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Thursday June 7, 2007

Day 4 - Stevens Pass WA to Coulee City WA, 92.4 miles in 6:40 (with the stomach flu and nasuea).

What an awesome day! Except for the stomach flu and nausea, we were back up at Stevens Pass (pictured above), a real ski resort at 4,000 ft in the Cascades. Once again , it was misty and cold, but soon after, during the 35-mile decent into Leavenworth, we saw sunshine for the first time on the ride. What a relief.

Imagine, leaving the mountain pass / ski resort and decending into a little Alpine / Bavarian themed village positioned on the most beautiful river and rapids (it's a lot like Helen Georgia, only not as nice).

Just 10 miles east from there and the terrain becomes more arrid. We never knew it but eastern / central Washington is a desert. The trees start to shrink and the mountains become baron all the way into Wenatche, where I had my first encounter with a real northwest roadie. His name was Mike on a sweet Cervelo (email me Mike if you're reading this).

The ride from Wenatche to Waterville was a full-on canyon climb. Six miles, straight up through what looked exactly like what you would think Arizona would be like; not Washinton state.

And wouldn't you know, at the top of a 2,500 ft climb, instead of going down the other side, you emerge into a whole different world. It's miles and miles of plains. It's Waterville and Douglass in the heart of Washington's grain and wheat fields. It reminded me of the default desktop image for Microsoft's Windows XP operating system. You know the green fields and the clouds? Yea that one. This was it. And the clouds look like you can reach out and touch 'em.

And just when you thought a 90-mile ride couldn't offer any more diversity in terrain, we cruise into the Coulee City area (south of the great Collee Dam.)

We camped out, literally, in a canyon that had to have been 500-600 feet below the elevation of the main highway. See the pictures below.



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 J. Boe Ellis - 813.732.0619