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The Deets: Part 7: Ellensburg, WA to Toppenish, WA (Day 9)

The next morning, Michelle and I spent almost all of our free time examining the map and trying to find a way south that didn't involve riding on the freeway. Our map wasn't very good, though, and so we eventually put our trust in Google and went to breakfast. It was a pretty tasty breakfast, mostly pastries and chocolate, and after that we fueled up at the Safeway or City Market or whatever before taking off down the road towards Oregon. The ride out of town was mild and easy, and the weather was sunny but not yet hot. The streets were effectively empty as well, and so the spin to the edge of Ellensburg and off into the wilds of Eastern Washington was a fairly easy one.

One thing our map did have was an alt-route of sorts for highway 97: it was a twisty little piece of tarmac that wound its way through a canyon along a river. Everything we had learned about touring told us that that would be the best way to go, not only because it wasn't a freeway, but because it was an t…
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The Deets: Part 6; Chelan, WA to Ellensburg, WA (Day 7-8)

The Chelan morning was much quieter and less mariachi-laden than the Chelan night had been. By the time Michelle and I had gotten around to putting our bags together for the ride, the miniature tent city that had popped up next to us was almost completely gone. Some of the children from that group eyed us with curiosity as we donned our spandex and I taped up my knee in hopes that, combined with the massage ball, it would help alleviate some of the pain.
I had to turn on the data for my phone to google how to correctly apply the tape, but it was only for a little while. They recommended that you apply the tape to an area free of hair. I hadn't shaved my legs in about 9 days at that point, so I just hoped for the best and stuck it on as best I could (I still don't really know what "75% stretch" is supposed to feel like). So with our bags packed and my knee dealt with, Michelle and I pedaled a few meters to a pizzeria nearby that also served breakfast. It sounds a bit …

WE MADE IT!!

So we made it; we did the whole tour (more or less) and made it back to Canada before class started again! So here for you now are some stats on the ride. That's all you're gonna get on this post. And a picture too, I guess.
Distance Covered: 2993.9 km
Time In The Saddle: 144 h 55 m
Average Speed: 20.66 km/h
Days On Tour: 47
Days Ridden: 37
Days Actually Touring: 27
Rainy Days: 3
Flats: 8
Chamois Butter Used: 5
Other Tourers Seen: 3
Elevation Gain: 32,481 meters
Nights in Tent: 13
Nights in Hotel: 15

The Deets: Part 5; Mazama, WA to Chelan, WA (Day 5-6)

For the second morning in a row, the room was frigid when we awoke. This time it was probably even colder since the window that we had left open was bigger, and overnight the temperature had dropped below zero (that's below 32 for you weirdos who can't handle Celsius). Michelle and I had a small breakfast prepared by Nate, who I really can't thank enough for letting us stay at his place, which consisted of oatmeal and eggs. Due to my weird breakfast/morning food problem, I was unable to eat much, and did my best to eat a few Clif Bars and some cold cereal. I knew that, with my knee as it was, we wouldn't be riding that far anyway.
As we were leaving we continued to profusely thank Nate every chance we got until he was out of earshot, and then we rode down the sharp-gravel road back to the main highway. I was concerned because of the state of my knee, but at the beginning it seemed to feel alright. After about five minutes of pedaling, however, the pain had returned to …

The Deets: Part 4; Marblemount, WA to Mazama, WA (Day 4)

For the first time since the start of our tour, I woke up excited. Our room was friggen frigid since we left the window open all night, but that didn't stop me from getting up with the alarm. Usually, when an alarm goes off, I do my best to get up as late as possible, often hitting the snooze button more than once. But this time was different.

The previous night, while in front of the TV, we had looked online at some of the places in Marblemount that claimed to serve breakfast. There was a diner-type place that opened at 7, which was good for me and my inability to eat solid and non-diner food in the morning, and there was the drive-through coffee place which opened at the same time. This was good for Michelle and her coffee addiction.

Since we had set the alarm for 7 or 7:30 (I can't remember which), both places would be open so we could fuel up for what would certainly be the hardest day of the tour up to that point. We put on enough clothes to be warm in the cool, shady Mar…

The Deets: Part 3; Sedro-Woolley, WA to Marblemount, WA (Day 3)

The morning of day 3 came just as the morning of day 2 had: the same feeling in my gut and the same reluctance to continue with the tour. One plus, though, was that it was a pleasantly sunny morning, and at least we wouldn't have to ride in the rain again. At least, not all day. I had left my wet clothing out to dry overnight, and I found that it was still somewhat wet that morning. For breakfast, Michelle and I feasted on some of the leftover pizza from the night before.

Now, I have a thing about eating solid food in the morning. For some reason if I try to choke down any non-liquids within an hour or so of waking up, I almost always end up feeling nauseous. It's weird and annoying, and it makes it so that the only things I can put down in the mornings are 1) Instant Breakfast, 2) Smoothies, 3) Soylent, and 4) Greasy Diner Food. It's a weird problem.
I struggled through a piece of pizza anyway, somehow managing to not vomit all over the place, and Michelle and I examined …

The Deets: Part 2; Mission, BC to Sedro-Woolley, WA (Day 2)

The morning of day two came earlier than I hoped, and Michelle and I were greeted by a grey, drizzling rain which set the theme for the whole day. Again, I had the "I really don't want to do this" feeling, although somewhat less potent than the morning before, and since I had even fewer options for postponement than I had had on day 1, we slowly suited up to the white noise of the TV and left the room for the continental breakfast downstairs.

Breakfast was in the room adjacent to the lobby, as per usual, but the room was not attached from the inside. This forced us outside into the drizzle to take almost 10 whole steps in my extremely inconvenient road bike shoes to get to food, and gave us a quick taste of the weather for the day. While we sat inside eating mediocre omelettes and drinking watery orange juice, we could watch the weather from the comfort and warmth of the indoors. At least, temporarily. The more we watched the weather, the harder it seemed to rain. Still,…