Day Six (May 9)

106 miles, Coulee City to Spokane

Didn't feel good yet again this morning, so I skipped breakfast and felt better much more quickly. Perhaps that is the solution. We'll see tomorrow.

Started out the day riding 35 miles to Wilbur, where I found a UPS drop point and a 3-foot long box. This spelled the end of the trip for the B.O.B trailer, which is now zooming back to Dayton on a UPS truck somewhere. The weight of the trailer, camping gear, a couple of books, and some other miscellaneous items I don't need now came out to 21 pounds. Doesn't seem like much, but the result was amazing. I breezed through the rest of the day without any trouble, and actually enjoyed the ride more than any other day so far.

Here's some stats: The initial ride to Wilbur, 35 miles, took three and a half hours, including one break. That's easy enough to calculate - 10 mph. Once the trailer was gone and I'd had lunch (about an hour and a half later), the rest of the ride (71 miles) took five hours, again with one break. That's 14.2 mph, over the exact same kind of terrain and with the same wind conditions! Unbelievable. I should have ditched the trailer days ago. How much better would this ride have been without having to lug it over the pass or out of that canyon?

Now, this is not to say anything bad about the trailer specifically. Actually, it worked like a charm, exactly as advertised. I just was a fool to try to haul it across the country. A weekend's campout, sure, but not 3200 miles. There's no reason to worry about hotels, either. I've got a whole list of them all the way along the rest of my route. It'll cost more to stay in hotels than it would to camp, but it's that or give up, and I'm not giving up.

Now, on to the day's photos. Yesterday I mentioned I was in "high desert." As it turns out quite a bit of this is farmland, though I only saw one crop (something that looked like grass) and lots of livestock. Here's an idea of what I saw all day long:

Your typical central Washington small town:

A biker's eye view of my cycling computer as I crested the 100-mile "century" mark in Spokane. The "century" is not easy...go out on your bike sometime and try riding a hundred miles, and you'll see what I mean. After Day 2, I hadn't thought I'd ever be able to come close to one on this ride. Without the trailer, though, it was relatively easy. I made up the day I lost when I couldn't get over the pass on Day 3, and am officially back on schedule.