After a monster of mountain passes, Rainy Pass and Washington Pass, I find myself winding down 8 long miles of 8% grade. Undoing three days of riding to the top.
At the bottom is Mazama, a great little mountain tourist town with all sorts of active all season sport recreation. The rocks look very tempting. I make my way to mile 186 where Jim Gregg lives a bike tourist only campsite. I’m the only one there and the place is so inviting. Fully equipt with outdoor luxuries: outdoor shower, compost toilet, electricity, and wifi… a little piece of paradise after heavy riding.
By morning I start into the town of Winthrop, maybe one of the most well preserved old western towns I’ve ever seen. At 7:30 in the morning, there are two men on the corner cafe smoking cigars. The scent, mixed in with espresso and cinnamon rolls is enough to pull me over for coffee and drawing. The two cigar smokers are clearly business men, and after confirmation, I find out one is from Seattle and the other from Oregon. They are both here for some rest while they work.
After riding through some farm country along the river bed, I find myself in Twisp, another quaint town updated with a natural cafe and art galleries. While making a painting, Bruce Morrison a local sculptor, introduces himself. He spent 6 years hitchhiking around the continent and has established his roots here in Twisp.
Later that night, I find myself in Tonasket. This visitor center hooks me up with a free place to camp in the back and a number to a free and delightful hot shower. Across from camp, a taco stand is stand is calling me with a hum of a power generator and tempting me with wafts of carne asada. I order three lengua tacos to my satisfaction.