Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 5 Saturday 7/11/09

Day 5 Saturday 7/11/09
Happy Birthday Finn!
Winthrop to Pateros, WA down Methow River Valley
58 Miles
212 total miles
3100 calories
HOT- 95-100 F

Wended my way down the Methow River Valley from above Winthrop through the very touristic rustic mastic plastic village of Winthrop. It was full of leather clad bikers up from Seattle (the ones who thundered past me on the pass!) for the weekend and the typical restaurants, boutiques, galleries and t-shirt shops. Visited the grocery store and the post office on my out of town and took the local Wintrhop-Twisp road on the "other" side of the river. Very enjoyable scenery, nice view of the valley and easy riding without the traffic of WA Rt. 20. Made it to Twisp where I visited the local pharmacy, picked up some stuff for my hand and while standing in the shade on the sidewalk met a couple of very interesting people, the first being Steve Lee Love Life Fugate who is probably one of the longest walking men on the planet:
Steve's story is one of sadness and recovery as he has criss-crossed this great country of ours for almost 10 years and logged over 21,000 miles on foot. He is a modern man, carries a cell phone a laptop, keeps a blog and talks to people as he goes. He was interviewed by CPB's Hearing Voices program not long ago and inspires many in his journey of healing. He is originally from Vero Beach, FL where my Mom and Dad spend their winters and lost a son to suicide and later a daughter to a drug overdose. Through these incredible trials, he has sought meaning in life through spreading the message of loving life every day, and carries his message everywhere he walks and to anyone who will listen.

The other traveler I met was Andrew Aranyosi (that's "Goldsmith" in Hungarian, I think) from Steamboat Springs who was headed towards Washington pass on his bike after doing a northwrd sweep up through Yellowstone, Glacier and then west across Montana, Idaho and Washington. Keep riding Andrew!

Took a cool-down break in the chill river Methow in Carlton next to the bridge where the locals go to the swimmin' hole. Met a group of naturopathy students from Seattle who were doing field research in the Methow valley-- interesting group who understand the value of preserving the species we may all depend on for yet to be discovered cures someday as well as those tried-and-true. Talked to some drift boaters who told me about the cut-throat and rainbow stocks along this beautiful river. They are hitting stone flies and also small hook (#24) patterns right now. Mostly roll casting to pockets along the edges of this clean, fast flowing current.

Pushed through many fruit orchards (pear, cherry, apple) on the way down through Methow on the way to Pateros. Crossed many bridges, each more breathtaking and challenging than the one before. The road always narrows at bridges, and one has to keep an eye out for hazards, while at the same time wanting to look up and down stream! Such difficult choices! I passed the turn-off for Alta Lake State Park Campground 3 miles outside of Pateros, based on some advice I had recieved that I could camp in the municipal park at lake's edge in Pateros-- which I found out was a gravel pad next to the street for $25! So after a big meal, I put my sorry ass back on the bike for a steep 4 mile climb back up to Alta Lake, where I arrived absolutely exhausted at the park at 9:30. The sounds around me ( until way past curfew!) were those of the United Nations-- the families camping there were speaking Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and the children were almost all speaking English to one another! Some big groups-- lots of laughter, souting, games being played and all kinds of carrying on. Were it not for my exhaustion and my earplugs I would not have gotten much rest, but I soon conked out and woke this Sunday morning at 7 to ride back down into Pateros to coffee, eat and connect at the highly recommended Sweet River Bakery. Today I expect to head in the direction of Grand Coulee. Not sure how far I will get, but the weather is overcast and much cooler than yesterday-- showers, maybe? I am looking forward to a good ride!

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