Jun 18

Cold rain to windy sunshine

by in Week 1

  • Skykomish to Wenatchee
  • 78.3 miles
  •  14.2 mph
  • ascent 4361
  • starting temp 50, pass temp 40, arrival temp 70
breakfastBefore we get to today’s report, we have to mention the food. It has been terrific. One of our great concerns was whether we’d get enough vegan nutrition. So far that hasn’t been a problem. The rest of the crew had lasagne last night, but we had a delightful quinoa dish with beans and sweet potatoes. Plenty of protein there! And salad bars every night. Breakfasts have always included oatmeal with raisins and soy milk. Today’s picnic lunch even had a hot veggie pasta dish. We hope it continues.

Stevens Pass-ElevationOur ride today was set to take us over Stevens Pass, 4,061′. The rain was relentless. We were soaked through in 5 miles with 11 to go to the summit. We kept a good attitude. This too will change. We stopped at Deception Falls and were awed by the power of water. We have a movie of it (see bottom of page). We helped another tandem recover from a flat tire. We just kept churning until we finally reached the top.

Wenatche River from stoker's seatWe flew down the backside of the pass and were delighted to find the rain stop and the temperature rise steadily. The sun came out. The birds sang. The clouds parted. If only our clothes were dry, it would have been perfect. As it was, our sodden gloves wouldn’t allow our hands to warm. We began stripping off wet stuff and immediately began to warm up.

Alex and William from UKIn no time were we at the lunch stop in Tumwater Canyon for the great food. We ran into our family from England again, gazing peacefully at the serene Wenatchee River. As soon as we left the lunch spot and headed downhill, the river did the same and then it turned wild! There must have been five miles of solid whitewater. It was incredible.

When we got to Leavenworth, we took a detour to visit  my old teaching partner, Ellen Gass and her 3 boys, Vincent, Cole and Shane. We spent a lovely half hour catching up, then returned to the trip at hand.

Ellen and SpencerFor the next 20 miles we played hopscotch with Robin, William and Alex. They’d pass us on a hill, then we’d pass the boys who had stopped and were waiting for dad. Then they’d pass us again. With four miles to go, they were coming up to catch us one more time. I saw a short hill ahead and decided they weren’t going to pass us on that hill. We put maximum effort into the hill and got a gap on them. Sheila was getting faint of heart, but we crested it ahead of them and then, praise the lord, we immediately got a downhill and stayed ahead of them all the way to Wenatchee. What fun!

Ellen's kidsAs soon as we were all settled in our school, I realized I was missing a piece of one of my hearing aids. Sheila lept into action, found a hearing aid dispenser within 10 blocks of our school. I called and they miraculously sold the same aid as I have and would stay open late to let me get there. Horan and Fevold Hearing Clinic saved my life. Thanks a lot guys!

Now we’ve got to get to bed. More than 100 miles tomorrow with the toughest climb in the whole trip, 5 miles with a chunk of 12% grade. Good night!

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4 Responses to “Cold rain to windy sunshine”

  1. From Margaret Kitchell:

    Sheila and Spencer,
    I can’t believe you are as far so quickly! Good luck on the climb tomorrow. I hope you get more clear weather. It is fun to read your blog.

    Posted on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm #
  2. From Gracie:

    s2!
    I’m so glad to hear that the nutrition is not going to be a problem, it’s important to have good fuel. The photo of breakfast looks great. Speaking of which the clarity of the pictures is outstanding on my monitor, the shot of the Wenatchee River made me feel like I was there. Very cool.
    Glad that you are still fresh for the toughest climb in the trip, go get it!
    xo

    Posted on Jun 19, 2012 at 3:58 am #
  3. From Wendy Townsend:

    Amazing adventure you are on!!!! The gods are with you to locate a replacement for your hearing aid…have a good trip today! Awesome!

    Posted on Jun 19, 2012 at 5:53 am #
  4. From Sheila Bender:

    Hi Spencer and Sheila,
    I was wondering about the weather. It’s been so cool and damp here. Glad you rode to the sun! SB

    Posted on Jun 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm #