Day 61: Apples and Grapes

 By Scottie Duclos

The sunrise over Lake Roosevelt was majestic as we woke up for our 94 mile day. The Church of the Nazarene just outside of Grand Coulee furnished us with a wonderful church to rest our heads for the night. With a light breakfast in our stomachs, a morning devotion, and a welcoming of our new cyclist, Daria, we hit to the roads! The first two miles weren’t bad as we coasted down hill but soon after we came to our major climb of the day as we left the river valley and headed back up to the high desert. With Grand Coulee Dam in our rear view helmet mirrors, holding back 151 miles of lake water, we cut over the hills and followed the powerful and beautiful Columbia River down stream.

After the first big climb we had a long gradual descent back down to the river at a town called Bridgeport. We rehydrated, got some snacks, and continued. Finally crossing over the Columbia River, we rode along flat roads for the next 30 miles. The Columbia River Valley is a fertile area and is scattered high and low with orchards of apples, apricots, peaches, cherries, and hundreds and hundreds of vineyards and popular wineries.

Finally reaching “the center of the universe”, or at least that is what the sign said as we entered Pateros, WA, we hung a right and begin a gradual ascent up the foothills of the Cascades. The Methow River rumbled along next to us with all of it’s thunderous rapids. It took all I had not to jump in and cool off as the temperatures rose into the 90’s for our final 15 miles.

We arrived at Community Covenant Church in Twisp, WA where we were treated to showers and swimming at the local public pool, fitted with it’s own water slide and diving board. It was a welcome refresher after the 94 mile day. The church also made us an amazing enchilada dinner that I couldn’t help but have seconds on. We finished off the evening with a presentation at the local pub brewery and restaurant in town where we were able to show the vision of our biking trip and the Fuller Center. A few people were very interested in learning about the organization and ways they could help.

Tomorrow we have the last hard day. A 95 miler up and over the Cascade mountain range through the North Cascades National Park. Looking forward to the super fast and cooling downhill as we descend into the west side of Washington State. But for now, it is time to rest and prepare my body.

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