Today was our biggest day of the trip so far. We rode 86 miles, climbed 5,200 feet, and were in the saddle for over 7 hours. We also experienced a 20 mile (!) descent from mile 43 to mile 63, which was a welcome reward for all the climbing.
The ride started with a 2,000 foot climb, mostly at 7%, as usual. Once up there at 4,000 feet or so, we had many miles of large rollers through farmland that reminded me of Kansas in that the fields seemed to go on forever. Wheat this time of year is being harvested in Kansas and Oklahoma, but here it is still green. There were also great sections of flowering rape seed (aka canola), providing a beautiful yellow contrast to the deep green wheat.
At about 40 miles we tried a couple of towns in hope of finding a cafe, but we had no luck. Finally we gave up and scavenged in a tribal (Nez Perce) gas station / convenience store / "restaurant". I had chocolate milk, Doritos, Powerade, and a mini-coconut pie, while Fred had fried chicken, a corn dog, and powerade. Yummy! Thanks to the long decline immediately thereafter, this nutritious meal turned out to be sufficient to get us to Lewiston and across the bridge to sister town Clarkston. The last few miles today were on a riverside bike trail on the Lewiston side of the river.
If not the high point of the ride, of interest was the fact that we were flashed by a young woman who hung out the passenger window while yanking up her shirt. At least that's what I THINK I saw. Readers who also engage in long days of endurance cycling understand that most oxygen by this point in the day is going to the large muscles in the legs. It takes the brain a while to process sensory input not essential for the job at hand, so the car was long past by the time I had decoded the image my eyes had seen. Fred was unable to confirm or disconfirm, as he was studying the asphalt closely at the time. Anyway, real or imagined, this incident was a first in all our travels.
A few photos from today...