Day 8 – Marina Park, Bridgeport, WA to Grand Coulee, WA – 44 miles

Desolation and wasteland.  That’s all there is between these two locales of civilization.  This morning I stocked up on water, knowing there would be very little between here and my next destination.  A stop at the Spanish grocery store in town yielded two bananas, one of which I consumed, and I was off.

Heading out of Bridgeport, with long sleeves on today as the sun has created a painful situation for my arms and face, the desolate landscape began…

38 miles and a couple thoughts of quitting later, I found myself cruising down into the grand city of Grand Coulee.  I knew from looking at my maps along the way that Hometown Pizza was right along the Bridgeport highway that I was taking into town – I stopped there and was glad that it wasn’t a hallucination after staring forward into the unrelenting sunlight all day.

The calzone I ordered filled me up, and my phone and camera finished charging at the outlet on the table next to me just as I was done eating, but the next town, Wilbur, seemed too far away to get to yet today (20 miles which isn’t much but after a scorching 5 1/2 hours in the sun on a bike with a few hills it seems like eternity).  The waitress notified me of a couple of places to stay in town.  Not liking the idea of paying for a motel, as I haven’t on the trip so far, I succumbed and called all 3 places.  The Trail West motel is where I ended up, and by 4:30 p.m. I was in my room and relaxed.

This stay at the motel in Grand Coulee ended up being extremely beneficial and worthwhile.  The hardware store had an inner-tube that I purchased to replenish my dwindling supply.  The local Safeway helped me replenish my on-bike food supply and get a few microwave meals for the night.  And, most importantly, the Grand Coulee creamery provided an excellent cookies and cream waffle cone that I enjoyed.  Rebecca, the hostess, was fascinated at the trip I was taking.  We had good conversation.  She also mentioned the famous light show here at the dam in Grand Coulee.

Every night at the dam, a laser light show that depicts the history behind the dam and the Columbia river, is shown on the water as it goes over the dam.  A link to the website for the times of showing can be found at the website here: http://www.grandcouleedam.com/aboutlls.html 

So, the stay here in Grand Coulee has been quite grand after all.  The motel is very comfortable.  Knowing that tomorrow will likely be a long day, this was likely a good move.

Day 7 – June 7th – The Bike Barn to Marina Park in Bridgeport, WA – 71 miles

After the brutal day in the mountains, a brutal day in the sun burned me.  Despite the fact that the elevation was relatively flat today, the unceasing burden of the sun, with no cloud cover in the skies, all in this high desert area with no shade and few trees made the day very tough.

I stopped in Winthrop at the library for a quick wifi stop and phone charge.  On the east side of town, I had to stop at the appeal of the shops on main street.

Place where I had my muffins in Winthrop:

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I purchased two fresh muffins and had a nice ice cream waffle cone.

After Winthrop, the next stop was at the Black Bird cafe in Twisp.  From there, the Methow River led me through the small establishment of Carlton, all the way to lake Pateros.  This oasis was welcomed warmly.  I discovered the Rest Awhile stop as I entered Pateros.  A wonderful little bakery/knick knack shop.

Rest Awhile:

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The $4 Subway lunch in Brewster gave me enough energy to cycle on next to the Columbia River, all the way to Bridgeport.

Had my 2nd flat about 5 miles from bridgeport.  A thorn had punctured the tube.  So I switched it out and was back on my way.  Only 1 tube left…

Arrived at the park and was happy to see shower facilities available.  I pitched my tent, utilized the shower, started a campfire, and cooked my Ramen noodles.  That was enough for the day.

View of the river from Marina Park:

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