Tyler's bike. Notice the tires. They take the bikes on gravel roads if the gravel isn't too bad.
I thoroughly enjoyed talking to both of these guys. They were overly impressed with my set-up, but I was equally impressed with what they were doing. As I was fixing dinner, Tom brought over this cool thing that Tyler had brought back from Shanghai. It was an inflatable solar LED lantern. When not inflated, it's flat. It was the coolest little light! Tyler had an extra one and gave it to me! I hung it in my tent and was able to read my Kindle by its light. The solar charge lasts about 20 hours. It's perfect for bike touring or backpacking...or, anything!
Okay, on to today's lonnnngggg ride. In my original itinerary, this was the longest day. Because of the 80 mile day with Jean-Paul, this was the second longest day. And, there was a lot of uphill. Nothing terribly steep, just long miles. Even though the temps finally were below 100 degrees, it was still warm (last night I didn't even go near my sleeping bag--I just slept on my sleeping pad). When I left Swiftwater at 7:15, it was 82 degrees.
It was beautiful riding along the Salmon River.
The skies were sort of overcast, and at one point there were even a few drops of rain (I actually wished for more!).
Another of the river.
There are lots of rafting companies on the river. I saw two of these rafts going through the rapids.
Just before Riggins I passed into the Mountain Time Zone. So, contributing to my long day, I lost an hour. Also before Riggins, I came to a fruit stand/market/hardware store. I had a slice of huckleberry pie and a bottle of orange juice. As I was heading out, a couple stopped to talk to me. The gal even helped me get MC and JP out of the jackknife position. They said they would wave and offer me a drink of water when they went by. I don't recall seeing them, but at one point I was off Hwy 95 on a side road through Pollock.
After the market, I met another touring cyclist coming the other direction. He crossed over to talk to me. His name was Tim, and he was doing a sort of convoluted tour from Southern California up to Glacier, then possibly to Banff and Jasper. He'd been on the road for quite awhile.
Anyway, I was riding along feeling like I couldn't seem to get much over 7 miles an hour. Yes, it was hot, and I was going uphill, but it didn't seem like I should be going that slow. Eventually, I discovered part of the problem. The front tire was losing air. Great...another flat! At least it was the front which is much easier. Unfortunately, this time there wasn't any shade. Once I got the tire off, I found the culprit. This time it was a thorn. Who knows how long it took that little bitty thorn to work its way into the tire to puncture the tube. It must have been a pretty slow leak because when I went to repair the tube, I had a hard time finding the hole. I'm beginning to wish Schwalbe made a Marathon Plus tire for fat bike tires!
Back on the road, I continued to plug along at a slightly faster, but still snail-pace speed. In Riggins, I had stopped at a mini-mart and filled two bottles with ice and water. At this point, those were gone, and I was left with hot water to drink. I still had three bottles of water, but hot water is less than delightful. I was poodling along when I came to a house that had a sprinkler going. The guy was outside. I stopped and commented how I would love to be sprayed. Then I realized it was the same guy from the pie stop! He asked me if I needed water. I said I would love some as all I had left was hot water. I went into the house and met his wife Lori, and 2 1/2 year old son, Scott (the other gal I'd met earlier was the guy's sister-in-law). Scott was adorable and very curious as to why I was in his house. They let me fill my bottles with ice and water. I was very grateful!
I still had about 17 miles to go to get to New Meadows. There was more uphill. Finally, I seemed to get to the top. As I crested it, I saw two touring cyclists coming up the other way. They were...shock of shocks...both women! They were both pulling trailers, one was a Burley Travoy. I'm guessing they were headed to Riggins, which would be doable as it was mostly downhill. They didn't stop, but waved.
I finally made it to New Meadows. The guy at Swiftwater had told me there was a Subway just as I came into town. I decided, since it was already after 5:00, I would stop and have dinner so I wouldn't have to take the time to cook. As I was ordering, my sunglasses dropped off my head and the prescription lens popped out of the adapter. I just wore my regular glasses the rest of the way to the RV Park.
I made it to the park at 6:15 (with the time change, that makes for a 10 hour day)! I've patched the tube, but I was unable to fix my glasses (I had them fixed, but when I went to pop the sunglasses part onto the nose piece, the lens popped out again). Tomorrow I will be in McCall (about 7 miles away, apparently a good climb). I think I'm going to only ride to McCall tomorrow. I haven't taken a day off, and I have 4 extra days. It won't really be a day off, just a short day. Hopefully, I can find someplace to get my glasses fixed. If not, it's not so bad wearing my regular glasses because of the shade that the Da Brim provides. Also, I can check out McCall a bit.
Here's a parting shot of an interesting sign I saw twice today. Good to know...
Total miles today: 65.13