Actually, the "steady climb" didn't begin until we'd had just a shortish steep climb, a couple of rollers, and another long downhill! We kept following SR 12 East out of Dayton, where I got a picture of one of the many grain silos that we'd been seeing for the last 30 miles or so. The day was nice and warm, and the landscape between Dayton and Pomeroy was mixed fields and grassy hillsides.
Just after we entered Pomeroy County, the pavement took a serious turn for the worse, which made progress more difficult. However, about 8 miles out of Pomeroy, we noticed a knot of bicyclists pulled off to the side of the road. A really nice transplanted Oregonian (from about 10 years back) was giving away fruit juices and cookies (he did have a tip jar), a man by the name of Mark Price . He and his daughter and sons were setting out what seemed to be a mirage -- and really good pineapple-peach juice. Yum yum!!
Well, we went on, downhill but with a headwind on bad roads , and eventually made it into the city of Pomeroy. We had lunch at Up & Up Bar and Grill, before heading over to Pit 2 to refill water bottles. We were looking at a long climb after lunch up to Alpowa Summit, and a steep 5.6 mile descent to Pit 3. We'd changed Ro's tires to the green-belted Vittoria's the night before, and we now had the Wonder Green Power Activated Anti-Flat protection going. Seriously.
On the way out, we passed one residence with some really cool artwork in the front yard, made of metal plates -- a dinosaur and a shark and an alligator with an eagle (no, that's not the bicycle of an eaten rider, that's either David's or Heidi's bike, whom we were riding with at this point). Just after this we passed the Three Forks sign, tells about how a hospitable Nez Perce chief essentially saved Lewis and Clark's lives after they had emerged from an 11-day trek over snowy trails through the Bitterroot Mountains. He took them back to his camp via a trail which is still vaguely visible today. We then continued the long climb to Alpowa Summit, shown here in a view looking back down the hill and one actually at the summit peak sign. It was a beautiful summit, surrounded by gorgeous fields. We saw one more sign about Lewis and Clark's passing through here at the summit as well.
The first part of the descent was fantastic, but then the pavement once again got royally rotten, shaking the heck out of my hands and causing all sorts of pain (I have an all-aluminum bike/forks, which up to this point haven't been that bad, but this was nasty). That and the headwinds after the grade had eased found us stopping a couple of times on the way to Pit 3 -- once just for scenery and once because we had never seen hay sausages before.
Pit 3 was at Chief Timothy State Park, a haven on the edge of the Snake River (again), which we eventually had to leave. We had now mostly flats until an expected 2 mile climb into camp. We passed into Clarkston, on the western side of the Washington-Idaho border, and Lewiston (the Gateway to Hell's Canyon), on the east side. We were riding with Alan and Donna at that point (Alan has another Big Ride page here), and we all saw the 31 flavors/Baskin Robbins at the same time. Yum yum -- we still had time to get to camp; it was 5 miles away and it was only 5pm.
Well, we eventually go up the evil hill of knee death -- lots of people hurt their knees on it. I didn't bother; I walked the third quarter mile of it, and rode the last quarter mile with a lady on a Bianchi Eros, talking the two of us up that hill. I'd walked in the shady part, you see, and the top was all in sun and it was hot!. *smile*. Ro of course was at the top waiting for me and cheering on the riders as they made it. Camp was pretty nice, too -- no long distances between tents and everything else, but I'd gone to medical to ask about my knees, my shoulder, and my starting-to-return cough (which I'd gotten just 2 weeks before leaving on this ride), so dinner and shower were late. Oh well...
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