Omak to Colville
Another very big day: 116 miles and a 9,000-foot gain in elevation with most of this gain in the elevation occurring in miles 80-90 towards the end of the day (just when you thought the day couldn't get any tougher, oh yeah, “Here’s a huge, steep climb to end the day!”)
Road Conditions: We went from 3-foot shoulders with a “rumble strip” to 18 inch shoulders with no rumble strip to no shoulders! And we have included here photos of some of the machinery going up the mountain passes right next to us – not for the faint of heart!
Today’s weather: We had it all today, a little rain in the morning out of Omak and then the day progressed to about 88° from Noon on, going into Colville. Air quality from the fires was 151. Oh, and we had near 15 mph headwinds for some of the mountain ascents and descents. Some of these headwinds pushed us sideways while descending at near and above 40 mph.
Today’s story is about the ride, it was a very tough day and also a short life lesson … be careful what you ask for …
Coming into Tonasket we encountered (for about 10 miles) hordes of very small gnat-like insects, they were everywhere – I tried to get a picture of gnats on Joe’s jersey but this picture doesn’t show the problem like what we encountered.
As we ascended, mouths open gulping in air, we would get bugs in our mouth and noise! So, be careful what you ask for … I asked out loud, “Can you please do something about these bugs?” That’s right about when the heavy headwinds began – the headwinds got rid of the bugs immediately, but then we were riding up steep mountain passes with heavy headwinds; like I said, be careful in life for what you ask for …