Tonasket to Republic
Got on the road by 5:00, a new record for me. The road started climbing right away. It follows Bonaparte Creek up a steep canyon. Pretty soon it was quite green. The couple I talked to in Tonasket said the road to Wauconda had no trees, so I was glad to see more and more pines the higher I got. Indeed soon I was in a mixed forest of pine, for, and tamarack. My spirits were greatly improved. I'm just not a fan of barren landscapes.
I got to Wauconda before the store opened at 9 so I kept going. It was only a couple more miles to the pass. I ran into a group of cycle tourists heading west. Didn't get any names but one was from Argentina and one was from Oregon.
I was concerned that the east side would turn dry and barren again, but to my delight the forest was even more lush and green. There was also very little traffic. I finally started to feel like I had gotten away from the world and things were starting to slow down.
Republic is at the bottom of a big V between Wauconda and Sherman passes. I thought about pushing on as it was not going to be nearly as hot today, but found a nice place to camp at the Ferry County fairground along with a couple of hundred BMW motorcycle enthusiasts who are having a big rally here. They even have a band tonight which I hope doesn't keep me up too late.
Tomorrow is the big on Sherman pass, the highest pass in the state.