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Archive for September 3rd, 2009

Day 269– 3rd September 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 3, 2009

Thursday – Spokane, Washington

I slept in a bit, but not by much, mind you Mike was up well before me 🙂 We were going to meed Matt-Bruce at his brewery for a decko around 9am, so after a great breakfast we were off. Mike was going to ride with me for part of the way, just for the heck of it and was going to show me some side trips as well. I like Mikes house, it is a timber framed system and he built it himself, it is supposed to be quite energy efficient, I wonder what they would be like back home 😕

So, we arrived at the brewery cum cafe and Matt was nowhere to be seen, but rocked up a few minutes later, so he showed us around. This brewery only does Ales, mainly because that is what Matt likes to drink, so, fair enough, if I owned a brewery it would only brew what I liked to drink as well 🙂 Aussie Ed-Bruce turned up just as we were ready to leave. Nice meeting you all again 🙂

Next we headed for a quick look at the lake before fuelling up and heading north where we crossed the half way marker.

For the next hour we were riding through the Salmon River valley, a great ride, lots of fast winding road and great views

At one of the stops where we removed the cold weather gear as we were now boiling hot, Mike mentioned there were info boards along here, so I said I won’t hold his riding up, if I stop for a photo he is to keep going and just wait at turnoffs, which he did.

He did wait as promised and at a specific turnoff we then took the old road instead of the new straight one 🙂 This road was extremely technical as the wind was blowing a gale and we had about 30 hairpin turns to negotiate while heading uphill. They were quite steep and when you are half way through a slow corner and see tumbleweed fly past in front of you, you know you will be hit by the wind blast, so at least a fraction of a seconds warning is better than none 🙂 The riding concentration needed left me no hands free for photos, but I stopped at the top for a look back down, it does not really show what we did, but an idea of the road is gained 🙂

After this it was short ride to get to a small town where we had a Subway lunch and went our separate ways. Thanks for putting me up Mike, I enjoyed your company and the ride, I might see you in California in a few weeks if our paths cross.

As I was leaving town I got into a situation where I wished I had ABS. I was coming around a long sweeping bend and a semi was entering the road from a car park and heading in the same direction in front of me. It was my own silly fault, but as I could see around the corner ahead of him, when he was fully on the road I attempted to go around him, this was a mistake as he was still turning and was taking a long wide turn back into the same damm car park 😯 This meant I had hit the throttle and found nowhere to go, needless to say, using what I had, I came to a stop, but the back end had stepped out and let loose which gave me a bit of a scare. I left the evidence on the road, but went back for a photo of a lucky escape, we both stayed upright, me and the bike that is 🙂

As I left town I noticed a new fire started, they seem to burn the hay stubble after harvest, I am not sure why, but it seems to me that it is just unneeded pollution. I had stopped to put in my jacket liner, the wind was very strong and quite cool.

The road from here on seemed to be long rolling hills covered in either stubble or fire blackened earth, there were also a lot of info boards to stop and read along the way.

There were some interesting old trestle bridges for the railroad up here in the canyons as well.

Now, I had seen a lot of these recently, but never so many, these rail cars/wagons whatever went for miles and miles and miles. They just seemed to be abandoned on the rails, I could see where things were growing on them, so I knew they have been here for years. If anyone has any idea what they are used for, I would appreciate the heads up 🙂 What about you Jerry, I have not heard from you for a while, my information guy 🙂

I had taken this particular road so I could get a state sign photo, I was thinking about having a run down this road, it seemed interesting, but the wind nearly knocked me off my bike a few times while taking the following, so I gave it a miss.

Lucky me, just down the road I crossed the state line and grabbed the photo I wanted 🙂

Just down the road was graphic evidence that the wind was not a one off event put on just for me 🙂

Lots more rolling hay and grain fields with a lot of resultant dust.

I soon arrived in Spokane at the correct hotel where the Iron Butt Rally was to be concluded. After sussing out accommodation here and nearby, I decided to take two nights here.

A bit out of my budget, but better than riding to and fro with beer under my belt and I had already bought a banquet ticket for tomorrow night. Once in my room I found that Chainsaw would not be turning up, home life had intruded, bummer for him. I could see from the SPOT tracks that Margaret was near Crazy Horse and Davo was up in Canada and heading south, judging by the distances involved, I would not expect to see them until early morning. The check in window was from 4am until 7am, then a penalty window from 7-9am and after that too bad. A lot of bikes had turned up, mainly supporters and friends, so I looked around a bit and even met up with SemperV, a Vstrom rider I have known of on the VSRI forum, well met m8, nice bike too 🙂

During the evening, after dinner I wandered down for a few beers, but I intended to go to bed early and be up at 4am for the finish and see the riders come in, I had my Aussie flag ready to wave at Marg and Davo 🙂 I met some nice people downstairs, previous IBR riders and mostly Iron Butt riders.

So, I was in bed by 10pm after a final check of the SPOT tracks, it looked like an all night ride for both Marg and Davo, but the timing looked good.

Day 280 miles and 451 km
Trip – 34,914 miles and 56,189 km


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