$25 :: graocs
59.87 mi :: 6.0 hr :: 36.5 mph :: 9.9 mph :: 1276 mi
7AM: Leave on day hike. Few clouds. Don’t bring rain coat against better judgement.
8AM: Trailhead. Look at posted map, decide to try for Columbia summit.
9AM: East – beautiful vistas of rolling hills. West – big black menacing stormclouds. I figure I’ll make it but get rained on.
9:30AM: long horse trails make progress slow. Booming echos of lightning. I go straight up – starts snowing at the top. A few views under the clouds – Mt. Sherman is totally gone in them. Get the compass out, surprised to see I’m looking N & thought it was E. Flash & gut-wrenching crack of lightning. Time to go down. Carefully. In the right direction.
~10AM: I make it back to the trail, relax, watch the snow falling the green grass & wildflowers. As I go down the flakes get bigger & wetter. I’m a mess.
11AM: Arrive at the campground a bit cold & very wet. RV’s have all fled, I’m the only one left in the whole CG! Tent is a bit buried in wet snow. Takes some doing to climb in, remove wet clothes, put on some dry warmies, & get in the bag.
1 PM: A break in the clouds, I decide to break camp & go for it. A sloppy wet job. The bike does OK in the snow. Coast down the steamy, deserted roads out of the snow. Down down down to the Columbia River.
Talk to a guy riding his bike home from the lumber yard to Kettle Falls. Blames environmentalists for shutting down the forest service in the area. I ask him what they object to, he says cutting down trees. Nice guy tho.
4:30PM: grocery shopping in Colville.
8PM: At the end of a long push Roger & Larry welcome me to their campsite. Lots of good bike talk. They give me hot water for cocoa (yum) & have a fire going.