June 24, 2018
Cambridge – White Bird
179 km (111 miles)
1075 m (3526 feet) elevation
7:33 moving time
1304 km (810 miles) total
Hard getting out of bed as the bed was so soft! More expensive hotel than previously but we expect the prices to get lower.
Rode for about 2 hours to a diner for breakfast which was ok.
Our route today was unfortunately almost a straight line north because the wind was in our face the entire day. Even when we were going downhill we had to pedal.
It seemed like we were in traffic the entire day. We found out in the evening that we were riding on the only north-south highway in Idaho which explains it. Not only was there traffic and headwind but the shoulder was sometimes uncomfortably narrow.
Wind plus traffic is noisy so now we have a slight buzzing feeling in our ears.
We met a Swedish guy who is cycling from the east coast and is therefore almost done. Nice guy. He was recently in Yellowstone where he saw a grizzlie bear chasing Elks not far from the road. A moma bear with a cub crossed the street right behind him. He only found out about it because the people in the car behind him asked if he hadn’t seen it. Grizzlies sometimes roam the camping grounds in Yellowstone and hotels cost $300 and most are fully booked months in advance. We are dreading the Yellowstone experience already.
We are definitely in Trump country now. Talked to some nice guys outside a shop who told us this is the redest state of them all. Might be good to ride with a “Make America great again” hat.
Had our first puncture of the trip. A small piece of iron thread had gone in and out of the tire and punctured the tube. Replaced the tube but as we were towards the end of a long day we were getting quite tired.
Saw our first live snake as we were riding.
Ended up in a middle-of-nowhere town called White Bird, population 91. The highway once ran through it which explains why there is a bar, a store and a fairly large motel. Now the highway had been rebuild higher up and away from the town so nobody bothers to come here.
Met a few locals who were incredibly friendly and helpful. One guy told us an old best-friend of his when they were working in Guam had been Icelandic. His name was Johann Helgi Johannson, nicknamed ‘Jo’. He had tried to contact Jo for many years without success.
An old man with long white hair offered us to pitch our tent in his yard and offered us to take a shower in his house. Decided to treat us to a luxury stay in the motel for $50. And when we write ‘luxury’ we mean a shower, a wall charger, wifi (which turned out not to be working) and a bed. When I went to thank the old man for his hospitality and let him know we would stay at the hotel he asked us over for coffee in the morning.
Our dinner for the night is two cliff bars each, a snickers bar and some nuts. Looking forward to breakfast tomorrow.
A long and crazy day. Not our favorite so far but still good.
The shoulders in Idaho can be very narrow