July 6, 2004

7/06/04 Roosevelt WA

55 miles (2916 total)

Almost too many mosquitoes out as evening approached to do anything but head for the safety of the tent. That's ok because we need another early start tomorrow.

Cool and almost no wind as we crossed the bridge back into Washington. We wanted to get all the way to Maryhill State Park, some 84-miles away. Hopefully the winds will die down enough for us.

Absolutely no break from the high winds of the gorge

We were disappointed nothing was open when we rode through Paterson. The only thing moving around was a big dog that chased us from across the highway. I was a little nervous when we saw the sign that said “next services 66 miles”, especially since we had limited water. So we put a lot of faith into the guidebook when it said there was a restaurant and store in Roosevelt 34-miles down the road.

About 9am, I began to notice whitecaps appearing out on the river. The headwinds had begun and before we knew it, the struggle to keep moving forward had started. No way were we going to make it all the way to Maryhill now.

And just to make the day complete, about 10-miles out from Roosevelt, I got a rear puncture. Not even a flat space to change a tire. I tried to ignore the semi's buzzing past.

At North Roosevelt, we gladly stopped at a bar for need food and water. Mike said the bathroom was unique that it was wallpapered by nude pictures. Another mile down the road found us at the small Mini Mart. Under new management, the ladies were very welcoming to these tired, wind-weary cyclists. We reluctantly asked about camping at the city park.

Outside the store before heading down to the city park

“We have a wonderful park with showers and such. Plus there's lots of folks down there if you want company.” That last bit was sort of confusing to us but we rode on down to the river on into a thriving community of wind surfing nuts. [smile]

Heidi explained some about how the parasail works while her fiancé Michael flew through the air doing flips and turns on the water. The parking lot was full of campers and the grounds were covered with sail boards and parasails of all kinds. Apparently this park was far enough from the cities so it attracted the expert boarders and it was also a good place to bring the family. Most of these folks come up every weekend but this was their week long 4th of July vacation.

Later, Jim and Anita along with their boys, invited us over for BBQ ribs and a beer. They'd been coming to this spot for 20-years because of the wind and the water.

Wind surfer heaven!