Thursday, July 31, 2014

Location: - I'm Not Really Sure ID Miles = 57, Ave MPH = 12.6 Cum. Miles = 912

Tuesday July 29th

This is the Meyer family in a morning shot on the deck over-looking their valley. Mom is in the green shirt - had to say that, as she looks just like one of the girls.  

AND ONE IS MISSING!!!!!


Ranging from 16 to 4 months

Marian, Becca, Margaret, James (not pictured), Talot, Barak, Amanaha, Hali, Jasmine

This is James who was off working at the neighbors during the family photo.


If I remember correctly this is Hali:


And this is Amanaha (but don't quote me on that) as she enjoys her fruit smoothie:


This is Marian with the Anatolian Turkish guard dog ( has killed cougars and coyotes to protect the family and livestock):


Me with "Killer":


Jim, Elizabeth and family practice the Jewish faith. This is Exodus 20 1:17 written on their door post:


Elizabeth in her industrial sized kitchen:


Garden and greenhouse. The family has a variety of livestock and fresh milk as well as meat chickens:


View from the sauna up to the house:


I'm so glad to have had the chance to meet this very special family. Jim is an explosives engineer and has a variety of clients. Elizabeth is a Georgia girl who as you might expect is now a stay at home mom.

As you might guess with 9 children there is either a marvelous choreographed cooperation and  order to the house or there is chaos. Let me just say that is is the former and not the latter and that it is a beautiful thing to observe. The children are such good helpers and know their chores and get to them. They are very respectful and could merge into conversation  with Sandrine and I effortlessly.

As we left some of the children followed us down the drive as we headed down to the village of Kooskia to pick-up some groceries. Sandrine and I had a long talk at a coffee shop. She is still not feeling well and is tired of cycling for the sake of cycling and is finding the ride on the boring side. She has decided to hitch-hike to Missoula which is a town in Montana of about 90,000 to regroup and decide what to do next.

Missoula is about 160 miles away and I was hoping to do it in two days of evenly divided mileage, but I didn't leave Koskia until 2:15pm so I will go as far as I can tonight and the next day will be a very long one with Lolo Pass thrown in the middle of it.

Although riding solo and attacking White Bird without worrying about Sandrine the day before was somewhat liberating I am sad as I roll out of town in the blistering heat.


I am now moving into an area where there are few people, few services and even a stretch of 66 miles with no services.


I like it when people are taught to pull over and consider the traffic backed up behind them and when areas are provided to do so it is even better.


You could have your own private beach if you could just get to it:


I will see 8 of these type bridges in the next day and a half. They are not meant for anything heavier than a 4 wheeler or snowmobile and lead to a trail into the woods:



There are several of this type as well.


In this place where the river was wide and therefore quiet I could hear the cowbells from about 25 cows on the opposite bank:


Fern or lichen type vegetation growing on a fence:


This is the Middle Clearwater River - very aptly named as there is about 3 feet of water over these stones and yet they still can be seen clearly:



Ramp down to the river for pontoon boats:




I was very tired when I came into the micro village of Lowell (pop unknown and scarce). I thought maybe I needed some food and stopped at the cafe. Actually I had a good meal but ruined it by eating a delicious desert of warm huckleberry pie with vanilla ice cream on it which is something I rarely do as I have mostly eliminated sugar from my diet. Thinking that perhaps the sugar would get me going I told the waitress to 'Build me" a desert and she did bringing it out with three huge scoops of ice cream. Of course then I promptly crashed and could hardly get back on the bike.

Sandrine on her second ride of the day passed me and stopped for the driver to ask me if I wanted a ride to Missoula also. While I was very tempted I declined. I am on a charity after all which is supposed to go from coast to coast and not hop skip and jump all over the place. Isn't that our implicit contract?

The traffic which was low already died after 6pm and finally my energy level began to pick up. I decided to ride to a campsite I had seen on the easterly end of map 34 of the Adventure Cycling maps which would put me at about 55 miles for the day which was good leaving me slightly over 100 for the next day.

This was the sign as I pulled into the camp site.


I was the only one there which I didn't like so much as it meant I was the only food the bears had to choose from and I was hungry again and was going to break out some emergency beef jerky, peanut butter and apple, and maybe even some salmon. The smell of that should bring them running but I am armed with my strobing bicycle light - so take that you bears!!!

