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Coast to coast by recumbent bicycle

Dayton WA to Lewiston ID

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Alpowa Summit

Expenses($ US)

Today started out much like yesterday. Indiscriminate winds early, headwinds later. Despite the long climb to the Alpowa Summit (2785 feet) I am still not in the mountains. The terrain is rugged, but Highway 12 runs between the hills. A long climb before the summit running for miles. At least one mile in the lowest gear. The view from the summit was unexpected. Everything looks flat as a tabletop. This is not a mountainous area but a plain that has been cut by the rivers and streams. Endless fields of wheat. The east side of the summit dropped rapidly back down to about 700 feet. Nearly the same altitude I started at this morning. I was able to coast at 35 mph for five or six miles through an ever-deepening valley. There is a noticeable headwind blowing up at me. I could probably hit 50 if it wasn't there. After the initial really steep part, the grade is just steep but I have to start pedaling to combat the wind. Today's the kind of day when I could use a faring (aerodynamic shield). The highway bottoms out at the Snake River and runs level for the last 5 to 10 miles. The snake must be dammed. It looks more like a lake.


Hit the last town in Washington, Clarkston, and crossed over the Snake River to its sister city, Lewiston. (Lewiston and Clarkston, get it?) Stayed in a very nice four-story motel. Got a room on the third floor so I had to pack the bike and trailer into the elevator. At 70 miles it seems like a very short day, but the next town with lodging is nearly 40 miles away. Couldn't get a picture of the border between the states. It was just too complicated.

Miscellaneous stuff: Every coffee shop, convenience store, and gas station advertises "espresso" but I haven't seen anybody drinking anything but scalding hot, weak, plain coffee. Starting to hear western accents. Met another cross-country cyclist. He was traveling from New York State to Los Angeles and camping along the way. I saw a group near the coast, a lone cyclist on the interstate, the retired guy with the home made trailer, and now this guy. Where are the rest of them hiding? I get a lot of encouragement from passing motorist. Most of them give me plenty of room. The ones that refuse are usually old. It's as if they are afraid to deviate from their lane even the slightest.

Last word: I've been watching The Nashville Network from time to time. Plenty of monster truck rallies and rodeos. Hot damn, "Swamp Buggy Contenders" is on.

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