After a long winter all the sudden winter changed to summer over night and we had a beautiful week in the Spokane area. I decided to take advantage of the early warm weather last weekend and headed out right after work Fri. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o> <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> I keep working on learning to pack light but its just not happening. <o></o> <o></o> Trying to stay off Hwy 395 and Hwy 2 as I headed north I had a route worked out that would sort of zigzag my way north. That didnt work out the way I wanted since I was looking for a dirt road between Deer Park and Springdale but I ran into a couple of dead end roads instead of the road I wanted. Ill find it some other time.<o></o> <o></o> I managed to stay of the Hwys other than a few miles even though it wasnt the route I planned. Finally at Chewelah I headed into the Colville National Forest on Flowery Trail. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> There is still a little snow up on the ski runs.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> Stopped here<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> People have been decorating the signs.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> Stopped for a geocache<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> Not much further I stopped for another geocache and the GPS is telling me to go in here. OK, I will. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> I didnt find the cache but I found this.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> Its not far from the road but you cant see it from the road even knowing its there.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> This looked like a good place for a cache but no luck. Guess Ill have to return. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> And up the road another 5 or so miles I stopped again for a cache. This one had me walking a little further but a nice view was promised so I went for it.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> Flowers are starting to bloom. <o></o> <o></o> Oregon grapes making themselves at home in Washington.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> I dont know what this is but there were a dozen or more up on the hillside.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> While was up on the hill I saw a car drive by on the Flowery Trail then the car turned around, came back and parked in front of the Superbug . That made me very nervous especially when the guy got out of his car and opened his trunk. :eek1 Not sure what the heck the guy was doing but I started making my way back to the bike and not being at all stealth. Before I got down the hill the car left and I continued on to the bike since I wasnt comfortable leaving it unattended out there. I didnt even look for the geocache but I did enjoy the view.<o></o> <o></o> With it getting late it was time to go find a camp spot. My plan was to head up Winchester Creek, since I knew there were good spots for camping along the creek. I headed up a road I thought would connect with Winchester Creek Road but my GPS started nagging me to turn around so I did after a couple miles.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> A short distance down the road I found Winchester Creek Road and realized the road I was on would connect with Winchester and I was about where it connected when I turned around. <o></o><o></o> <o></o> <o></o> The road was nice and the weather was beautiful. It felt so good to be out riding especially since I didnt have to wear numerous layers to keep warm. I was really looking forward to camping. <o></o> <o></o> I found a great campsite and there was even fire wood already piled up and ready to burn.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> With the bike unloaded I found a perfect spot in the trees to set up my tent. It was fairly close to the creek and I would be able to listen to the creek as I drifted off to sleep. Well, that was my plan anyway. As I started setting up my tent I discovered I had a tent pole snafu. One of the poles didnt come on the ride with me. I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out if I could set the tent up without it. I discovered I also didnt have bug repellent or the cord I normally have in the bike. Trying to packing light might not be in my best interest, I forget things that are needed.<o></o> <o></o> After a bit of fighting with a tent that wasnt going to go up I decided to head to Newport and get a room. I dont like riding after dark and it was late enough I was really going to be pushing it to get to Newport. There is a geocache near the campsite but I didn't take the time to look for it. <o></o> Its too bad some people leave their garbage behind. :huh<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> I dont think Toby Keith intended for people to leave red solo cups out littering the countryside after proceeding to party.<o></o> http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=BKZqGJONH68<o></o> <o></o> I was really pushing it but I made it to Newport just a few minutes after dark.<o></o> <o></o> <o></o> A little later Ill be back to tell you about the rest of my ride.