Day 49: Tonasket, WA to Winthrop, WA (80.4 miles)

With 3 days to go until we reach Seattle, we have raised $10,115 of our $10,000 goal!

We woke up to smoke clouding the horizon and the heat already settling in. We knew it was going to be a hard battle up the pass and through the heat, but we don’t really have a choice: we doused ourselves in water and hit the road.

As the day heated up even more we really had to push ourselves to complete the 18 or so miles to the top of the pass. A passing car stopped as we took a break on the side of the road and asked whether we wanted a ride to the top. We laughed and said “no thank you” (turns out they had done a fair amount of cycle touring as well) but in our minds we were all thinking that a ride to the top sounded pretty damn nice. When we finally made it, we took a long break before beginning the descent, and agreed that the next day we would wake up early enough to climb out next pass before the heat set in.

Another break at the bottom of the pass in Twisp (along with 2 pounds of JoJos) and a ride six miles past Winthrop brought us to our host’s house for the night, listed on our map as a cyclist only campground. It’s quite crazy to stay at places like that and realize that all the amenities that are offered (outdoor solar shower, composting toilet, WiFi, soda, a place to camp) are all provided free of charge our of the goodness of these hosts’ hearts.

We weren’t his only visitors that night. We met an eastbound professor named Dave, who we really enjoyed talking to, and a Belgian couple who were essentially cycling around the world (they were starting year 2 of their tour) came in layer. We spent an enjoyable evening swapping stories and information about the trail with Dave, a very easygoing, open, and friendly man, and we are glad to have met him in these last days of our trip.

With three days of riding left, it is very interesting and moving to reflect back on the first days of the trip. Our conversation with Dave helped us do that.

As the evening wore on, we brought our mind back to the next day and our last mountain pass. We set the alarm for 4:30am and headed to bed, excited to complete our last big challenge, enter the Cascade Mountains and get that much closer to Seattle.