Idaho 2014 – Day 61 – Salmon: Staying out of the smoke

Saturday July 19, 2014

Today is my 20th high school reunion. I wish I could go. I had the good fortune to attend The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities my final two years of high school. It is a public, residential boarding school for juniors and seniors on the Ball State University campus in Muncie, Indiana. Students live in one of the dorms and take accelerated high school courses that are on a collegiate level.

Attending ‘the Academy’ was an incredible experience for me. Read more

Idaho 2014 – Day 62 – Salmon – Challis: When the locals make my day

Sunday July 20, 2014, 62 miles (99 km) – Total so far: 2,901 miles (4,669 km)

The canyon is narrow and still in shadow. The rocks on the slopes look sharp and chunky. The river responsible for all of the erosion runs right next to the road. Trees grow on the river embankments in arched and reaching shapes. In some sections, the canyon is narrow enough that there is only room for the river and the road. Read more

Idaho 2014 – Day 63 – Challis – Arco: The spectacular Lost River Range

Monday July 21, 2014, 82 miles (132 km) – Total so far: 2,983 miles (4,801 km)

The wind has pushed out the wildfire smoke and ushered in a cold front. The dismal sky, with its low and dark clouds, matches my mood. A phone call last night confirmed that my old friend Evan, from Colorado State days, cannot get away from work and meet me here in Challis, or down the road in Mackay.

The plan had been for him to ‘sag’ me over Double Springs Pass Road and Pass Creek Road and do a little peak-bagging of some un-named 11 and 12,000 ft. peaks along the way. Read more

Idaho 2014 – Day 64 – Craters of the Moon National Monument: Violence in a benign landscape

Tuesday July 22, 2014, 49 miles (80 km) – Total so far: 3,033 miles (4,881 km)

I’m really not one for violence. You won’t generally find me watching movies starring Bruce Willis or playing video games like Mortal Kombat. However, there is a lot of violence in the landscape today, and the dynamism of that landscape is beautifully displayed at Craters of the Moon National Monument. Read more

Idaho 2014 – Day 65 – Arco – McFarland CG: A change of plans

Wednesday July 23, 2014, 119 miles (191 km) – Total so far: 3,151 miles (5,072 km)

“I have a bladder the size of a walnut.”

Dear me, what do I say to that? It is 4.45 am. Stars still twinkle in the dark sky above. Only a hint of first light splits open the sky above the Arco Hills toward the east. I’m squinting in the direction of the figure whom has spoken to me. My eyes have not yet adjusted from the darkness of the tent area to the fluorescent light outside the restrooms.

So I just say, “That’s a shame,” and let myself in the women’s toilets. Why that man needed to tell me that, and why he couldn’t have just peed in his RV or just outside of it, is beyond me. Of course, lots of things are not readily apparent to me at this early hour. Read more

Idaho 2014 – Day 66 – McFarland CG – Salmon: Completing another loop

Thursday July 24, 2014, 34 miles (55 km) – Total so far: 3,186 miles (5,127 km)

I let the sun do its work this morning: drying the tent fly; banishing the mozzies back to the bushes; and, baking me in the tent sauna. I get rolling around 10 am. Much of the route covers the same ground we rode into Salmon the other day. Luckily, there is less traffic today, so it’s a bit less tense to ride. The cars still aren’t giving me any room, though. Like Montana, it is rare for a car to move out of the lane at all to pass. It seems you just have to hope for a road with decent lane width in these states. Read more