Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I was assuming that the 5th day would be the hardest, but this one was quite a challenge.  The temps were close to 100 degrees, and there was little relief from the sun, as we made our way up the 4,000+ ft. pass.  I encountered a rather unusual problem after about 6 miles.  As I drew water from my camel back, I got mouthfuls of an unknown substance in my mouth.  At about mile 7, I realized that I was swallowing mouthfuls of toilet paper--bits I had put in the bladder to dry it out.  I also discovered that I have been cycling on deflated tires.  So I had one embarrassing mishap and one revelation on this second day.   Thank you to our CWU Bridges mentors for organizing a College Fair in Tonasket---that was on day one, but we "blogged" before it happened.  Many, many thanks as well to all those who fed us on this evening at the Fish Hatchery in Winthrop - Judith and Mike who live on the grounds and Carol Hassen and Bob Fisher.  We had some of the best horseradish cheese, spaghetti, and blackberry crisp ever.  The tour of the Fish Hatchery was a real treat---lots fish and beavers.  It was the perfect way to end a challenging day of bike riding!!!!  Marji's post

On the subject of continuing my education, I recently learned that Winthrop is comprised of about 75% vegetarians despite the overpopulation of deer in the area ("High-kill Zone" said the sign). The local fish hatchery keeps the Methow (pronounced Met-how as any local would remind you) River supplied with local fish: Chinook, Steelhead, Coho, Rainbow and Bull. Many of you out there might not be aware of this, but there exists a type of food item that sounds like 'poo-poo' but actually refers to the Hawaiian hors d'oeuvres 'puu-puu'. Beware so that you won't be mislead as I was! Also, many of you are aware that biking uphill is more difficult than biking downhill and as I was cycling up the pass I kept reminding myself of why I'm doing this: for my wonderful sponsors! This ones for you Big D! It's too bad I won't be enrolled in Marching Band this fall to continue Mr. Bruya's proud school-days tradition of having gallons of fizzy, yellow, euphoric liquid before practice! Birkin's post

Day 2 saw the first "bonk" of the ride.....me.  While pedaling toward Loup Loup Pass, I was overcome with a unique smell - I thought it was a delicious barbecue.....but it was actually the remains of a recent forest fire and the trees were still "burning" on the inside.  There were even some smoldering areas as well.  I don't know if it was the heat or my lack of good nutrition or a combination of both, but I had to admit defeat and I was "sagged" to the summit.  Once there, we all enjoyed a great lunch and then headed down 8 miles to Twisp.  There's just something totally exhilarating about going down a hill at 38 miles per hour!  The Blue Spruce Motel in Twisp had very fluffy towels an comfy beds.  We were treated to a marvelous meal at the fish hatchery in just outside of Winthrop by a CWU alum (Carol Hassen) and a great dessert of blackberry crisp.  I must get the recipe.  Tomorrow will be a much better riding day.
Sarah's post....

After a fast 20 mile ride from Tonasket to Okanogan, we headed up the first ten miles of grueling Loup-Loup Pass.  The going was very slow; the weather was pushing 100 and the grade was very steep.  We stopped after the first ten miles, ate lunch and hesitatingly trudged up the last ten miles to the summit.  The downhill was about twenty minutes long, going about 35 mph.  We arrived at our destination in Twisp (The Blue Spruce Motel) around 5:00 p.m. (after being on the road for 8-1/2 hours.  We were treated to a magnificent spaghetti dinner, blackberry crisp and a tour of the Winthrop Fish Hatchery, courtesy of CWU alum, Carol Hassen.  Please check out the Oak Hollow art showing of Carol Hassen and Bob Fisher at 56th and Summitview in Yakima on September 11th ~ Debbie's post.

What a climb it was going up Loup Loup. Near lowest gear on my bike, so it wasn't as steep as Reecer Creek Rd, but close. When we finally made it to the top, I didn't even think ahead to the next part...which was an eight mile long 6% grade. Wowee! 40 miles an hour for 8 miles with no let up! No hills like that in Eburg. Then we took the truck over to a bike shop in Winthrop to replace one of my water bottles that cracked...what a cool town. Then the evening meal at the Winthrop Fish Hatchery was a treat complete with a tour from Mike the Fishguy. We saw smolts and juvenile fish, then beavers too....they also relocate "bad" beavers. Then following the tour blackberry crisp made by Carol Hassen, a CWU art alum. Thanks!
Chris Bruya's post


  1. Way to go you amazing group from CWU. Neat to be the the college of Art and Humanities rather than physical ed or exercise science. Alumni from Central Washington Art and Humanities should support these guys.

  2. Congratulations to all! I greatly appreciate the effort in mastering passes, enduring heat, nursing sore muscles, and writing about it for those of us who didn't get to go. Terrific work!