Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 19, 5/27/10 - Davenport, WA

Basics Plus: As forecast, it was quite rainy today - we are expecting 1 3/4 inches by morning; we're so glad we planned a layover day in anticipation of the rain!

It's been a busy day and we have a change in plans. Last night Riley finally got the mapping software he's using to give us a detailed look at the route we had planned to Fruitland and on to Kettle Falls, WA and the news was NOT good:
  • From here to Fruitland would be about 35 miles and more than 2000 feet of climbing.

  • We already knew we would then be stuck there through the Memorial Day weekend in a motel with a fridge and a microwave, but with no restaurants or grocery stores within 5 miles and no safe biking due to the holiday. (We had a work-around for food - we had arranged to pay the motel manager here in Davenport to ferry groceries and some of the weight we were carrying up to the motel Friday morning, where the manager there would refrigerate things like milk for us.) However, the climb was worse than anticipated.

  • The NEXT biking day, to Kettle Falls, however, (to have been on 6/1/10) would have been pretty impossible; more than 3200 feet of climbing over about 50 miles and no place to eat or stay along the way. On a map it looks like the road hugs a lake so we had thought it was flat but when Riley was able to get the elevations mapped - not so!
So - we started looking for Plan B. Riley figured out that we could, instead, hook up with the Spokane Centennial Bike Trail (mostly dedicated paved bike trail) and then the Idaho Centennial Trail on to Coeur d' Alene, ID (ditto) - almost all of which we had ridden on our vacation last fall! From Coeur d' Alene we can connect to Adventure Cycling's Northern Tier Bike Route at Sandpoint in a simpler and more direct way than going through Kettle Falls; it will save us 3 biking days!

We got maps of Spokane and ID and visited a local office of the Washington State Department of Transportation for discussion of some possible back-road alternates to busier roads and we're on our way. Having our netbook computer (named Nettie) along makes all this possible!

We will bike to Spokane early tomorrow, using some back roads and the early start to get us into Spokane as early as possible in the day to avoid holiday traffic. We will do a layover day in Spokane due to the holiday and on Sunday bike on bike trails to Coeur d' Alene - no holiday traffic issues. Whew!

For Those Who Want More: Here are some other things we did today when not working on routing and reservations and such:
  • Breakfasted at the town's one B & B - they have a breakfast and lunch cafe. Great oatmeal.

  • Replenished bread, peanut butter and fruit at Safeway.

  • Lunch in the room - PB sandwiches and about half of the cherry tomatoes and baby carrots we have on hand; the rest will be part of tomorrow's roadside picnic lunch.

  • Mailed postcards.

  • Did some reading - more to come.

  • Played Scrabble - see today's picture. Before we left, Riley copied our Scrabble board and carefully trimmed and taped it. We brought the tiles in their bag, which also holds the folded "board." We have a couple of small rolls of multi-use vinyl tape & can tape down the corners when needed; actually, as you can see, on a flat table inside it wasn't necessary but we wanted to see how well it would work.

  • We will probably go out for an early dinner at the nearby Mexican Restaurant and be back in time to watch the News Hour.

  • We're happy with our day!


  1. O.J. doesn't count as a scrabble word! Nice try, Riley. Minus 9 points.

    I was watching the large spinning vortex of rain over north Washington state and thinking of you guys yesterday. Glad you stayed dry. Hang in there. Summer is just coming late to the NW.

  2. Has anyone chastised you yet on the LAMENESS of your Scrabble words? Becky, you come from a family of big brains (its how we little brain people refer to ya'll behind your backs) and Riley is a physicist for goodness sakes!!!

    You need to keep that picture. Sometime during the last week or two of your adventure (I keep several people at work up to date on your exploits!!! (I am sooo envious!!!), you need to post a side by side shot to compare your Scrabble vocabulary at the end of the trip with that at the beginning. AND there better be marked improvement, people!! Multi-syllabic; obscure; words that could be in contention for the winning word on the National Spelling Bee!!!

    Food for thought as you peddle across America.

    Thanks again for the details in the blog and the pictures. Cousin Steve