Aug 18

Sunday, August 18

by in 2002 RAW

74 miles Post Falls, ID to Usk, WA

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Today we rode to Spokane, then turned north. We traveled through several small communities (Colbert, Elk) until we got to Usk, a thriving metropolis that boasts a building labeled “Usk Mall, Groceries, Laundry, Taxidermy, and Video Rentals”. It was a grand total of 74 miles. We averaged 17.1 even with stopping to hand out cards as we played Tandem Poker.

I invented Tandem Poker to spice up the first day. Eight of the tandem teams carried poker cards (24 packs donated by the local tribal casino). As single riders came upon us they would ask for a card. Once they had 5 cards, they could discard to try to improve their hands. This facilitated riders interacting with each other throughout the ride. We were handing out cards left and right. Through some nefarious trading a couple of guys ended up with 5 aces. But it was a fun time.

We ate lunch in Elk. It was one of a seemingly endless string of one-hole rest areas. Nothing like feeding 200 riders then watching them wait in line for a bathroom. I phoned my Dad to wish him a happy birthday. We dallied quite a while in the hot sun (temperatures in the low 80s), then took off. Whoomp! Right into a huge hill. It was a brutal way to start riding again. We must have gained 1300’ in 5 miles. Eventually, though, we arrived at Usk.

There’s not much to Usk. We camped in a big field by the grange hall. We had a shower truck (shown behind Steve & Denise setting up their tent), a kitchen trailer, and our two gear trucks. I think we substantially outnumbered the locals. The sunset was beautiful.

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