Jill made us an amazing breakfast this morning. French toast and sausage, and some delicious potatoes from last night. And we got lots of good puppy time.
And as if they hadn’t spoiled us enough, they sent us off with salads and lots of snacks! We left feeling so great about everything, and then got the speediest downhill of the trip! The incredibly steep climb of yesterday was completely worth it when we cruised back down at 45 mph into downtown Lewiston.
We got back onto route 12, which took us on a bridge across the Snake River and into Washington! It was so exciting to hit a coastal state!
The hill came pretty soon after the bridge, and it lasted a couple hours. There were numerous false summits, but we were not deterred by them or the increasing heat – we rode to the top (there were a few snack breaks) and rode down the other side to the town of Pomeroy where we found a nice shady park.
This evening we found the steepest hill of the trip! We followed our maps along the shortcut to avoid a big U on route 12 – it was one of the most challenging rides but easily one of the best.
Near the top, we realized that if we were to turn around to bike back down, we could probably get the top speed of the trip. But neither of us was confident we could make it up again, so we reassured ourselves that we’d get the awesome down on the other side. Well. There was certainly a steep downhill. The only drawback was that it turned into a gravel road! Loose gravel, switchbacks, steep… We said a little prayer to the brake gods, and went for it. It was actually an arm workout to cling to the brakes for so long! Aidan stopped for a photo at the top, so I was at least one switchback ahead of him to start with.
But as I steered my way down, going what I was sure was the fastest possible speed to ride without skidding out, Aidan sailed by me. So apparently I was wrong, because he managed all the turns with no trouble!
We got to the bottom of that gravel hill, and promptly started to climb up again – still on a gravel road! This time, it was slightly less steep (only slightly) but we had very little traction. So we slid back a few inches with every pedal forward, and we could look back to see our tracks – which were anything but straight.
I have never been happier to see pavement. Of course, only a couple minutes after that wonderful sight, it switched back to gravel, but that was only for a couple miles along the top of the hills. It was absolutely gorgeous up there, and having worked so hard to get there only added to the view.
We were only a few miles out from the town of Dayton when we passed a house with some of the nicest gardens we’d ever seen. It was getting dark, so we turned off into the driveway and knocked on the door. Maggie the dog was quite offended at our intrusion, but warmed up to us after Aidan threw her a ball. The family was away, but their friend who was house sitting was happy to let us set us camp on their lawn in the midst of the awesome gardens. With many a throw of the now slobbery tennis ball, we set up and ate dinner, enjoying the fact that there was not one mosquito to be seen.
The skies were amazing, and it was clear most of the night.