6/13/12 60 miles from Oxbow to Council, Idaho
We finally moved out of Oregon and into Idaho today. I loved every minute in Oregon. I think it may be the most beautiful place I have ever seen.
We all got ready and left at our own pace. Roger took off first. Frank was next ready to leave, only to discover he had a flat. While he was fixing the flat, I took off. Again, I was blown away by the scenery – a meandering road alongside a beautiful lake. About 30 minutes into the ride, I came upon Roger on the side of the road where he had stopped to eat breakfast and spread out his tent, etc. to dry. There was a hillside facing the sun and a steady wind, so it made sense to me to dry stuff out there as well. Since Roger was getting ready to leave, I asked if it really worked and how long it took to dry. He told me less than 45 minutes. I thought I would give it a try and much to my delight it worked great. Everything was dry in approx. 30 minutes, which made me extremely happy as I was fretting over dragging all that wet stuff over the mountain and contemplating having to sleep in it again. Now I had a fresh, dry tent, sleeping bag, etc. to look forward to.
McKinley and Patrice came up and we started to ride together, but I quickly lost them again. At Brownlee Dam, one of the major climbs of the day started. However, since it was cooler than the day before and before lunch, and I had not indulged in a chocolate milkshake immediately before the climb, it went much better. The reward for reaching the top was several miles of rode meandering along the Snake River with stunning views. This went on for probably 10 miles, then the “real” climb of the day kicked in. For almost 2 hours I climbed the steep, winding incline. Approx 2/3 of the way up, Randy caught up with me. I had not seen him since breakfast. We slogged it out. Just as you thought the next curve had to be the last and would flatten out, you would go around only to discover that it only led to the next steep incline. Again, when we finally finally reached the summit, we were treated with 8 – 10 miles of downhill, sometimes at speeds of up to 30-35 mph. The sky was blue, no clouds and the sun warm. We were flying. Eventually, we reached Cambridge, where we stopped for lunch, and realized there had been a time change. I was starving and had a Philly Cheese steak, followed by a cappachino at the espresso shop. My legs were worn out from 2 days of hard climbing, so I propped them up and re-grouped for the final 20 miles to Council, OR. Roger came by, so I joined with him for the fairly flat ride. There were a number of hills, but nothing compared to what we had ridden early in the day. I kept thinking, “I can do anything for 10 miles.” I was feeling pretty exhausted. Randy caught up with us as we rested about 1/2 way to Council, and I rode with him the rest of the way. We pulled in about 6:00 and found the City Park, where we would camp. Lodging tonight cost $0. The city’s public bathrooms were clean and had one of those warm hand blowers. You really can bike across America fairly cheap if you want.
Randy and I walked across the street for pizza and ice cream. As incredible as it seems, I think I am losing weight. Probably because my heart rate monitor watch says I am burning 3000 or more calories on these days where we are doing a lot of steep climbing. My body feels good, although my knees and legs are tired. I think we are only going to ride approx. 50 miles tomorrow.
Had a nice visit with Randy and learned a little more about him and what got him into touring. He has ridden cross country before. I love hearing the stories of these folks you meet out here on the road. An interesting and intriguing group of people.
Meanwhile, McKinley called and they are having bike mechanical issues and will be staying in Cambridge for the night with the plan to check with the bike shop there in the morning. Hopefully, they will be able to catch up with us tomorrow.
This City Park camping is interesting. We had to call the sheriff’s dept to let them know we are here and to leave the public bathrooms open. The park is open and spacious with soft grass and nice covered picnic tables. I think I will sleep really well tonight.
Having some issues with getting pictures from the iPhone to iPad – again, I suspect coverage issues with this area. If things don’t improve, I will see if I can find an Apple store in Missoula.