We made an executive decision that given the long first day and the stop for flat tire, we would try to eke out a little extra sleep our first night and wake up a little later for our start on day two. We headed out from a little roadside coffee shop after taking care of a ton of breakfast sandwiches. Our bikes looked pretty cool stacked inside the door:
From there, we got straight on a highway that went straight as an arrow out of town heading into the hills to the east. After climbing a little, we reached a ridge with some majestic wind farms. These things are so cool to ride by (though it gets a little distracting to keep watching them. Those things move fast! Also, neat to see that the same winds that can either be a huge pain or a terrific help to us as cyclists can also make energy. I'm confused how people can be so vehemently opposed to them.
At the top of this ridge, the road started sloping down slowly but the tailwind hit us at the same time. No joke, coolest ten miles I've ever ridden. It was like skiing down a mountain - we coasted for ten straight miles without a SINGLE car on the road through hills with giant turbines on them. (Mom and dad warning: don't read the rest of this paragraph, and I swear we're responsible and safe) Also, a new top speed for me (ever!) of 44mph. Oops? We didn't break the speed limit, though, so no worries.
After the ten wondrous miles of downhill we got to crossing for the Columbia River, which we had to brave on I-90. Very pulse-raising, but we got across safely. The rest of the day was spent mainly on highway 26, with a stop for a mountain of fresh fruit grown right by the side of the highway we were riding along!
Lunch stop was a walmart parking lot (keepin it classy on this trip) where we got asked for advice on marathon-running by a staffperson, and then we headed out from Othello, WA, on the small Cunningham Road which we took for 35 miles. Straight, with a tailwind, and about 6 cars for the entirety. Pretty darn lucky, I'd say.
Probably the best ending to our day: Don's sister Diane called around to food options in the area where we planned to stay for the night (Starbuck, WA) and found the owner of a bar/grill who offered to come get us at our campsite so that we wouldn't starve in the food desert around Palouse Falls State Park, where we're sleeping.
So Dan, the owner of the ONLY restaurant open in Starbuck tonight, picked us up in his truck and gave us a ride to the Rawhide Grill. We met his wife and a couple other people, played some pool, and relaxed after a long day of 140 miles. Tasty fried chicken, cheap beer, and even a mini convenience store where we picked up supplies for s'mores and breakfast. If there's a Yelp site for this restaurant, they deserve a hundred stars (I'll work on that when I get back to Boston). They just started a couple years ago, but they clearly know a thing or two about hospitality. Dan, if you're reading this, you absolutely made our day. Thanks again.
Alright, time for some stargazing out here for me - these are amazing!