Starting Location: Sherman Pass Byway
Ending Location: Colville, WA
Lowest Elevation: 1288
Highest Elevation: 5575
As expected, this day started off with packing up a soaked camp. I was up early again but I still wasn't able to begin riding until later than I had hoped because I was moving a bit slow. I did however manage to get my bags packed in a little more efficiently which was a plus!
Since I had camped just off the road while ascending Sherman Pass, I got to start the day with a tough elevation warm up like the previous day. After only a few minutes of riding I pulled off to the side to run down to the creek to filter some water. As I ran back up the hill to my bike, I saw my buddies Gary and Dennis riding up towards me. They had stayed the night at the Fairgrounds in Republic and got an earlier start than me. It was nice to see them again, as I took a couple of short breaks with them on the way up the pass.
Reaching the top of Sherman Pass (5,575 ft) was such a relief. It felt good to know that I had successfully conquered all of the mountain passes that I was going to ride in Washington. I took a few pictures at the top then waited for Gary and Dennis so that we could all take a picture together at the top. When they got to the top, they showed me how they like to attach their helmets aroud the post of each pass that they go over and snap a picture - I thought that was pretty cool. I was also very happy to see that they had picked up my sunglasses which had fallen onto the ground at the last point that I was with them which was about 5 miles from the top of the pass. We said our final goodbeyes as I began my descent from Sherman Pass.
The start of the descent from Sherman Pass was really chilly. The nice steep grade made for a quick ride down the mountain though! A few miles down I passed by a couple of really pretty heritage sites as the sun was starting to break through.
At the bottom of my descent I crossed over Lake Roosevelt (Columbia River) just before getting into Kettle Falls. I stopped in at Kettle Falls to get a bite to eat and some groceries to keep me going for the next day or two then headed out towards Colville.
After passing through Colville, I started heading towards a bike hostel that I saw on my map. When I was just 20 minutes away from the hostel enjoying an apple, a lady turned around and pulled off the road to talk to me. She introduced herself (Shelly) and asked where I was traveling to/where I was staying. I told her I was planning on going to the bike hostel, which is when I found out that she actually runs it! She explained that there was currently a homeless couple living in the hostel area but that I would have a place to stay upstairs in their home where I would have a kitchenette and washer/dryer. She went on her way to her meeting that she was already late for and called her daughter to let her know I was coming.
When I got to the house I was immediately in awe. I was let inside one of the most beautiful homes that I have ever seen, and showed where I was able to do laundry, shower, use the kitchenette, and even given my own room with the choice of two beds. CAN IT GET ANY BETTER? Not having to set up camp after a long day is a real blessing, but the best part is knowing that no time will be wasted packing everything up in the morning! This is pretty amazing.