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:):):)
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.