PNW 2011 Trip – Day 3 Part 2

Aug 15, 2011 – After riding southwest (mostly) along the Clearwater River, we came across the little town of Lowell, ID.

Lowell, ID

Lowell has a population of 24, no wait … 23!

We needed some gas, so we filled up at the Cougar Canyon Service Station. This was a bit confusing because one of our destinations later was … Cougar, WA, where we camped for the night.

Cougar Canyon Gas - Lowell, ID

Cougar Canyon Gas – Lowell, ID

We also needed lunch, so we parked in front of the cafe next door – Ryan’s Wilderness Cafe …

Ryan's Wilderness Cafe - Lowell, ID

Ryan’s Wilderness Cafe – Lowell, ID

The food was pretty good, and the fruit pie that I had was delicious! Next to our table was a couple that Louise had chatted with briefly back at the Lolo Pass summit. It turns out that this was their second trip across the US – the first they did in 2010 on bicycles. Here’s a shot of the interior of the cafe:

Interior of Ryan's Wilderness Cafe

Interior of Ryan’s Wilderness Cafe

We continued on down the highway along the river and stopped for a bio break where Louise took this “candid camera” shot of me …

Candid Camera

Candid Camera

Here’s a pretty good picture of how we had the bikes loaded …

Bikes loaded

Bikes loaded

Eventually, the further southwest we went, the scenery changed from mountains, rivers and trees to hills, bush and far less green.

Dry and tan - looking back at Louise

Dry and tan – looking back at Louise

Dry and tan fields replaced green mountains

Dry and tan fields replaced green mountains

After a few miles of winding road through fields and the towns of Lewiston/Clarkson we reached Walla Walla, WA for the night. We thought at first that we’d camp at a “campground” but one of the big lessons that I learned was that a “campground” in most cities, usually meant a parking lot for RVs. At Walla Walla, it went one step further – it was actually a gated community!

So tired, hot and a little frustrated, we spotted the Best Western Walla Walla and wheeled in for the night. After getting the gear off the bikes and into the room, Louise needed to grease her chain, so while I duck-walked the bike around the parking lot, Louise crouched down by the rear wheel and sprayed lube on the chain. Yes, we did get some stares from some of the folks in the parking lot. After a shower and change we crossed the street to some mexican food chain restaurant, like the old ChiChi’s if anyone remembers that. The best part of a totally forgettable meal was the ice-cold Dos Equis beer!

Ice-cold Dos Equis beer!

Ice-cold Dos Equis beer!

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