The beginning of the end

Sayonara, Montana! We’re now in our 14th state, Idaho, and it’s endearing, mostly because it’s not Montana. Maybe I’m being a little melodramatic about Montana, but after being put through the gauntlet for two weeks, it’s refreshing to be not only out of the Big Sky country, but also in the Pacific timezone!

Today’s our final rest day in Sandpoint, Idaho. It’s like the west coast version of Lake Gaston. It’s touristy, yet quiet and cultured, and a fine place to do roost. The Sandpoint West Athletic Club is putting us up, and holy mackerel is this place something else. We have full access to a weight room, steam room, sauna, hot tub and more! We’re all thrilled to not have a Pigpen-like cloud of stench and dust around us.

Bright and sunny skies in Sandpoint!
Bright and sunny skies in Sandpoint!
Coastline of City Beach, where I spent most of the day hanging out
Coastline of City Beach, where I spent most of the day hanging out
Common area of the Athletic Center
Common area of the Athletic Center
Racquetball court turned bike garage
Racquetball court turned bike garage
Bruce getting some sun
Drew found a hole-in-the-wall type Thai restaurant which wears its visibility issues on its sleeve. Dynamite food though!
Drew found a hole-in-the-wall type Thai restaurant which wears its visibility issues on its sleeve. Dynamite food though!

But we’re officially in the countdown! Only nine days ’til Seattle! Sweet Maria, where has the time gone. I’m admittedly homesick, and I think it’s because the feeling of hanging in Richmond is so imminent. To those back on the east coast, I can’t wait to see you!

In terms of day-to-day, mile-by-mile living, I reckon it’s changed a little. Once upon a time I was on the caboose squad, but I’ve worked my way up the line and I’m now typically one of the first in. Riding with Caroline (our resident German doctor who wins downhill races in her spare time), Jen (another Virginian who’s cooler than I will ever be, of JenRidesTheUS), and Eric (whose accounts of the trip are always hilariously blunt and available at here) is standard protocol. I’m of the belief it’s more energy-efficient to ride fast and finish early as opposed to exert less energy and be on the saddle all day. Each day I aim to have at least a few hours to relax at camp. Everyone’s cognitive abilities have been at least a little compromised. We must be a server’s worst nightmare, as we storm into cafés hardly piecing together complete sentences, requesting separate checks and guzzling all of their coffee. But what’s necessary is necessary.

Real life is beckoning, and I can count the amount of days left on two hands. It definitely feels like we’re in the home stretch, and I’m ready to give the trip a proper sendoff!

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