckon.

It was time to say goodbyes and I hit the road. The radio mentioned a 20% chance of thunderstorms and as we chatted in the morning, there were gusts and some showers. It was clearing up by the time I started and I rode out after noon, but the weather was perfect to ride.

I took the side road (Deep Creek Loop) which helped to bypass a major chunk of I95. As I passed Don & Laurie’s home I was tempted to pop by and bid farewell… But a long train passed thro and I decided to skip and ride on.

The road was fantastic without much traffic and went thro mostly farmlands, which was so much better than being on the shoulder less 95. Eventually It had to end and I joined the 95 and the bit of precarious riding on 1 foot shoulder began. I rode on and would have to freeze everytime a truck would pass. After a while I was white knuckled and just as it would happened, I spotted the Elmira’s cafe. I was informed by Mary that they have some goo milkshakes and though the weather was cool, I decided to stop for one. Anytime is Milkshake time :-)

I had a Huckleberry shake and I should say it was fantastic indeed. The girl at the counter was curious about my ride and after a bt of chat, she opined me to some back roads I could take to get to Sandpoint. The first bit was a bit confusing and she couldn’t explain the route other than saying, watch for tire tracks and follow them as much as you can… With a caveat that there are Moose’s on the loose and the road is sandy. Hmmm.

Well that sounded better than 95 in my books and I decided to take it. It was interesting and a much better route for sure. It was beautiful for starters and as she had pointed out, very confusing. there were many 3 road junctions and no road names marked and tire treads going all around. And it was sandy. heh. She wasn’t kidding. I took a few wrong turns and was pretty deep in the country. Without a GPS and a decent map, I was pretty much winging it. It was super cloudy too and I couldn’t make out Easy from South. heh.

Well after backtracking a few roads and hitting up some private drives, I managed to find my way out. It was fun and given I had a lot of time, it was a nice bit of offloading. Chris would have approved I reckon.

The ride from there was pretty straightforward and when I got into town I hunted for Wifi to check for any camping spots. Luckily, a warm shower’s host I had contacted had responded and invited me to their place. Awesome. The town was pretty with lots of truck food (yummy cheap bites for tomorrow!) and I made my way down to their home.

Davin, Franci and their kids were a nice family and they made some dinner to eat too. I couldn’t eat the very appetising chic hen casserole, but dug into some rice and salsa and a pile of watermelon! yummy!

There was a storm warning for the evening and It did show up on schedule. Pretty strong gusts of wind followed by lightning and rain. I am pretty glad I am in a nice warm home

Route: Bonners Ferry to Sandpoint
Distance: 63 Km
Time in saddle: hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 8.75
Comments: Beautiful day of riding indeed!

Day 32: There are so many good people in the world

What I missed out yesterday was that after I got to the campground, I found a nice spot, near the camp host and dozed for a while as I read a book. I needed a shower badly I reckon and went up to the lake and swam in it. Not something I usually do, but I guess the water was warm, day was hot and I was grungy.

There were a few more families camped out there and I chatted with one group fishing in the lake. The parents were 60+ and had done a bike tour of the West Coast a while back. Always nice to find other people who have toured. As I set up camp and walked around, another Family, Jordan, JaNeal and their 3 children chatted me up for a bit. Later they invited me to join them for a while at their camp site. They were preparing dinner and offered me some. Fresh potatoes, carrots and beans from their gated. I was happy to accept the invite and helped about a bit chopping the veggies. It was going to be a roast and Jordan threw the lot into the fire. We chatted a while as it cooked and when they realised I was riding thro Spokane, they asked me to pop by their place as they live there.

Pretty awesome! Imagine a complete stranger inviting another at a camp site to come to their house. I think this random acts of kindness will never cease to amaze me. They were super nice and invited me for bfast too. I was planning an early morning ride and wished them farewell and (though hoped I would sleep in and bump into them again). As it turned out, I was up at 5:30 (Dang the jet lag :-p ). I made a b’fast and was out of the campsite at 7 AM. Before anyone else was even up! Well I will be seeing them in a few days again!

I had to back track a few k’s before the turnoff to the Moyie River Road showed up. It was a big relief to be away from the highway for sure and the quiet road meandered along the railway track. Which meant not many steep climbs! I met the cafe owner along the way and waved good byes. The weather was pleasant in the morning and the quiet roads and the beautiful scenery made for a good ride.

I got up to Meadow Creek Campground (where there was a fork in the road) and I was not sure which route I should be taking, I stopped a car along the road to enquire. The guy was a photographer who has hiked numerous of the trails along the way and and a bunch of Bear stories to relate. Turned out I was standing on the road for an hour chatting with him. My legs hurt when I got on the bike again.

The Road gently climbed up to a lake and after that was a sweet descent with no traffic and wide turns and I just blazed my way downhill. Eventually, the nice road had to end and I was thrown at a highway close to Bonners Ferry. I rode into town and got into the visitor’s centre for some maps. There were a few I could use, but the internet wasn’t working and I had to move on. I was peckish and walked into a lunch spot for doe burger and fries. They were small as american sizes go and it was a bummer that they didn’t have internet either,

I was planning to head to Sandpoint by the day, but it was getting hotter and I figured I’d hide out in the Library till the heat eases up. While at the library, I made alternate plans for travel and figured I do not need to be in Sandpoint today and it would be nicer to get there tomorrow instead. I was informed by a person on warm showers that I could camp out in the fairgrounds for free. I wanted to find out more about it and was enquiring with the librarian when a lady, Mary, out of the blue offered me her guest room to stay in! Again!

She gave me her address and directions and I made my way up there in a while. Mary was such a sweet person and just opened her doors to me and let me hang out. She was headed to tend her community garden and I offered some help. We watered some plants and tried to figure out some storage solutions, I suppose we made some ideas and a fixture, better than nothing I suppose.

Later in the evening, she wanted to make some roasted vegetables and as we were chatting while chopping the veggies, her friend, Lorie, invited us to a dinner at her place. Hmmm. Again, again!!

We drove down to Don and Lorie’s place and I was amazed to find a huge spread of food on the table. They had their daughter vista with her friend and she had decided to make a big meal. It was amazing! More than the dinner, the company of Don and Laurie was so much more fun. They each have had different careers and Don recently has been out in the mountains setting up bear bait to get population stats of grizzlies. We spent the evening looking at some of the cool pictures from the motion sensitive camera and there were some surprising outtakes, heh. Hilarious.

I had much fun chatting with them and we reached home later and I had a nice cozy bed to sleep in. Such an enjoyable day with so many amazing encounters.

Route: Robinson Lake Campground to Bonners Ferry
Distance: 50 Km
Time in saddle: hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 13.75
Comments: Day got really hot after lunch.