Highway 12

We made it to Montana this afternoon, riding on Highway 12 along the Clearwater and Lachsa Rivers. It was amazing to continually look down into the rivers and see the rock bottoms–the water so clear. We also took some breaks to enjoy the area. So much to take in on this ride.

IMG_2112
Hike in the woods.
IMG_2095
Biking a bridge.
IMG_2084
Soaking the toes.
IMG_2077
Pedaling along the little bit of shoulder that Idaho has to offer.
Advertisements

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

On our way up Lolo Pass, we stopped off at Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. When I lived here 22 years ago (when Kait was in utero), I visited the hot springs with my friend Dave Stedman. It was winter, so we had to ski in to sit in the hot Idaho sulfur water. I would have enjoyed knowing, 22 years ago, that my soon-to-be born baby girl would some day do a bike tour with me so we could visit this place and soak in the spring.

IMG_2114
The best spring is at the end, very end, of the trail.
IMG_2118
Where the hot spring enters the crick–half hot, half chillingly cold.
IMG_2125
Hot sulfur water pouring from the rock.
IMG_2111
We took the hiker’s route.

Entering the wilderness

Kait and I are in Kooskia, Idaho, on the edge of the Lolo National Forest. We’ll be out of Wi-Fi and cell range for the next 3 days, so there may not be many blog posts in the near future.

We just went to the Kooskia grocery store and loaded up on food for the next 3 days. We also decided to stop off at the Kooskia Cafe for a good breakfast before today’s ride. You need fuel, and this fuel looks pretty tasty.

IMG_2064
The rotating pie machine is a sign of civilization. It will be missed.
IMG_2065
So much pie, spinning and spinning around like a culinary carousel. 

Shade

The temps in Kamiah, Idaho are currently 87 degrees, but we just rode our bikes through some open stretches that had temps in the 90s. You stop when you can and appreciate a bit of shade. It’s just another small detail that I take for granted back at home–but something I greatly appreciate on this open road.

IMG_2052
Shade beneath a railroad bridge.
IMG_2059
Shade beneath a tree.
IMG_2061
Ultimate shade–swinging beside the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River.

From Culdesac to Winchester, Idaho

It’s 8 miles of straight climbing on the Old Winchester Road. It’s a 2,500 elevation gain, but you don’t notice the punishing uphill so much because the views are rather spectacular. And, the air gets colder as you climb into the trees.

IMG_2044
One of the views. You couldn’t stop for long on the twisty road to look.
IMG_2048
Near the top, not far from Winchester.

Walla Walla to Waitsburg

The Middle Waitsburg Road, connecting Walla Walla to Waitsburg, is a pleasure to cycle. You have a bit of climbing to do, but the climb lets you slow down just enough to enjoy the topography. Rolling wheat fields, acres of dry peas, small farms peppering the landscape.

img_1977.jpg
Green, blue, dappled white.
IMG_1978
Every direction is a good bike ride.
IMG_1984
Go to the Laht Neppur Brewing Company in Waitsburg for a mason jar of beer.

Calories and the grumpy whiners

When bike touring, you need to eat. All the time. If you don’t eat, you become a grumpy whiner, and no one wants to bike with a grumpy whiner.

We have a ton of snack food; on my bike, I currently have gummy bears, fig newtons, potato chips, Nutella, peanut butter, trail mix, energy bars, bananas, rice cakes… and that’s just one of two food panniers. We stop, drink water, eat, bike, and repeat.

But the best eating is when we sit down for a meal. Kait has to make a point of finishing her plate and then having more; I, on the other hand, don’t need to consume nearly as much given my energy stores. When we eat in camp, it’s usually a simple meal such as pizza in a pot (hamburger, tomato paste, couscous, cheese, and a splash of red wine)–which is why it’s fun to eat out every other day or so. And, eating out means we get to have contact with humanity, which is a good thing to stay in contact with.

IMG_1619
The chocolate cake ala mode with bacon at The Old School House Brewery in Winthrop.
IMG_1659
Instant oatmeal with honey and peanut butter.
IMG_1908
A wonderful diner burger–a Father’s Day gift from Kait.
IMG_1856
Banana and peanut butter wrap.
IMG_2006
The Effie Burger in Lewiston, Idaho.

Pig

Kait loves stuffed animals, so she decided to bring one on our trip–Pig. He’s been with Kait since she was a little girl and has been on his share of camping adventures, but he’s never been on a journey such as this one.

It’s good to have a third member on our trip. He’s a quiet little guy, but he’s definitely part of what we’re doing.

IMG_1661
Pig dawns a hat to keep himself dry in a rain storm.
IMG_1940
Pig has a bit too much wine one hot summer night.
IMG_1565
Pig on the go.

 

Robert, the Long Haul Trucker

Several days ago, we ran into Robert–somewhere between Portland and Hood River. He’s a Scotsman who’s been living in London for the last 6 years. He quit his job as a patent attorney so he could ride his Surly Long Haul Trucker from Seaside Oregon to Virginia. We’ve enjoyed his company thoroughly, especially our hours long conversation about best films:

  • best Bond movie: Robert says Golden Eye, and I say Casino Royal
  • Best war film: Robert says Platoon, and I say Apocalypse Now
  • best Nick Cage film: Robert says Con Air, and I say Leaving Las Vegas
  • best film of all time: Robert says Star Wars: A New Hope, and I say Apocalypse Now
  • best comedy: Robert says Ace Ventura, and I say Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
  • best action film: Robert says Terminator 2, and I have to agree

We discuss other topics too, and I greatly value Robert’s take on topics such as Brexit, Scottish independence, and the Trump era. Funny that a great way to meet a Scotsman is to ride your bike through eastern Oregon.

IMG_1906
Robert and Kait.
IMG_1930
Robert on the road.
IMG_1934
Where’s Robert?