Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 54 – Along the Columbia River

The Columbia enjoys high status among America’s rivers. Lewis and Clark boated down the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. The historic salmon runs boggled the imagination. Modern dams produce prodigious amounts of hydropower. At Wenatchee, I crossed the 200-yard wide, clear river and headed north on US Hwys 2 and 97 along the eastern side. Fruit orchards, especially apples, coveted slopes and flats near the river (see photo). Irrigation water comes from wells next to the river. Modest elevation gain here and there and no headwind made riding easy. Hooray! After 40 miles, I recrossed the river near Chelan and continued north on US Hwy 97 along the western side.  The 18 miles to Pateros and Hwy 153 went smoothly. At Pateros, I stopped at 12:30 pm at a gas station for chocolate milk, water, and lunch. My destination for the day was the Carlton RV Park in 22 miles. I rode on Hwy 153 along the Methow River heading upstream. More fruit orchards irrigated from the river. The afternoon heated up to 95 degrees. Happily, I got cool water from a water tap in the hamlet of Methow. Cool water improved my outlook. Onward for another 11 miles to Carlton, self- described as the Mediterranean of the Methow, arriving  thirsty and hot at 3:00. For $20, I got a grassy, shady, soft site, a shower, and ice-cold water. 80 miles of riding today.

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