Colville to Priest River, Idaho
104 miles; 4,667 feet of elevation
We began today’s ride on downtown streets in Colville and then traveled through neighborhoods surrounding the city, until we made it to the surrounding countryside. We had good weather throughout today’s ride, if not a little warm – when we arrived in the town of Priest River, ID, it was 89°. Air quality was better than yesterday with only some smoke later in the day.
About 90 minutes into today’s ride, at about 7:30 a.m., we were in the countryside riding on wide open roads surrounded by fields and some trees on both sides of the road. Bob was riding a little ahead of us when Joe and I saw a blur of a large male deer just left, racing towards the road, just ahead of Bob. It was as if this deer needed to cross the road before Bob went by. This deer, now dubbed, “Usain Buck” hit the two-lane road only once when he bounded right in front of Bob, about 5-7 feet from Bob’s front wheel! And in a flash he was gone into the trees just to the right of us.
After this “near deer encounter” we traveled on country roads for 30 or so miles and then we traveled on the road next to Lake Pend Oreille. This portion of today’s trip was a delight, right up until we encountered about 10 miles of “country ‘kickback’ chipseal roadway.” Bob and Joe explained that the aggregate on this road was ¾ when it should have been ¼ mix – someone cut corners when they installed this road, and the result is that the ¾ mix lead to a ride needing a mouthguard to keep our teeth in our heads!
When we settled into the hotel in Priest River, Scuba Steve, just back from a store run, let us know, once again, Joe’s Sprinter Van remains the biggest draw on RAA II! Like RAA I, people stop our drivers to chat them up about the awesome Sprinter Van. Then, when Steve or Keenan say, “Yeah, and these three guys are riding their bikes across America …” Most people come back with, “Oh, ok, can I see the interior?”
Ok, last short stories from today’s adventures … my new favorite, for interesting stories, restaurant in Priest River, ID, is The Settlement Kitchen + Craft Tavern.
When we sat down for dinner, Steve and Joe noticed that one of the patrons next to us had a holstered .357 on his hip – Joe’s quick quip, “Oh, we better get his dinner …” Then, when we were presented with our dinner check in the folder, along with the dinner check was a copy of the Constitution of the United States, with the Amendments and history of each.