Day 8- Juntura to Homedale (155km).
Why so far: a) because Im stupid, b) Cause Im stupid, c) well it was too hot to stop for longer than 2 minutes so I just kept on riding (ride forrest ride). Most of the day the temperature was around 40 degrees with very little shade.
How much can you drink in 11 hours during a 155km ride? Well I got through 10 litres on the road and another 2 when I got to my motel. Unfortunately most of the day my water was almost too hot to drink, yuk, but gotta keep drinkin' .
The descent from Juntura was beautiful, the best scenery so far, but after Harper it got pretty boring, only interrupted by corn fields, Which I've been seeing for 2 days now. Once in Vale where I planned to stay I thought it would be a good idea just to cycle on for another hour or so, but that became about 3 hours because I couldn't find a motel or descent camping spot (everything was private land).
All in all it was a long hard day but hey ho now I'm in Idaho. And there's something strangely hypnotic about cycling up hill slower than your able to just to stop yourself from overheating or being sick :). And the hallucinations are fun too, road signs read rest area instead of chain up area or campsite instead of keep right. Guess I went a little to deep yesterday.
Day 9- Homedale to Nampa (45km).
My warmshowes host Bruce was kind enough to meet me halfway to give me a guided tour of the area. That was nice of him. Now just an easy day in Nampa then tomorrow we'll see how I' m going to get to the Teton national park.
Thanks for the guest book signatures, its nice to see Im not writing this all for nothing.
Day 10- Nampa to Mountain home (105km).
I had a great day with Bruce and Nancy thanks guys and thanks for the " attempt" at a great American BBQ. Bruce guided me out of town and sent me on my way. I had a great tailwind all day and had done my 105km in 4.5 hours. Then had an uneventful day and day off in Mountain home.
Day 11 - Rest day.
Next upday in a few days. I've ran out of internet time and need to check outof my motel in 20 minutes and still need to pack...doh.
Day 12 - Mountain home to Fairfield (95km).
Sorry its been a while but I've been out in the prairie all week where there's no internet and no phone signal.
The day started with a long discussion between me and my legs (yup I'm talking to myself already), I was of the opinion that my legs had had a rest day and my legs where not, and where not working very well. This discussion came to an abrupt end after an hour when the climbing started and we had to just get down to work. There was alot more climbing than I had expected and a nasty little headwind on the the flat parts, so I was pretty buggered when I got to Fairfield, where I was allowed to camp at the city park.
About fairfield: Its one of those one horse towns ( I saw the horse too), the whole county has only 1000 inhabitants and the city only about 200 I guess. Downtown is a street about 50m long and it has 3 bars!!! my kind of town.
It had been a hard warm day(again) and I was thirsty so I decided a beer would sort me out just nice, so I popped into the Outlaw bar for a beer where I got a warm reception from the bar staff and the village idiot George( who is a really nice guy and not only the village idiot but also the local cage fighting champion) George was of the opinion that I was the toughest guy he'd ever met, I thought the same of him hehe. After a few beers I just head off to bed to be kept awake all night by the sprinklers in the park. The people in Fairfield where funny though, they couldn't understand that I was travelling cross country without a gun....you Americans and your obsession with firearms
Day 13- Fairfield to Craters of the Moon park( 115km), more grass prairie and wind.
The city park was nice but the groundsman woke me up at 6am because he wanted to put the mother of all sprinklers on and that would of blown me away, so yet again an early start (which I'm so good at).
It was a long hot day and I'd miscalculated the distance by 20km so those last hours really hurt. The scenery in Idaho is all about flat grassy plains with a mountain background, so nothing spectacular once you've seen it for a few days.
After cycling along lava fields for a few hours it was quite nice to get to the campsite and visitors centre and see what its all about, its basically what Yellowstone park will look like in 2000 years, so that saves me a trip there I'm 2000 years early:).
Just as I was paying for my site (10 dollars) I met Bruce and Bonnie who are driving across the country to see their kids in California, and spend 3 months a year doing this every year, nice!!. Before I knew it was dragged over to their Rv, fed and getting cold beer forced into me, THANKS GUYS. And in the morning they force fed me bacon and eggs too, and generally pampered me, thanks folks once again this trip has restored my faith in mankind.
I don't know what it is, the heat (about 30 degrees all week usually 35 in the afternoon), the altitude ( 5000ft +) or the fact that I've cycled 1200km in 2 weeks but the last couple of days my legs just where not playing the game. And I really was not looking forward to the next day which was a compulsory 140km run due to the road running along a nuclear test area so no camping. So in the evening thanks to the efforts of Bruce and Bonnie I had enough food to stick it out at the park for another day, take a rest day and have a look around the park. So thats what I did.
I see my internet time is running out again, so im going to cut this short and continue at a later date.......
.......to be continued
Day 14 Resting and walking around the park (8km).
I really felt the heat and altitude today, just walking around I got dizzy, so I had to walk real slow and drink loads, in the afternoon, shade was a problem so I rigged up something with my sleeping mat. In the evening I had a couple of warm beers with a guy who had drove his car all the way from New York.
Day 15 - The Day I've been dreading since the start of planning this trip. Craters to Idaho falls (140km + 10km around town).
So the Deal is I didn't want to stop in Arco because that would only be 30km and I thought that there wasn't anything there(turned out to be loads of campsites/ Motels). The next stop is Idaho falls after another 110km because your not allowed to stop in the Desert next to the nuclear power plants. In hindsight I could of probably camped 20km before town because the power plant where long gone by then. But after already cycling 120km on a hot day through a very boring part of Idaho I was ready to push on for a motel, my first shower in a few days, pizza and a couple of cold beers, so that's what I did. And as usual it took me ages to find a cheap/decent hotel in town so by the end of the day I was around the 150km mark again, and my arse felt like it too. I didnt think I'd be needing nappy rash cream at my age, but I've been using it for a week already.
So to recap, in hindsight I could of stayed at Arco or in the desert and could of kept a nice sensible day distance, its great to see that I still have 20/20 hindsight...
Please don't read my story as too negative. I'm having a great time and meeting great people. Its just that some days are physically a bit tough especially long days in the sun with no shade, so no rest....It's all my own fault for wanting to cycle coast 2 coast in 10 weeks instead of just cruising around for 10 weeks. BUT....if it wasn't a challenge it wouldn't be fun either, I do love pushing my limits and I've done that alot these last weeks, so now a couple of easy days.
Day 16 - Idaho Falls to Swan Valley (76km).
And easy day mostly along a busy road, the last 20km was beautiful though, I finally got to see the snake river after cycling for a week through the snake river valley.
I arrived in town at the only accommodation in town " The saddle sore inn" very appropriate. I ordered a beer first so I couldn't bottle out and keep cycling up the next pass (a climb of 500m). Then I asked what the options are, the answer was " you can put your tent out back for $10 or take a room for $70" Well that was the easiest decision this week:).
I drank a few beers with a guy who owns the company who did the design work on the Salt Lake city winter Olympics, quite interesting really, I wonder if he'll give me a job as widget designer for him:).