I hurriedly set up my tent as the light was lost and then went down to the river for a bath. Burrrrr! but refreshing.

BTW I went by so many nice camp sites before and after this point - this one was not one of them. Had a toilet and gravel to pitch a tent on. - nothing else. Not sure why this one is on the AC map as so many others would be obvious choices but are not listed.

So "I'm not really sure where I am" except that I'm still on the map but there isn't even the smallest of towns within 30 miles of me.

So off to sleep I go. I will show you what the camp looks like with a photo in the morning light.

The Usual Disclaimer: 
  
And finally please remember the cause -   soldiersbestfriend.org  I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation   SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):)  As you donate please enter my name in the appropriate spot so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):).     I will be inserting this call-to-action in all of my blogs so I hope you don't mind.



Location: - Kooskia ID Miles = 75 Ave MPH = 12.2 Cum. Miles = 779

I want to apologize for the lag in blogging. I have been in the no-phone zone of Idaho and that includes the Internet as well. I am in Missoula MT now and will be getting caught up asap. A lot has happened so stay tuned please.

Monday July 28th

Quote of the Day: "Don't look back".

Sandrine has not been feeling well so she opted to take a ride over White Bird pass with Curtis our host from Riggins as he has to work in Grangeville today. He is taking her bike and my front panniers and tent etc. Sandrine will ride on from Grangeville as far as she can and I will find her later.

Riggins hotel sign:



View  looking back to Riggins:


Family fishing on the Salmon river:


Through the rapids:


Gold mine along the edge of the road:


This is White Bird Pass. I know it doesn't look like much in this photo but she's a beast. From this perspective there is just one more down stretch and then relentless upness. The arrow depicts the approximate crest. The climb was 6.2 Freebirds with an altitude gain of over 2500 feet (7.75 miles and 89.5 minutes)


It's not a good idea to look back:


The Reward - and this is only half way up:


This is me trying to amuse myself over the last mile of the climb and yes I was still  moving - don't be smart:):):)

video

Cruel joke - the sign is about 150 vertical feet from the actual summit so you have to stop to get your photo and then crank it up again. However, I could understand when I did get to the top, as there was little space for the sign and the area required for those who would stop and take photos:


This gives you a graphical idea of the profile of the ascent:





I arrived in Grangeville and picked up my panniers from Curtis at the local hospital where he works. Found out that Sandrine had arrived in Kooskia and was with the people that we were staying with that night.

Straw Burner in Grangeville ID:


Coming out of Grangeville and heading to Kooskia via an unplanned detour through Harpster:


Waves of Gluten:


I got lost coming out of  Grangeville. I asked a guy "is this the way to Stites" and he said "yep" but apparently there is more than one way. It added 4 miles to my day but having said that it was just a fantastic detour especially after I heard the description of the Trans Am route that I would have taken. I went route 13 the whole way and it descended into a hairpinned canyon which open up into a narrow beautiful valley.








House in the village of Stites:





When I got to Kooskia I couldn't raise Sandrine on the phone and took some shade on the bench in front of Darleen's Saloon .....


...... who apparently believes this.....


.... And where one of the locals showed me this 3.5lb widemouth bass:


Mural on wall of store:


Why I was taking to the shade:


Sandrine met me in town and I got directions to follow out to the swimming area along the river. This is now the Middle Clearwater River:


We are staying with a wonderful family of 11 - 9 children 6 girls and 3 boys. They live 8 miles out of town with an elevation gain of 1000 feet so after a refreshing swim I opted to load the bike and ride in the truck:


Prior to going for the swim Jim, the father had stoked up the fire in what was the biggest sauna I have ever seen. It can easily hold 15 people. We had a very lengthy sauna and enjoyed great conversation. It felt perfect after the cold river and as the temperature had dropped significantly.


After a fantastic dinner of rice, lentils, sour cream, salsa, and hot sauce (the seasoning was outstanding - I never knew lentils could taste so good) there was more  interesting conversation with Jim and Elizabeth until I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. 

I will tell you more about this wonderful family in the next post.

The Usual Disclaimer: 
  
And finally please remember the cause -   soldiersbestfriend.org  I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation   SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):)  As you donate please enter my name in the appropriate spot so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):).     I will be inserting this call-to-action in all of my blogs so I hope you don't mind.