Aug 23

Friday, August 23

by in 2002 RAW

57 miles: Coulee Dam to Soap Lake

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We got a treat to start the day. We were allowed to ride over the top of the dam, after removing all backpacks or panniers that might be carrying explosives. The view was outstanding. Leaving Grand Coulee we happened upon Gehrke Windmill Garden. The morning flew by as we raced along the shores of Banks Lake, the main irrigation reservoir above the big dam.

Our favorite moment was on a long downhill when we were doing 41 mph and going by those fast single bikes. We slowly were overtaking one particularly speedy fellow, so I told Sheila, “Let’s hit it!” We started pedaling and boosted ourselves up to 46 and blew past him. We love all the extra gears on our new daVinci, “Clio” and the power she gives us for those extra bursts.

We lunched at Dry Falls, then cruised into Soap Lake by noon. Again, we were feeling strong, since it was mostly flat, early in the day, and a short ride, to boot. So we took the last 18 miles in 56 minutes. We were happy campers when we arrived at Soap Lake. Even more so because we decided not to be campers. We rented a motel room for the night, complete with kitchen and air conditioning. A trip to the local store got us dinner fixings. Then we just laid back and read in the cool comfort of a real bed. After 6 nights on the ground, it was bliss.

The next day, we joined our fellow riders for a 3 hour bus ride home and our adventure was over. We’d traveled 425 miles at an average pace of 16.2 miles per hour. We had a tremendously fun time. Our new goal is to do this type of ride in every state in the nation. Watch out, USA, here we come! The photo below is all the tandems on this week’s tour.

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