- Spokane to Kellogg
- 96 miles
- 1592′ elevation gain
- mid to high 80s
Today was billed as an easier day. And it was, except for the fact that we still rode nearly 100 miles and much of it was into headwinds again. But the scenery and wildlife were gorgeous so you just had to appreciate what you had. And we DID!
While the accommodations at Gonzaga were A-1, the food was really pathetic. We got no protein at all from the central dining hall. They did have peanut butter. But it was not up to the standards we’d come to expect. Lots of carbs, lots of calories, little nutrition. Oh well. Mama said there’d be days like this.
Our ride to Kellogg was largely on bike trails. We had a short stretch of city streets getting out of Spokane, then small backroads that surprisingly turned into US 95, a divided 4 lane highway. after 3 miles that dwindled to backroad status, then we took even smaller roads to Lake Coeur d’Alene. Today was the day we crossed from Washington state to Idaho.
We discovered early on that our butts still are complaining by 10 AM. It’s getting harder and harder to stay on the saddle. The only things we can do are take standing breaks, stop and take longer standing breaks, or just try to enjoy the countryside. We got to stop and help Jim and Fran again today. They needed a tandem-specific tool that I happen to carry with me. He was stunned and pleased. I was happy to be of service. We took off quickly because it was time to get to the lake, the most beautiful portion of the ride.
The Coeur d’Alene Trail is another Rail-to-Trail creation that was built when mining trains ran up and down this valley. It is absolutely level from the lake to Kellogg. I think we only gained about 50′ in 50 miles. And along the way we saw a great marshy valley. Sheila made the first sighting, a turtle sunning itself on a log.
On two occasions we watched moose contentedly munching alongside the trail. We saw deer. We saw large heron-like birds. They might even have been herons though Sheila is sure they were egrets. We saw osprey roosting feet from the trail. While taking one of our many butt-breaks, we looked out over the water and saw a skinny critter swimming along. At first we thought: “snake?” but then decided it was a muskrat. It is humbling to be in the presence of so much wildlife.
We were far more tired than the day before. Frequently one of us would stand to take some pressure off our bums while continuing to move forward. I found myself checking the odometer often, a sure sign of suffering. I’ve learned that looking at the odometer doesn’t get you anywhere faster. We had been so proud to have gotten ourselves to an average speed of over 15 mph. But the headwinds and the tail pains made that drop. Oh well. It’s not a race. We took our breaks. We enjoyed our breaks. We stretched a good bit. And tonight at dinner a fellow who rode this 2 years ago assured us that our rears would be toughened and ready to go sometime soon. We can’t wait.