Monday 24 June 2013
Forty eight degrees is really cold climbing out from a toasty down sleeping bag. But a steaming hot cup of coffee (note the stove) and homemade cinnamon rolls warmed us and got us rolling out of the door by 7:00. A shout out to our campmates, great to talk to you last night; sorry we didn’t get a photo of you.
Within 45 minutes we dismounted to let the Duckies rest and strip off jackets; even in the 50 degree temps, the sweat was rolling. The morning was beautiful, though the air was cool, the rain that had been promised for all day was still in sunshine form.
Clouds started gathering and a little more than two hours into our ride the sunshine was gone, but waterfalls and beauty still abound. We knew our climb today was going to be tough (started at the pen), but had no idea how much the lack of training on hills with 60+ pounds loaded on the bike would effect us…..ALOT, apparently. Four hours into our ride, we were still trying to reach our fist peak, having only gone about 20 miles. Thankfully, Terry (running a sag wagon for some bikers)flagged us down and offered us water and homemade cookies, he was a lifesaver. Having done this ride, as well as cross country trips before, he assured us the worst was behind us. An hour later and still climbing, we had our doubts. We did not reach our first summit (4855 feet) until after one o’clock. True to it’s name, it was starting to drizzle. We then dropped 2500 feet only to have to re-climb that plus a thousand to reach our next pass. The second climb was slow, painful and it was now raining. Our legs were screaming and on the verge of cramping; Terry’s bottle of water was the last we had and that was a couple of hours earlier.
Dreams of our joyous fly down were dampened by the icy cold rain that was now pelting us. We tested our brakes as we rode down, making sure they would still work in the wet conditions. Had to stop a few times, just to thaw the hands to keep them working on the brakes. It took us over an hour to ride the 20 miles downhill. Though the air was now dry and 70, my hands and feet were like rocks of ice. As we stood at the crossroads, trying to decide whether to stay at the little town in front of us or continue to Winthrop to catch up with Terry and his gang, we were rescued by Sam and Katie. Every once in a while, someone special happens to us on a ride; Same and Katie were that someone! They offered us their cabin for the night, as they were heading back to Seattle, but not without first showing us to the most incredible community hot tub; perfect for our cold and aching bodies. Sam, Katie and company are delightful and we were sorry they had to head home as we would have enjoyed spending more time with them. Though, after over seven hours in the saddle doing 52 miles, we were really not much company.