Yesterday (Sunday, June 3) was a long day. 101 miles, 8 hours on the bike, an average of 12.3 mph. This was my ninth day in a row for a total of 594 miles. I made the Idaho state line by 6:00 p.m., found some lodging, showered, went out for a steak, and then fell asleep. I have not done a century ride for several years and now I’ve done one fully-loaded (I should get my head examined.)

How did this happen? My three friends were supposed to be ahead of me and make Idaho also. Little did I know that they had bike trouble and got a ride back to Wala Wala on Saturday night. So now I have a day off and they are trying to catch me!

Also, a better stopping place (distance wise) would have been Pomeroy, WA. This was 67 miles out but the lone hotel looked deserted and closed. All I had to do was make the hill outside of town and coast into Clarkson/Lewiston, a mere 34 miles. Also, there appeared to be a front blowing in and I would rather be in a large town if I was going to be stranded. So I went for it.

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The day was a series of three long, generally gentle climbs. Starting at 1,000 feet in Wala Wala, I climbed to 1,575′ and descended rapidly into the beautiful small town of Waitsburg.

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Waitsburg was a community of two story brick and wood structures, surrounded by trees. Beyond that the hills rose in all directions. Fields were either bright green, or dull brown (last years fields awaiting tilling). There was little need for irrigation. The road into Waitsburg was a delightful 20 miles. I was only passed by 10 cars the entire time! The towering basalt cliffs of days before gave way to short, stout embankments of rich Washington loam.

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Knowing that I could possibly be having a long day, I stopped at Betty’s for breakfast.

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That’s Tiffany, the owner (she named the store after her mom because it sounded more 1950-ish). Tiffany gave up her county job as a residential appraiser to work full time at her restaurant. Last year she and her boyfriend opened the business (they just got married last May). Tiffany was wearing a Waitsburg medallion necklace.

From Waitsburg at just under 1,500′ I climbed past Dayton to just over 2,000 for another rollicking descent into Delaney (population one RV park and one house). Then I started climbing again up to Pomeroy when I met Klause, fully loaded, going the other way.

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Klause  is from Germany and has done a dozen tours in North America and more than that in Europe. He started in Dallas on May 1 and was on his way to Chicago by July 1, via Seattle! In broken English he explained to me that he had done more miles already that day than myself. Feeling slightly embarrassed, I bid him well and was on my way.

After a quick lunch in Pomeroy where I was clearly already tired, I set off for the final climb. It wasn’t that bad and I was excited about the 5 mile, 6% descent. The climb was not too bad but something strange was happening. Was I experiencing a headwind? I had been told that the wind turns around when a front rolls in, which it was and the wind did. Also, being as tired as I was I could barely keep it above 11 mph for the last, excruciatingly slow, flat ten miles. But I made it. Unfortunately, there is no “Welcome to Idaho” sign on the drawbridge that spans the Snake River between Clarkston and Lewiston.

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So today, I am relaxing, shopping for ibuprofen, waiting for Ty, Drew, and Mac, and will mail home one of my now unneeded maps and some menus to Roy at Mitchell’s coffee house. Generally, I am having a absolute ball and I feel kind of like the cow is this next photograph;

20120604-123026.jpg Eventually, someone is going to discover that I am in the crop field and roust me out, back onto the dry range land.