6/25/17 Ride C2C Day 8 Republic to Kettle Falls

Jun 26, 2017

6/25/17 Day 8. Republic to Kettle Falls
Miles: 53. Total Miles: 422.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 3360 ft.
A treat for breakfast, earliest start yet, “Grade Steepens” = 18 mile climb, longest coast EVER, campspot with a million dollar view.

We woke at 5 am to get an early start - it was too darn hot yesterday and the forecast was for the 90’s again today. Had a bowl of cereal (a missed treat!) and lousy coffee in the hotel coffee maker. Our home brew is WAAAAY better. On the bikes for a chilly morning mountain start at 6:33am.

We started off on a paved bike/horse/ORV path for the first 2 or 3 miles - so peaceful. We were the only ones on it - riding through a high dry pine forest. Then the climb began. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to do this again after yesterday (I got way too hot), but with our early start, the climb was good. The first 9 miles were a gentle climb, and then we came to the sign “Grade Steepens”. It was true.

For the next 9 miles we were in our granny gear, pedaling 65-73 RPM, going 5 - 8 mph and chugging our way up to Sherman Pass. We took rest stops to rest and eat along the way - very beautiful views of high pine forests. We had a lot more shade than yesterday which made it much better. We were happy to be here on a Sunday - the traffic was super light. No logging trucks today or yesterday, thank goodness.

We summited Sherman Pass at 10am - then it was THE LONGEST COAST EVER - 11.5 miles without pedaling!

We stopped at the Crowden CCC park for lunch (more canned chicken, this time on a tortilla) and filtered some water out of the river.  They had a cool display of the plans for the park that never came to fruition. The dam that was built to create Lake Crowden was removed in 2006 because sediments from the highway projects had made the lake boggy.  The area was returned to it's "natural" state.  It was serene and beautiful.  There was a good history of the CCC and how important this work was for getting America back on its feet during and after the Great Depression.

We had another 10 miles of downish grade (but we had to pedal) until we could see Lake Roosevelt.

Our campsite sits above the lake shore with a 180 degree view of the lake. We had to pedal in to Kettle Falls (3 miles away, uphill) to get food for lunch, dinner, and breakfast. It was SO hot that we each drank 2 Rockstar Lemonades (has electrolytes!) before we made our return trip to the campground. KettleFalls was disappointing - we had hoped for more services, pretty much the only thing open was the grocery store.

Back at camp, the first thing we did was go for a shockingly cold dip in the lake and then sat in the water soaking our legs and bums. So good!

Now for a relaxing evening of reading, playing cards, and sitting by the campfire.


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