30 May 2008

The Huntsman

It felt like I had only slept for about 10 minutes when I woke this morning but it was 5 am ( I didnt bother changing my clocks yesterday as they change back today due to the circuitous route I take though Idaho.

I was showered and out by half past, determined to hunt down Dave before my legs gave up after the recent marathon days I have been riding. My now familiar riding companion, Mr Precipitation, was waiting for me at the door so we headed off together like two old friends.

The first couple of miles saw the end of my climb to the top of the hill I began yesterday and then I had a beautiful switchbacking descent all the way to White Bird where I filled up on oatmeal and toast. The problem with some of these descents is that you are going so fast and the road is so precarious to stop on that you can't take any photos of the views which are stunning at those heights but at least I have the memories!

Through the rafting haven of Riggins I rode alongside the Salmon River which I was told is teeming with the tasty fellas but I didnt see any jumping out of the water to be grabbed by a bear which was disappointing. It happens on telly!

More climbing was matched by an end to the rain and the start of some sunshine which soon changed from a welcome addition to a humid annoyance with all my rain gear still on.

After another 30 miles I turned into the town of New Meadows and spotted a half loaded rig outside a cafe and looking inside I recognised our friend Dave Fisher from his Polaroid at Adventure Cycling HQ! I approached him like a confused old friend, "Dave...Dave Fisher....is that you buddy??" His bemused and slightly scared look led me to start laughing and I explained the situation which helped!

Dave was finishing lunch so I grabbed a Club Sandwich and we caught up on each other's trips and on the people we had met in common. His destination for the day was another 25 miles down the road so I agreed to meet him there after I went to the library in New Meadows. I am most happy with my catching of Dave and Carl in the past few weeks. I'll hunt down Jimmy Hoffa's grave for you next week!

A few emails and a couple of phonecalls later I was pulling out of town when I met 3 cyclists coming the other way. They are doing the same route as me but from West to East so are just starting out compared to me. Whilst we swapped notes on good places to stay and dives to avoid, two more Eastbounders came into town, Gaby and Cesar from Argentina! Gaby lived in London for 9 years in Camden Town so was able to probe deeper into where I lived than the usual, 'oh Europe' that I often get.

After a few rounds of photos we went our separate ways, they to eat and I to the small town of Council. It was an uneventful ride with some nice forests that smelt how you wish Pine Fresh air fresheners did but don't! I rode past a logging firm which had a bizarre 50 metre high mound of logs that were being hosed with water from all angles. I guess this must be to prevent fires when they are chopped into planks??

I was in Council by 7, wondering to myself if they have a Council Council and I couldn't spot Dave anywhere so grabbed a cheap motel since I need to take my bike apart and clean the chain which is giving me grief lately due to the rain probably.

I am now sat in the Council laundromat getting some fresh clothes and will probably hook up with Dave in the morning as I hope to have a lie in til half seven then play catch up on the road. It should be nice to have a biking compadre again for a few days at least. His schedule for the coast isn't too dissimiliar to mine so it should work out well.

On a final note, it is nice to start seeing more bike traffic coming the other way as this is a warmer time of year (in theory at least) so there should be a steady flow of cyclists from now on to chat to as we meet. On the top photo there are myself and David(not the English one) crouching down, then Adrienne and Candice from Ohio and Gaby and Cesar who I mentioned. Good luck to them all (coincidentally it turns out that David has been reading this blog in his prep for his trip!!)


steverichmond said...

Sounds like it's going well big man. Good photo

Anonymous said...

Is that Yul Brynner in the red?