Tuesday, June 7, 2016

46: Beating the heat

A couple of words about the sun up here: it comes early, and stays late. In between, at least during this heat spell, it is blistering hot. I heard the birds start waking and calling this morning before dawn, and Roger and I both walked down to the bathroom in the near-dark. But NOT dark. We went back to the tent and slept a bit more, and when we woke for good about 6:00 am he said it had been 4:30 when we got up the first time. We easily could have gotten up and prepared to ride, and that is what we plan to do tomorrow, when we have another pass to climb. Get out early, when it's cool. And last night, we were sitting out after 9:30 and could easily see to chat. It's a little while yet to the summer solstice - can't wait to see how long the day will be then! (And we may be just a little north of where we are now by that time.)
Loved this field - would have loved to see it from above!

But this morning, we took our time, doing a little bike work, chatting with our neighbor, and rearranging the packs and stuff sacks yet another time. (We are seeking the "perfect balance" point between front and rear packs, top and bottom layers, and right and left side of the bike. Maybe we will find it by the time we reach Redlands next fall!)

By the time the sun came over the top of the nearby tree and we lost our shade, it was HOT. I wet my jersey to cool off while we finished packing, and Roger just mopped the sweat from his brow constantly. We had a leisurely breakfast, then got serious about our ride just about 10 am. By this time, it was QUITE hot, and we wet our arm and leg coolers, filled our water bottles and headed out.

Playing in the sprinkler!
It was not a long ride, but with the heat, we were both a bit fidgety on the bike. At one point, we stopped at a field where the sprinklers were watering the hay, and stood on the side of the road to catch the drops as they arced by. 

This is apple country, so the orchards were pretty to see.  Some of the landscape reminded me of our own craggy outcroppings of rock and dry brush. When we finally came to the hill above Tonasket, it was a pretty sight, with the orchards and hills framing the town. 

By the way, these towns we are staying in have perhaps 2000 to 5000 people. Some have been even smaller, with a couple hundred residents. I always wonder what it would be like to have grown up in such a small town. But I was a big-city kid, and so that's something I can never know. 

Tonasket, by the way, has a great little natural foods market, where we had a good lunch. You'll see the sign on the way into town - just turn left at the Ace Hardware store!!

And the Junction has a convenience store, gas station, car wash, laundry, and 8 rooms. Talk about full service! Very nice place to stay. So cool, inside, we just stayed indoors to get out of the heat.

The day's report:  Omak to Tonasket, 31 miles/2101 to date

Tonasket groves

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