Another hot and bright morning roasted and rousted us out of our tent, only to find that it was quite brisk in the shade. I was feeling sleepy and worn out until we ate tasty breakfast in a cute, artsy little coffee shop that seemed like it belonged in uptown Minneapolis rather than the dwindling main street of a sleepy mid-Washington town.
Camping out there was few and far between, leaving us with few options of how far we would go each day. Our options were either to make it a long day and go all the way into Leavenworth, or to split it into two short days and stop in Wenatchee. We decided to take it easy and go with the short days.
I had thought that the decent we took into the Sulfur Springs Gorge was intense, but now feel silly after the dive we took out of Waterville. It was 2000 feet in all, and I felt like a dare devil as my sweaty palms gripped my handlebars with antsy trigger fingers on the brakes. I was terrified that at any moment I would hit a big rock in the road or one of the random sharp metal objects that litters the shoulder and I would blow a tire and skid out of control into traffic, or tumble over my handle bars at over thirty miles an hour. We survived without incident.
It was cloudy most of the morning as we rode passed a beautiful lake with the mountains growing larger and larger in the distance. I don’t know when exactly we had crept back into sage country, but it was rampant in this area. We admired the million dollar homes on the lake and tried to snap pictures of the gofer-like animals that popped out of the rocks beside us. We scoured the side of the road for a fishing lure to go with our pole. Ironically, we had seen quite a few over the last few days, but with a broken pole, we had no use for a lure.
The ride was easy and before we knew it, we were at Confluence State Park in Wenatchee, Washington. The campground was a huge green lawn on the flooded Columbia River with few trees and lots of picnic shelters. We ate lunch near the swimming area and I sat on the top of a picnic table that was submerged in water and sunned my goofy tan lines, hoping to blur the sharp line between white and tan on my thigh. The campsites were all full, but there was an area that was reserved for group camping where no one was staying, and we had the whole thing to ourselves at the hiker/biker rate of twelve dollars.
Wenatchee is almost a happenin’ town, with an awesome river walk and a great new brewery that only serves beer and peanuts and has a patio that you can sit on with your dogs and chill out with a view of mountains and river. They had a violinist playing Irish music for tips inside.
We took our third shower of the trip at our campsite that night, and shivered as we dried with our efficient but comfortless camp towels. I never realized what a luxury it is to be able to step out of the shower and wrap up in an oversized, dry, towel.
I sat and blogged and looked through pictures with the boy at a picnic table with no one else around for quite some ways, as the group campsite was huge and across the park from all of the other campers. There was a cool breeze with a bit more moisture in it than the frigid Washington winds that we had grown used to, and I sat huddled in my sleeping bag and watched the stars and let the dewy breeze caress my face. It sent me to bed to have euphoric dreams.