Today was another hard day. I woke up at what I thought was 5, but due to the time change was actually 6. I took an hour to get packed (why does it take so long?!?), had a cliff bar for breakfast then got underway. I took a shortcut suggested to me by a farmer and by a strange twist of fate ended up at the same intersection where I’d spent over an hour yesterday trying to change my flat tire
The traffic was minimal and I made good time for about an hour. The sun was rising a smoky red due to wildfires in the area
Later in the day someone would show me a fire map and it looks like the entire west coast is burning.
I came to a small restaurant and store, but the store was closed and the restaurant looked unappetizing so I passed them up. Around the next bend the highway decided to take a route up the only hill in the area, so I went up it. The hills continued rolling for a bit through the small community of Mesa and onwards. A few miles down the road the bike path that I could have taken paralleled the road for a bit so I got back on it. It was just as bumpy as it was yesterday unfortunately so I soon got off. A mile or so later I reached the small town of Council. As I pulled in a pair of cyclists came from the other direction. They were from Minnesota and were just finishing up my route. Congrats to them. They warned me of a forest where you can get a $300 fine for sleeping, but it’s a thousand miles away. I’ll worry about it later. I said goodbye and headed into town. I got some cliff bars and belvita breakfast crackers. I’d been getting hungry after only a cliff bar.
I rolled out of town and immediately started to worry. The traffic was high speed and there was no shoulder. It was only 9 and already very busy. I did my best to avoid traffic but there were still some very scary incidents with oncoming cars. Unfortunately this stretch of road soon became a climb which meant I was going even slower. I was not enjoying myself, even though the scenery was fantastic I continued like this for about an hour, making slow progress because I continually had to pull off for caravans of vehicles and trucks. Some parts had a narrow shoulder, most parts had none. I reached a campground and asked the host if I could reach the river trail and she gave me directions. I figure it’s better to go slow than to die getting hit by a car. I got on the trail and was relieved, it seemed to be mostly dirt here, not gravel
This unfortunately didn’t last long, I was soon back to tire shredding gravel. I sometimes would straddle the bike and walk for a bit then ride, but mostly I just had to walk, the path was too rough to ride on. It was really slow, exhausting going. At one point I just sat down on the side of the trail and fell asleep for an hour. The scenery was still nice but just hard to enjoy
I passed a sawmill that looked very busy (apparently the price of lumber is high right now)
Soon after passing the sawmill I rejoined the road. The going was so slow on the path I just couldn’t keep it up: it’d taken me about 3 hours to go a few miles. The shoulder was a bit better and the sightlines longer here and I made good time, and didn’t feel as concerned about traffic. Soon I rolled into New Meadows to my great relief. I went to a restaurant called The Intersection and got a pulled pork sandwich. It was excellent and really improved my mood. I tried to plan out my next move: I could stay in New Meadows in the park, keep going 5 miles to another hot spring RV park, or push even further to an unknown destination. As usual the heat helped me make my decision. I decided to visit the hot springs to recuperate, then decide there. I reserved a campsite just in case. The road out of New Meadows was much better than the road into it with a nice wide shoulder. I passed a sign claiming that I was passing the 45th parallel
I was soon arriving at the RV park. I pulled up and who should I see but the couple from the last week or so! They’d had a hellish day the day before on the bike path from Cambridge to Council and had a short rest day today. We complained about traffic on 95 for a bit then I got checked in. I paid for the site and hot springs. I got unpacked then took a dip in the springs. Somehow despite it being 100+ it was still really nice in the water. I soaked and relaxed and wrote this post next to the pool. I’m gonna make some dinner then get to bed early for an early morning to beat traffic. Night!
- 3 cliff bars
- Belvita crackers
- Fig newtons
- Vitamin C packet
- Pulled pork sandwich
- Jalapeno poppers
- Club sandwich
- Something for dinner