|Etienne finds a better angle to watch --- me ;'-)|
I'll start with Etienne again ;'-) I botched PART 1 of May so badly that I could not get this photo into the spot I needed it to be. This was at the Mariners game.
My movie with Pat this month was "Age of Adeline". We each were not sure we would like this movie as it sounded a bit "bizarre", but it turned out to be a pretty good one.
My big adventure for this month was a trip to Idaho to bicycle the Trail of the Couer d'Alenes.
Six of us caravaned in two vehicles to the town of Kellogg, ID and our reserved accommodations at the Guest House Inn. We checked in, got our gear stowed into our rooms and walked to dinner.
|Kathy (nor probably any of us) could not fit this bike we found on raffle at the cafe in town|
The next morning we first proceeded to the Bike Shop ;'-) where we learned that Kathy especially does her part to support the local economy...
Fortunately this bike shop is nearby our hotel so we could return our purchases back to our rooms if need be. But, we fit them into our panniers and bags so carried them with us for the day's trip to Wallace and Mullan.
Some of us went on past Wallace to the trail's eastern end in Mullan, then returned to Wallace for lunch and a coffee stop. Mullan is nothing but a trailhead with a decent rest area and some small town above us. As we ate our snacks a woman with her two dogs drove down the hill to stop and tell us about the newly opened "Ernie's" cafe (read saloon) that she and her husband just opened. This "peppy little person" (Linda's apt descripton) chatted with us for quite a little while telling us about her dogs, the cafe and B&B they have developed. The only down side for this day was the woman at the very end of the trail telling each of us that we needed a bell to warn her and her dogs. As Linda said, we have a voice which works quite well.
|The girls at our coffee stop|
|Downtown Wallace was a hopping place in its day|
Some found gift shops and toured around the historic town of Wallace while the rest of us stayed put and relaxed with our beverages and treats.
On our second day we headed west on the trail for more and different scenery. Our hotel (and the bike shop) are directly on the trail and made it easy to hop on first thing in the morning. We each and all appreciated and enjoyed the cycling to Wallace, but the west end has a more remote riding experience.
|A really nice bridge along the way crosses the CDA River|
|View from one side of the bridge|
|View from the other side of the bridge|
|View further along the trail|
A nice attraction for us about this trip is that we each got to do our own "thing" -- ride short miles, ride long miles, make stops we wanted to do, end our ride earlier than others. This was a plus and put no stress on anyone. A perfect trip with very compatible friends.
On our final riding day we drove to a trailhead that would start in even a more remote part of the trail. It was about a thirty minute drive but well worth it. However!! Once we were unloading our bikes and gear, Kathy saw that she had forgotten her helmet!! We are all strong advocates for helmet wear, so Linda agreed to drive Kathy back to the hotel to retrieve her helmet (and where Linda could get the banana she had forgotten).
|Three of us wait at the trail head|
|Suzie sits to appreciate the calm views|
|Bette-Ann take advantage of down time|
|I take pictures...|
The retrieving team returned and we took off for another adventuresome day. First we saw our waiter from last night arrive with his wife who is not wearing a helmet. Dorothy does not hesitate to say "where's your helmet?". Dorothy tells her that one of ours forgot her helmet and we transported her back to town to get it. I guess that did not change her mind about wearing one however. Our waiter wore a helmet, and it seems to me that if one is not wearing a helmet, usually it is the (indestructible). Oh well. We rode on. Some of us were aiming for Harrison, some for Plummer (the western end of the trail).
|Extensive horse ranch (empty of horses right now)|
|Osprey nest seen from one of our rest stops|
|The Ice Creamery in Harrison|
As I was choosing and tasting ice cream at the counter, a woman with a camera approached me. Kathy Plonka was doing a promotional article for the Creamery for the Spokesman-Review newspaper. She loved my flower-topped helmet and asked if she could take photos of me for the article!! She snapped away as I ordered my salted caramel cone. She is not sure what they will choose to use in the article -- but I might be famous in Spokane!
Next goal for some is Plummer. Kathy had said right from the outset that she wanted to ride the entire trail. Fortunately I stopped her from doing that on the second day or we would have ridden 100 miles that day! But she was our first impetus to do the entire trail.
|Bette-Ann climbs the step bridge|
|Linda makes it up the step bridge|
I don't know if this bridge actually has a name, but we call it the step bridge for obvious reason (note the stepped terrain). It crosses Lake CDA and once opened for traffic, but no more.
Bette-Ann said she could not see turning around here as we were now only nine miles from the trail's end. We each agreed. About eight of those miles were UPHILL!! There was a mile marker each mile, and though the climb was gradual, it seemed to take forever to get to the next marker. Finally we hit "0" mile marker and Kathy was somewhat cursing me as I continued on because the bike trail did not seem to end there. It wound around some construction and under a tunnel before it came to an acutal trailhead.
|The end of the trail in Plummer|
We were each running low on water and our experience had been that there is no water at any of the other stops. Kathy immediately spotted a water fountain that was donated by the local casino. A little doubtful, we approached the fountain with near empty bottles to find that it actually did work.
We ate our packed lunch and headed "home" down the nine mile hill!! What a treat! The day before, Bette-Ann and I had seen a moose basically beside us off the trail, but by the time I got my camera and tried to quietly approach, she saw us and wandered into the forest before I could get a picture. Today, on the way back I was fortunate to see this one (and now we have each seen 2-3 moose).
We learned later that Dorothy had a very serendipitous encounter with two cyclists who were camping at Harrison. Dorothy had just reach our parking spot and was about to have her lunch when they came by and began chatting with her. The cycling couple told her of the
penguins pelicans (thanks Linda) (without binoculars, we all thought they were snow geese out on that island) and the heron rookery back down the trail a ways. They invited Dorothy to come along with them to see. She did and used their binoculars to see these two attractions that the rest of us had missed.
All too soon it seemed, our trip was coming to an end. But what a great group of women to "trip" with. I asked for highlights and lowlights that anyone experienced. Each had lots of hightlights and none would call anything a lowlight -- neither the headwinds, hills, forgetting a helmet, being chided about not having a bell, nor pain made the lowlight list. These were all simply considered part of a fantastic time shared together. How could one ask for better cycling buddies!
The four of us in my van had one more adventure stop. When I first came to Washington ((30+ years ago) we made the stop here but it was no where near as developed as it is now. This is a fantasic stop in Vantage.
|If you have not been here, go.|
|One of many petrified logs|
|Suzie is visiting from Michigan and has enjoyed our cycling adventure|
|Considered one of the best examples of petroglyhic art in Central Washington|
These petroglyphs were originally along the Columbia River and wer moved to here.
So comes the end to this adventure -- weather was perfect, food was terrific, companions were golden, and the cycling was grand.