Monday, June 30, 2008


Sunday, June 15th. Despite Josh threatening to wake me up numerous times on this trip (and pissing me off every time) I awoke at 8 am, a good half hour before him. I checked my maps and made sure everything was planned properly today, after all... we were about to cross our first state line ever!

We showered... oh how I miss showers... and packed our bags, hitting the road. We stopped by a grocery store and picked up some food. Then nothing really exciting happened as we biked out of town. We asked a couple locals for directions to make sure we were going the right way, which only proved my theory more and more. See, one of my many Golden Rules is "Never take directions from locals." Example- we're biking out of Spokane, wanting to be on highway 290. I ask a man "Sir, is this highway 290?" He reply "Oh no no, this isn't it. You must be going the wrong way." Lacking confidence in the man, I biked 25 feet down the road past a sign reading 290. This is why I never take directions from locals. I know better.

After about 15-20 miles we came across it... the border. It was pretty exciting, the thought I had transversed an entire state. A decent sized one at that! It was bitter sweet though, considering there was nothing to look forward to in Idaho.

How silly of me! I forgot to mention! My plans had changed drastically. See, my initial plan was to drop south out of Spokane and take this odd convoluted route to Missoula Montana. Sadly, that route took us through a ton of mountains and a huge 120 mile long path with no places to stop for food or water. I had decided long ago to change that plan. After talking to many cyclist I was informed you're allowed to bike on the Interstate highways out here. While the idea of biking on I-90, the main East/West Interstate, made me nervous it was significantly straighter. Probably a three day ride. Sadly, it also went directly through the mountains. After much map searching I had found a route north, through the thin tip of Idaho, that was only a three or four day ride to Missoula and was practically flat. As always, I'll take the longer route around the mountains. Just so much easier.

Anyway, back to Idaho. Idaho was a bit surprising. It was surprisingly flat. I saw no rockiness like I expected. I kinda thought Idaho was nothing but hills, rocks, and potatoes. Nope. It was probably the most New York like state yet.

Yep, that's Idaho. See those dark regions on the mountains? What do you think they are? Most might say "A cloud's shadow." Nope. Not Josh. He questioned whether they might be darker colored trees growing in random patterns. Oh Josh.... oh Josh...

Even more random- biking through Idaho along a moderate desolate road we came across a amusement park. How random?! Then again, most people would think The Great Escape in Lake George NY is pretty random. I dunno. Weird if you ask me. But hey! We also hit mile 400! Woo hoo! We're getting somewhere!

Milestone 4 of 35ish

But for the most part Idaho was uneventful. No meth-heads. Nothing really too much. It was surprisingly populated though. I expected Idaho to be desolate compared to most places. Really though, Central Washington was much more uninhabited comparatively. Not that Idaho's bustling by any means.

So as the night grew close to the end we needed a place to stay and there was no places to just pitch tent on the road, it was all ranches and farms. We stopped by one old mans farm hinting at the fact we needed a place to stay. He ate up nearly all the daylight we had left chatting then left us to the road.

We stopped by another house, being much more blunt and just asking and the family kindly obliged and let us pitch our tent. They had a lot of property and recommended going up this hill into a field. They didn't mention the field was forever away and up what must had been a 15% grade (literally). It's the only hill I've had to walk this trip, and it was only 50 feet long. Once we hit the top of the hill I look down and see literally 6 mosquitoes on my left arm alone. We were quite literally swarmed! I kinda freaked out, threw my bike to the ground, put on my hoodie and sweatpants to protect myself from the viscous blood-suckers and got our 20% DDT bug wipes. God those bastards were viscous. We set up camp quick like, threw our food in a tree and went to bed. The gentle sounds of trains passing and coyotes howling were our sweet lullaby.

Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 57.91
Total mileage- 406.22

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