September 8, 2002
Wilbur to Spokane
70 Miles Google Map
This was one of those shut-up-and-cycle days. It started off by my going a mile in the wrong direction. After leaving the hotel in Wilbur, I messed up the first turn of the day by going right instead of left and didn’t notice my mistake until I was halfway out of town. This did not put me in the best of moods. But after a few choice expletives I calmed myself down, backtracked and eventually was out amongst the rolling hills to the east, each one a bit higher than the last. After a half hour of vigorous climbing, I could still look back and see Wilbur in the distance. Discouraging. But perhaps this was divine punishment for my misguided beginning.
To add to this purgatory, a relentless south wind blew across my path the entire morning. As the road turned to the southeast, it became a kind of diagonal drag on my progress. I soldiered on, knowing that mentally I wasn’t at my best. I even got careless with my eating, neglecting lunch until after 1:00 p.m. and almost falling asleep during the meal. My body’s way of telling me I was pushing the proverbial envelope.
I reached Spokane by late afternoon. An unexpected benefit entering the city was the long downhill road leading from the airport into downtown. The biking challenges soon shifted from tackling rolling terrain and battling stubborn winds to traffic navigation while keeping an eye out for broken glass on the pavement.
The central part of the town held no fascination for me, so I headed north on good old State Highway #2 that I’d been following the last two days out of Orondo. Four miles later, after passing numerous malls, restaurants and car dealerships, I hit the cheap hotel zone. The place I chose to crash at is just across the highway from the “new and improved” K-Mart. My eating out options include an Arby’s, an A & W and a Taco Bell.
American Culture: Love it or eat it.
After almost a week on the road, it was time to do some obligatory calls to the family. It turns out one of my brother’s step-daughters lives here in Spokane with her father. She and I are going to meet for lunch tomorrow, which will be an R & R day for me.
Today: 70 Miles
To Date: 321 Miles / 517 Kilometers