I have to say, once I got over missing Glacier, I’ve really been enjoying our trip a lot more. Even the train ride wasn’t so bad. We were treated to one of the most amazing sunsets right as we approached Glacier which we would never have seen had we decided to bike there. After that, we mostly tried to sleep the rest of the way to Spokane. Unlike New York where life outside is always visible from a train window, out in God’s country it’s pitch dark. In a way, it was probably best this way so that we could forget all that we were missing and focus on what lay ahead.
Our train got in to Spokane at 2:30AM which left us with very few options for lodging. We were downtown which meant all the hotels were expensive and I didn’t care to spend money on a 5 hour hotel stay before they kicked us out in the morning. Nor did either of us relish the thought of finding a campsite at that forsaken hour. So, a night in the train station was what we settled on. For better or worse, it was not long before we were awoken by the security guard and sent off the discover what the city had in store for us.
As I would later acknowledge, Spokane was good for the soul. The weather was excellent that morning as we searched out a nice place to grab some breakfast. We quickly decided on Satellite Diner but were none pleased when they didn’t open till 8AM and it was only 6:30. So, to burn time, we played on the giant Radio Flyer wagon in the park. Good times. Also, it gave Marissa time to look up an old friend who lives in Boston but grew up in the city and was able to make some great suggestions. Better yet, he called up his parent’s Lisa and Steve on our behalf and arranged for a lovely home-cooked meal and a roof over our heads. Thanks Blair!
After a great breakfast, we stopped by the local bicycle shop to pick up another rear tire for my bike. The Continental Touring Plus tires have only lasted exactly 1300 miles each before going bald. They haven’t given me a flat yet so I should be thankful but that seems awfully short lived for a touring tire. I replaced the rear with a Continental Top Contact folding tire which was half off from $90 and was handmade in Germany, not Taiwan. We even got Marissa’s bike tuned up for free as well as another offer for a place to stay, which we had to turn down. Thanks to everyone at Two Wheel Transit!
With most of the day still ahead of us, we took Blair’s advice and headed up the hill to Manito Park for a nap in the sun and then a stroll through the Japanese and formal gardens. Before we knew it, we were off again to his parent’s house for a great dinner and a lot of good company. It felt so good to have a nice, warm, home-cooked meal after all that time cooking in the cold through Montana. We both felt incredibly refreshed and ready to hit the hills ahead of us. It was such a huge turn around in a very short amount of time I think we were both a bit surprised.
Of course, we got a late start the next day after eating a massive breakfast and pulling all our gear back in from where we had scattered it about the house. We only managed 60 miles the next day but it was an incredibly gorgeous ride through some back roads before linking up with RT 395 on our way to Colville. I wanted to go further because the more we did that day the less we would have to do before our first major climb of the trip, Sherman’s Pass.