Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 16, 5/24/10 - Moses Lake to Coulee City, WA

Just the Basics: 41 miles, about 1600 feet of climbing. Tomorrow we plan to stay in the little town of Wilbur; we expect to bike along U.S. 2 and possibly some side roads.

Most of the day we were in high shrub-steppe landscapes - either vast irrigated farmlands or sagebrush with basalt outcroppings, both beautiful. The sky was a lovely clear blue with tons of gorgeous white clouds, from tiny snippets to huge banks of alto-cumulus.

We saw: red-wing blackbirds and curlews; balsam root and phlox and sage and daisies and lupine and yarrow and more; cows, horses, and a donkey; wheat and oats and some sort of legumes.

Today's Neat Story: Last night we stayed at the El Rancho Motel in Moses Lake. The manager (owner?) was very nice and had lots of model trains and related paraphernalia in the lobby. A couple we assume were the custodian/landscaper/housekeeping service also lived on site. They were Asian - perhaps Filipino. The man seemed to speak no English but the wife was pretty easy to talk to and we chatted quite a bit in the morning.

They had a big vegetable garden in the back of the motel and were growing garlic and Asian green beans and grapes and other crops - the quantities and the presence of packing boxes suggested they would be for sale, perhaps to local restaurants (Moses Lake has Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants) or in the Farmers' Market.

Just before we left the wife presented us with a bag of dried Fuji apples, telling us they would be better snacks than potato chips! She told us she had spent 12 hours cutting up apples and had a food dehydrator which she used to dry them. They are both beautiful and tasty - see the photo!

For Those Who Want More:

We celebrated our 500th mile this morning, about 13 miles past Moses Lake. We stopped and shared an Almond Joy and had some water and felt very happy! Somewhat to our surprise, our bodies are doing well - no significant complaints and we have been doing some challenging riding for 16 days now.

Tonight we are in a motel with kitchenette, and fixed ourselves a great celebratory dinner: Steak, spinach, boiled red potatoes, fresh cantaloupe and ice cream - and we're splitting a bottle of Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon. YUM!

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