Yup, I’m still in Spokane, the queen city of the Inland Empire. I like it here and I’ve been able to pretty much do my own thing while The Feeshko gets together with her sisters and mom. My own thing mostly boils down to riding my bike and writing about it here. And to a lesser extent, cooking, social distancing, buying a new pair of shoes, and hanging out with my dog, Diggity.
It really is nice to be riding somewhere new and interesting after avoiding any kind of travel all year. As I’ve said, it’s not under the best of circumstances, but I believe cycling is the great healer and cycling in new territory is even MORE therapeutic.
A couple of weeks ago I saw one of Old Grumbleface’s posts and was astounded that there is such a measurement as “Air Quality Index,” but now I get it. I’ve gained some first hand knowledge about AQI in the last week. On the drive out here, we saw and smelled forest fire smoke all the way from Butte to Missoula, Montana. On Monday, fires burst out in many places around eastern Washington that affected the air in Spokane. On Tuesday, when the winds died down, things seemed to clear up. I went back into the smoky haze yesterday while driving my son to Seattle, but things were okay when I got back to Spokane.
This morning the smoke is back and, according to the news, it’s going to get much worse thanks to smoke from the Oregon fires blowing in. I figured this was my best opportunity to explore some of the hills beyond the city.
From there I descended from the Palouse-like highlands to a valley of pine view-blockers. I was okay with that.
It was a fine day of riding, but eventually I had to get back to my home base. I made a movie along the way. Here it is:
P.S. I think it was on Scott and Rocky’s Cycleblaze journal that I read fellow Cycle365-er Mr. Grumby and Mrs. Grumby had to evacuate their new Oregon home due to the wildfires. If the Grumby’s are reading this, I sincerely wish you the very best.