• 66°

David Freeze: Day 11 brings trip within four miles of border crossing

Friday morning was the one day on the whole trip that I started riding in short sleeves. A warm morning and clear sky in Pateros, Washington, greeted me along with a slight headwind.

The first six miles along U.S. 97 were quick, and I stopped at McDonald’s in Brewster, Washington. There were no customers except for a guy bought coffee, and I found out why. An Egg McMuffin was $3.69, and there were no specials.

Just down the road was a packed convenience store selling breakfast biscuits and burritos.

Brewster was dead center of several huge fruit-packing operations, all going crazy very early. I saw a helicopter, part of a small fleet, flying over the cherry trees. Someone said the purpose was to dry them.

The Columbia River turned off as I picked up the Okanogan River. Much smaller, the Okanogan was the water source for endless agricultural production on both sides of the river for the rest of the day. As I have stated often, following a river takes out major climbing unless the river is rushing at you. This one wasn’t, and there was not a huge hill all of Friday.

Next came the towns of Okanogan and Omak. In an amazing coincidence, I had crossed this area on my ride across the Northwest in 2017.

There were lots of memories for me. The Loup Loup Pass from Twisp is a huge pass that was under major repair after a huge storm. I was told to go 50 miles out of the way but succeeded in talking my way through the repair zone.

Facing a major headwind, I rode past the towns of Riverside and Tonasket, the actual crossing point of the two journeys. Two years ago, I got up at the Red Apple Inn and turned east on Washington 20 to climb a series of steep hills, including the Wauconda Summit and Sherman Pass.

This time, I stopped again at the junction, at one of the best convenience stores I have ever visited and talked with Alyce. She was excited about this next adventure and promised to follow it.

Next, I stopped at the Red Apple Inn and caught up on running, President Donald Trump and much more. Owner Chris Zaferes is 80 and still walks three miles a day after a knee replacement. He has done several marathons.

All of the towns visited earlier have a rich Indian history and have many pioneer and native descendants still important to the area.

Back on the road, I pedaled on to Oroville, the last town before the border. I had a room at the Caraway Motel and got plenty of help on what to expect on my trip into Canada from Clyde and Sandy Andrews, the managers.

After 80 miles Friday that were relatively easy along the river, I am almost ready to cross the border. My passport is ready and my phone is too, but my iPad still has an issue that I hope to fix before crossing early Saturday morning.

Clyde Andrews mentioned that I could stay on what will become Canada Highway 97 for much of my trip to Alaska, and I will ask about that at the welcome center. It appears to still follow the river for a while. Friday’s ride was called the Okanogan Trail.

The four miles to the border will be the second goal after the Verizon issue, then I will cross the border and exchange some U.S. dollars for Canadian dollars.

Another new sponsor this year is Luann Fesperman of the Trophy House. Luann makes nearly all the awards for local races and makes sure that all the local charities get good prices and thoughtful quality too.

I had no idea where I will end up Saturday, but I was certainly excited about seeing this side of Canada.

David Freeze is a Salisbury Post contributor who is biking from Nevada to Alaska. He can be reached at David.freeze@ctc.net while on his journey.

Comments

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18

Coronavirus

County sees ninth COVID-19 death this week, more than 30 cases reported

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces schools can move K-5 to plan A; school board vote needed locally

Local

Wet weather brings crashes, traffic to standstill on interstate

Crime

Salisbury man victim of Facebook scam, duped out of $2,000

Crime

Two charged after fight outside Salisbury home

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools ships out thousands of old devices for refurbishing

Education

Caught in the infodemic: NC school policies frustrated by scientific challenges

East Spencer

East Spencer to hold community day, provide free food, supplies

Education

Shoutouts

Landis

Landis officials provide plan for COVID-19 funds, discuss town’s financial position

Education

Blattner brought technology into schools before it was cool

Education

State has slight decline in SAT scores

Local

New environmental specialists begin work on backlog soil evaluations

Local

Friends, colleagues say Seay left his mark on Rowan judicial system

Elections

Rep. Howard says ‘still work to be done’ as she seeks 17th term in House

Nation/World

Trump disputes health officials, sees mass vaccinations soon

Nation/World

‘Nothing left in the bucket’: Wildfire resources run thin

Nation/World

At least 1 dead, hundreds rescued after Hurricane Sally

Crime

Blotter: Sheriff’s Office seeking information in shootout