We took the Old Omak River Road from Okanogan to Nespelem at the advice of a Warmshower host. In retrospect, he may have been trying to kill us.
The road turned longer and hotter than we had ever expected. Shade grew increasingly rare, as did the passing cars. This was dangerous. Even the downhill portions of the day felt like opening an oven door. We were experiencing first hand the heat and dryness that shaped the barren, mountainous land around us. Though at times Omak Lake and the Columbia River were in view, they were always out of reach. Mental torture like the Greek myth of Tantalus. We turned to the kindness of strangers: flagging down cars and asking for water. We were met with bottle after bottle, but the more we wore on in the 105 degree heat, the more we needed.
It is a surprisingly quick transition from "everything is okay" to "we need to get to town immediately." After 30 hot miles, we flagged down a truck and after some negotiating and a little cash, we hitched a ride off the Colville Reservation and into Grand Coullee. Our driver was a man named Elvis. Elvis is the type of person that is so unique, so animated, and entertaining that words are completely incapable of describing him. We were lucky to have met him.
Having to get a ride to town was humbling. None of us wanted to feel like we were incapable of doing this trip. However, at the end of the day, this isn't our job, we're just on a bike ride trying to have some fun. When pride is put aside, getting a 25 mile ride to a Safeway was the smartest thing we done on this trip.
Morale is difficult to build back up after a day like this, but hot dogs and Modern Family helps.