August 10, 2001

8/10/01 Priest River, ID

48.1 / 5989 miles

Left the rain fly off the tent last night, the first time I've taken that chance. Even though it was a little chilly early this morning, I enjoyed falling asleep looking up at all the stars. Slept a bit late because I had a short day ahead.

A pretty uneventful ride as I continued to follow the Pend Oreille river. The terrain was mostly flat farmland with the trees sometimes providing a bit of shade. Basically rode this way for 35 miles until I reached the bridge for Oldtown-Newport.

Kind of crazy, my route took me about a mile into Idaho. Then I cross the river going into Oldtown. But as I cross State Street to go to the store, I'm in Newport, WA. Reminds me of home (Kansas City, MO-Overland Park, KS). So, after getting a few supplies and about a mile and a half, I'm back in Idaho.

While sitting in camp tonight, I decided to do a little figurin' about my GORP recipe (just in case anyone is interested). Ingredients: 15 oz. Raisins, 12 oz. honey roasted peanuts and 16 oz. of Skittles. It comes out to 122 calories/oz. YUM!

From my internet research about other bike trip travelogues, I found one mention of a Corps of Engineers campground just east of the Priest River, ID. The Priest River Recreation Area Campground must be the best kept secret on this trip. Not only do they have four $3 bike sites with sand tent pads, but it's near the beach, has 25¢ hot showers, great campfire area, and clean level tables. But the icing on the cake is a bicycle stand to work on your bike. Even the hostels catering to cyclist don't have this welcome feature. Pat, one of the campground hosts, said the bike area was a Boy Scout project. He'd like to make it even better by putting in some sprinklers. I know for my part, I'll send the Corps a letter of appreciation for this campground and encourage them to repeat it elsewhere.

Got a bite to eat in town at AJ's Café. Might just have to stop there for breakfast too, because one couple riding last year said the servings were huge. Then popped over to the library. Funny thing about "free e-mail" is that when it's busy you sometimes can't use it. Tried sending messages but gave up when I kept getting server busy errors. But while I was there a woman on the computer next to me (oh here we go again?) heard me telling my story to the librarian and immediately called the newspaper who were interested.

As I was riding back to the campground, I saw the offices for the "Priest River Times". Decided to take a chance and stop. Marylin seemed all business at first, but as she asked me questions, we got to talking about both our travels. We had such a good time she forgot to take my picture. But as I was doing laundry, one of the photographers sent out to look for me passed the bike. Ended up meeting them back at camp for the "photo op". Cool, I'm famous now! Now that I'm getting closer to Texas, maybe I should talk to the press more. They promised to send a copy to my mom.