Hank – After checking the route to Craigmont we learned we had very little elevation gain during the nine miles there from Winchester. But staying in the yurt overnight turned out pretty darn good so we’re happy with the choice we made. We were seriously thinking of taking an easy ride to Craigmont and spending the evening there. Kathy was feeling the burn from yesterday. But the ride from Winchester to Craigmont went great and we were both feeling good when we hit town. We picked up some fruit and fig newtons at the store. Just next door was the bowling alley with a snack bar highly recommended by the woman cashing us out. Kathy ordered a grill cheese sandwich and I got a cheese burger with fries. The rain started pouring outside and we pondered whether we should stay in Craigmont or press on if the weather broke. Then two other cyclists showed up. Bill and Bob Butler are riding the Adventure Cycling Lewis and Clark Route. They just finished 30+ miles of climbing and are headed to Clarkston. They’ll get there in record time because it’s almost all downhill from Winchester. They were soaked and hungry but–first things first–they each grabbed a can of Rainier beer. My kinda people. We got to know each as they wolfed down their burgers and fries. Mom and Dad are with them in a van, hence the reason they’re not carrying much on their bikes and they’re able to knock out 90-100 miles a day. They also have a tandem and if the weather is nice, unlike this morning, Dad, who is 80, stokes a tandem captained by Bill. They’ve done a number of tours as a family in this way. How cool is that? When they’re done, Bill returns to Breckenridge CO and Bob to Dallas TX until the next outing. They said they follow us and give us a yell if we’re passing through. They both agree that meeting great people is the best part of bike touring. Very true and how lucky for me and Kathy to cross paths with them today. The sun came out and we said our goodbyes and good lucks and went our separate ways.
Kathy and I made great time riding to Ferdinand and then on to Cottonwood. But the closer we got to Cottonwood, the closer the thunderstorm came to intersecting our path. It started raining as we entered town and we took shelter in Rodonna’s Restaurant. We had hot tea and some excellent homemade chicken soup while we waited for the weather radar to show us if were spending the night or pressing on to Grangeville.
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