Looking north toward Moscow Mountains and Cornwall
In the mirror mounted on my glasses, I can see little white specks, not snow, not quite hail, but gropple, bouncing off my red Gortex rain jacket. Or, perhaps it is just spray thrown up by my Bontragger tubeless tire.
We’ve climbed from the valley floor in Kendrick and can now look out across the Palouse or could if it weren’t raining.
We are about 52 miles into the Rivers and Ridges century route. It is only 12 miles from Kendrick to Troy, but what a 12 miles. The first two reach 13% briefly and hang around between 9 and 12 a bit longer than an old, fat, cyclist might like.
The third is better and we cover a couple of rollers before the route settles into a steady 2%.
Patches of wet pavement begin to appear. And a drop or two of rain.
“I’m not anxious go over there,” I say to Jim looking north toward Troy. A band of light reflects nicely off what is clearly a shower. “Shall we find a spot and put on the rain jackets,” I suggest.
It doesn’t last long, and we don’t get cold despite bare legs. It isn’t just the rain, which we had expected. Rather it is the wind. We’d expected rain and wind on the return across the Palouse toward the southwest, but we are riding due north.
In Troy we stop at the Filling Station. Once it filled your automobile, now it is a full service Espresso shop with great paninis, ice cream, shakes, smoothies, and yes, that latte you’ve been wanting.
The Filling Station caters especially to cyclists riding the Latah Trail from Moscow 9 miles to the west. We’ll have a rest stop at the Park in Troy, but don’t miss an opportunity to visit the Filling Station.
Neither Jim, nor I have ever ridden this exact route. I’ve ridden all the pieces but not as a single ride. After a sweet climb on a forested Latah Trail, we pass through a tunnel under the highway and head to Cornwall. This is scarcely more than a collection of sheds, but gives us a break by taking us briefly east.
And then we are climbing again. 13% shows up on my Garmin and stays there. Fortunately these steep hills are short. They give way to a long smooth, almost flat run into Genesse which was complemented by a tailwind since we were bearing to the southeast.
And then we turned west. The winds were forecast to be 12 with gusts to 20. I’d say they were closer to a steady 20. I’ve seen worse, but not by choice.
Jim and I had started at the Port of Clarkston. My Gps reported 101 miles. This is a great route but very challenging, especially if you pick a windy day.