Starting Location: Colville, WA
Ending Location: Cusick, WA
Lowest Elevation: 2037
Highest Elevation: 3330
Waking up and not having to take down my camp sure was nice. I thought that I would get a really early start because of this, but I found that I was just too damn comfy laying in an actual bed again. When I finally got myself out of bed it didn't take too long to get my stuff ready.
Shelly came by my room as she was heading out to teach a class. She handed me a little tag to write my name on and go pin up on the map in the hostel on my way out. They hosted 89 people last year, and they like to know where everyone comes from. At first they just had a map of the world, but the US became too crowded. Then, they got a map of the US as well, and Washington became too crowded so they got one for Washington. I added my tag to the new Washington map.
As I started my way down the road it looked like it seemed like it was going to be a decent day for riding. It was mostly cloudy but wasn't raining, until just about 5 minutes into my ride that is. This days weather was very hard to deal with. It would continuously switch between raining and sun peeking through the clouds, which made it pretty difficult to find a nice temperature.
Coming out of Colville was a lot more of a climb than I had anticipated, though it was not nearly as bad as a mountain pass. About an hour into my ride the rain started coming down much harder as a thunderstorm began. I counted the time between the lightning flashes and the thunder - 3 seconds! During this thunderstorm I passed by Crystal Falls. I didn't originally plan to get off my bike to take a look at the falls, but I'm glad that I did!
As the showers started to let up and the sun was coming out, I ran into my pals Gary and Dennis again, who had been waiting out the storm under a tree. I started to take a break for snacks just as they were heading out to begin riding again so we chatted for a little bit and said see you later. We all assumed that we would see each other again soon because I would catch up to them, but that never happened.
The rest of the day was a struggle for me. My legs didn't have as much power in them as usual and I kept feeling cold. I probably should have put on my rain pants but I had them packed in the bottom of one of my panniers. I made sure to remind myself later to never pack them on the bottom again.
A few miles before Ione I had the pleasure of descending over a thousand feet, which was very nice considering I had just spent the first half of the day climbing almost 2,000 from Colville. It was incredibly windy on this descent which made it pretty sketchy at times while I was going really fast. At the bottom of the hill I headed toward Ione to get food and groceries before continuing on.
The rest of the day I rode with the Pend Orielle river to my side. My map put me on the opposite side of the river as highway 20, so it was much more peaceful as there was less traffic. I tried to shoot for the Panhandle Campground which was 18 miles from Ione. When I eventually got there, I found that all that the campground had to offer was a fire ring and a table for $17. There was no area for me to charge any of my devices or take a shower, so I didn't see it as worth it. I filled up my water bottles and moved on. I had seen many places along the way that looked like they would be easy to camp at, I figured I would find another. About a mile down the road I did, and what a pretty area I got to camp in!