A girl, a bike, and an open road

I woke up at 4:30am and got to work, breaking for a couple trips to the continental breakfast offered by [generic motel chain]. One thing in favor of cheap(er) motels - the free breakfast is, well, free, and saves you time. Combined with a checkout time of 11am and free wifi, I can get a solid 5-6 hours of work done if I wake up early, then have the remainder of the day to wander, then an hour or two of work before bed at the next [generic motel chain] and I’m able to balance work and travel fairly efficiently.

The smoke was noticeably lessened today, the landscape having actual COLOR for once. The central Washington prairie sped past; I’ve spent a fair amount of time back and forth on the Seattle <-> Spokane route the past 6 months, so its mostly boring. It always does catch me off guard, though, as you slowly, imperceptibly climb out of the ancient lakebed of Lake Columbia, the fertile topsoils beginning to be pierced by craggy and crumbling basalt outcroppings, and then suddenly stands of pines begin to crowd the highway, and you’re out of the basin.

I stopped in Spokane for an hour for lunch and a slice of peach pie, then having a couple hours to kill I battled traffic on side streets whose designers never thought Spokane’s suburbs would grow so much, so quickly, the heat I’d avoided most of the day beginning to build again as the smoke had finally cleared. I ran up to Farragut State Park in Bayview, Idaho, to get my National Park Passport stamped; I’m working on my IBA National Parks Tour Master Traveler Gold Award, 44 more stamps and 22 more states to go!

I then reversed course and made for Newport, WA, where my old friend Tamsin is homesteading with her husband and 2.5 year-old daughter, Trilly, who honestly stole my heart, insisting on leading me on several extended walking tours of the property.. utterly charmed!Spent a great evening chatting by the fire, then spent an amazingly restful night in the guest tent. Woke up refreshed at 5:30am, getting a couple hours of work done before breakfast. Thank you for the hospitality!!

At *least* two of us really wants to get on this motorcycle

Today I’m off to Montana, aiming for Missoula or Butte, depending on how I feel. I’m having some sinus irritation and sore throat from the smoke, but the air is pretty clear and the forecast looks good for today, so we’ll see!

Miles today: 259.3

Today's Route

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