Day 4: Tonasket, WA - Colville, WA
Distance: 94 miles
Vertical: 7,339 feet
Biking Time: 7:15
Day 4 of solitary confinement. The crippling boredom is broken only by brief 5-minute conversations involving water refilling and complaints about headwind. My supply of Cheez-Its ran dangerously low. I only had one Mountain Dew to keep me awake, but I, by some miracle, managed to make it to the end. It was a day full of hill climbing for the riders, and brief 10-15 mile cruises followed by hours of sitting and waiting for me, but it wasn’t all cupcakes and roses. My newborn calf ankles struggled to push the accelerator down enough to maintain speed while climbing the two passes for the day. My mind often wanders to things I’d rather be doing: Sipping lemonade by the lake, watching TV at home, having a talk about politics with Donald Trump, getting a root canal. I also finished book number 7 in a 4 day period, which I’m pretty sure is some sort of record (I swear I’m not a nerd). The riders complained about “fatigue,” and “soreness,” adding that 94 miles is apparently “very hard and a lot of work.” Honestly, I didn’t find today to be that difficult, so I don’t know why they’re complaining. They didn’t have to sleep in the passenger seat of a car. They got a lovely two person, queen bed sized tent that the three of them slept in. They got to cuddle each other, and I only had a pillow to hold :( However, I have learned some valuable information:
-Matt takes more time to get ready in the morning than both of my sisters combined
-Josh stays perpetually positive, except when headwind is involved, in which case he shows what he calls anger (it’s still pretty positive somehow)
-Nigel shovels down his meals like he’s never seen food before in his life
-Matt and Nigel bicker over the dumbest things with the mental capacity of twelve year olds
-The North Cascade Highway has the most breathtaking views, from the gorgeous Washington Pass Outlook, to the ruins of the Twisp wildfire a few years back (seriously, check it out sometime)
-Never underestimate how convenient running water and a bathroom is
-Cell signal is quite useful when trying to communicate with the riders
But on a serious note, the ride today was incredibly difficult and it is extremely admirable that the guys made it all the way. They climbed the 4310 feet to Wauconda Pass, descended for a while, and then climbed back up to 5575 feet to cross over Sherman Pass, the highest pass in the state of Washington.
After Sherman Pass, it was still a tough 35-mile trek until Colville, our finishing point for the day. Tonight consists of a well-deserved steak and potato dinner at my house in Spokane, followed by a day of rest tomorrow. Over the four days, my wait times became much shorter and more infrequent as Matt, Josh, and Nigel grew in strength and confidence. They completed their toughest stretch of their journey without a hitch; there is no doubt in my mind that they can make it all the way to Boston. While I’m glad I get to sleep in a real bed tonight, I regret nothing from this experience, and gained a heighted respect for these three outstanding men as they make a real change in the lives of young adults who struggle through the unimaginable nightmare of cancer. I am proud to be a part of their journey, and I am proud to be a part of Theta Chi and our effort to redefine the fraternity man. I wish them luck in the rest of their adventure.