Kettle Crest, Jungle Hill, and Spokane

So many activities & socialization, then no internet access makes for catching up.

Last Fri I drove to Republic, WA on the east side of the Kettle Crest. Republic is a played out resource extraction community just south of our neighbors to the north, frostbacks they call them. I discovered that the bumpy roads dislodged the nut on the quick release that holds my front wheel on the bike rack. The wheel stayed w/ the van because of the cable lock. I toured NAPA where the car guy found appropriate hardware for a fix.

Randy,  the event organizer, established Curlew Lake SP as our camp spot. State parks now require a daily $10 fee. Camp was $22 per night. Nice swimming lake and 50 cent starts the shower. Paul Z and Teresa arrived and tent camped. Carl and Diane showed up in a small trailer. Randy & Lisa arrived Sat in their Eurovan Westy. What was once dirt bag camping sleeping on a picnic table has moved to comfort. The hard sided rigs isolates people that tent camping brought together.

Sat we drove up to Sherman Pass on US 20. Elevation is 5575′, I believe it is the highest all weather pass. Today’s ride started from the snow park @ the pass then headed N on the Kettle crest trail. No dirtbikes allowed. Trail was fun chunky that me and my bike sucked up. Randy and Lisa both ride Turner 5 Spots. They commented on how rough the trail was. Personal preferences.  Trail intersected w/ Jungle Hill trail that drops 2226′ in 3.96 miles that we shared w/ fresh cow reminders. Dusty except for the green splatters. Randy fell and injured his right hand, his fly casting hand. Then we did a 180 and pedaled 4 miles and 1,800′ back to the snowpark. Brutal to finish a ride on an uphill. Hot dripping sweat day.

Beer recovery drink then drove back down to XG. Dropped 3,000′ and the temp raised 15 degrees. I walked over to the swimming beach and slowly adjusted to the h20. I swam a bit. My right healing broken collar bone limited my crawl stroke. I sunned myself dry on the shore. I jumped up to observe an erratically flying airplane. The jump up turned on an excruciating series of cramps in my left quad. Try as I might I couldn’t stretch out the cramps. I literally floundered on the beach for maybe 10 mins in pain. Finally the muscles relaxed. I looked around to see if anybody saw my plight. A guy was maybe 30′ away and never offered help. Oh well. Back @ my van I ate some more electrolytes and a big dollop of Grey Poupon mustard that seemed to quell the cramps.

Back @ camp Randy was rigging the 12 volt blender to make ice cream head ache chopped ice margaritas. When everybody else drinks the same you only know if you had too much was by the headache in the AM. I had a teenie ache.

Sleeping in a campground is not my choice. I like the quiet and primitive conditions of camping on a logging road.

Bob and Julie arrived as we went to bed.

Sunday’s ride was to be the killer. Randy’s injured hand relegated him to shuttle driver. This ride started up the Old Stage road that was WA’s first state highway built back in the horse day. 6.15 miles climbed 2364′ took me 1 1/2 hours. The road still has a road bed but is overgrown down to a single track. It intersected the Kettle Crest trail 5 miles north of Jungle Hill where we were yesterday. But first was the nasty hike a bike up Copper Butte, a 1 .25 mile, 1083′ climb that took 40 mins. Next was 5 miles of up and down, mostly down ride along the crest. Finally there were no  more hills to climb when we arrived @ Jungle Hill. This time down i chased several cows.

riding up Old Stage rd. forest fire damage and lodgepole regrowth
Kettle crest area looking west over big burn

Randy calculated our ride time to finish @ 4:00. We arrived right on time. Randy went to the Republic hospital for exam. XRays revealed a break in his hand and possible other issues that were to diagnosed once he returned to Spokane.

Lisa drove us back over the pass back to the XG to retrieve our rigs. I poached a swim @ shower b4 I drove into republic to check out a new brew pub and a pizza from nenxt door. Sunday, Republic honors the day as a rest day. No beer or pizza. Grocery store munchy food. I drove back over the pass and primitive camped just above the bottom of Jungle Hill. I was out by myself and slept so well.

Today started my Spokane adventure. It’s 100 miles from Sherman Pass to where I used to live. First stop was N Division bike for a scheduled rear hub service. I dropped my bike off and left after a short visit. I visited a Specialized shop to report my warranty issue w/ my shoes. I wore them the first time April 2, rode 87 rides for 1373 miles and they are falling apart. Another size 40 warranty replacement.

Next was my dentist appointment. I am taking care of my teeth. Lunch was a baglewich @ Ultimate Bagel down near Gonzaga. Then next door to Arnies for a chocolate malt. Satiated I headed east to Liberty Lake for my chiro appointment to deal w/ hip pain. I have now seen Dan every year back in Spokane. He previously was w/ a big clinic and was now on his own. Jeff, who is coowner of U District Physical Therapy. opened a new office in Liberty Lake. Jeff worked on my body for several years when i lived here. As I walked to the office I got to thinking that maybe Dan and Jeff were in the same clinic as Jeff introduced me to Dan’s treatment. And it was so. Great match w/ a skeletal and soft tissue care givers together. Great to see Jeff. I enjoyed my visit.

Temp was in upper 80s. I called Les and asked for space in his driveway for the night. Granted. We worked together when we were all Boeing. We have known each other since 1990.

You need to understand that I lived in Spokane for 18 years, many people I will visit with during my stay I have known for that long. This used to be my home.

Tomorrow I will ride MT Spokane seeking huckleberries that 2 separate sources said were plentiful. I learned that the winter lingered longer delaying the creation of the berries. At Sherman berries were plentiful but shriveled from lack of rain. I hope to find berries as it has been 2 years w/o Sunday scratch made huckleberry pancakes.

Off to bed. Les and wife Gloria leave b4 5:00AM.

My rebuilt Monarch shock is @ former neighbor Bill’s that I will pick up and install b4 my berry ride tomorrow.