Monday, July 6, 2015

Day 19--A Perfect Day for Good Weather Karma

If only I would wait to do my blog posts until 11:00 pm. After I uploaded yesterday's post, the 4th festivities continued. My new friend, Bob, came over to my rectangle and we watched the fireworks. Pretty decent show for a town of 63! Although there were a smattering of tents, most people just came and brought blankets to sit on. After the sun went down (here's a photo of the spectacular sunset),
The fireworks began. Here's one of the bigger ones.
The show went on for about 20 minutes or so. At the end, all the blanket people left. There was still live music going on. I fell asleep sometime around 11:30. The music was still playing when I went to sleep.

This morning I counted 13 tents. I was mostly packed up when Bob came out of his tent. We chatted a bit more, then we took photos.
Bob was a great guy to talk to. Too bad he's not doing IHMBR, although, we were headed the same direction today.

I left about 8:00. I was on the hwy for only about 4 miles. At the turn for Redfish Lake, I also turned, but then turned again onto the dirt road. I didn't actually see the lake. I started out with a rocky climb. Fortunately, it flattened out after a short distance. As I was going along, I looked ahead and saw a nice buck elk standing in the middle of the road. He took off before I could get my camera out.

The dirt road went up and down repeatedly. Finally, it seemed like I'd reach the top.
I could see the valley, and the road appeared to be going down. 

It was a lively descent with lots of rocks to negotiate around. Once I was in the valley, it was mostly flat, but with a slight incline. The route took me back out to the hwy, but just for a short time. 
Then, it was several miles of this.
Ah...the old homestead.
This sign was point "N" on my map. When I planned my itinerary, this is where I had decided I would call it a day. Um...I don't think so. Of course, since I'm still about a half day behind, I would not be stopping here, even if it was a good place.

I continued for several more miles of not too terrible climbing. I kept seeing reference to "ICT" on my map. I finally figured out it stands for Idaho Centennial Route. At one point, I was to "turn onto unnamed road following ICT". There are these little ICT signs (you can see it on the sign in the photo above). The one where I was to turn was just a black arrow. But, it was the correct way.

There were places of pretty flowers and the scenery was nice too.
Again, I reached the top, and had another steep descent to the hwy. I crossed the hwy to remain on the dirt and began the climb up to Galena Summit. It was pretty steep at first, and cars kept coming from the other direction. Because the road was pretty narrow, they would stop and wait for me to pass.

I climbed and climbed. For the most part, it wasn't too bad. There were several switchbacks, and the road traversed the side of the hill pretty good.
Getting higher!
I had to cross several of these little creeks (well, I'm sure it was all the same creek--the road just kept coming back to it). 
The road I'd been on is just to the right of the center of the photo.

The most frustrating part was that I could see the hwy way up above. The route was supposed to cross the hwy, so I knew I had to eventually get up there.
See the white speck to the left of center near the top of the mountain? That's a car, and that's the hwy!

I finally made it to the hwy. According to the route, I was supposed to cross the hwy and then turn onto a overgrown double-track called Old Galena Toll Rd. So, I crossed the hwy. The dirt road went up a super steep hill. I realized I would not be able to ride it. It was also impossible to push up the hill. As I was trying (taking two steps, sliding back one), a car started coming down. They stopped. Clearly, I was having trouble. They just sat there. Finally, they rolled down to me. They were an older couple (with accents I didn't recognize). They said the way I was going was a dead end. There was nowhere to go. I told them what my map said. They said it was no good. Since it seemed impossible for me to get to the top of the hill anyway, I painstakingly turned MC and JP around, and went back to the hwy. I figured I would just ride the road down. I had to go up a tiny bit more until I came to the summit sign.
Coming down the hwy was, of course, much easier. It was a long way down.
About 4 miles of 6% grade.

At the end of the steep descent I came to Galena Lodge. It's funny--in Idaho, they call these places lodges, but there are no rooms. In this case, there was a restaurant and a bike shop where they rent and do guided mountain bike rides. They also had ice cream, so I had a double scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough. Before I got the ice cream, I talked to a nice couple, Joanne and Ross. Joanne's sister lives in Olympia! 

After my ice cream, I continued on the road to Prairie Creek campground. I'm not sure if there is an established campground, but you are allowed to camp wherever. I found a spot (not as nice as my Bear Valley spot) close enough where I can get water from the creek. There were some people nearby, but they all left (do I smell that bad?).

So, about the title of this post. If you notice, in all the photos, the sky is overcast. It has been the coolest day in a long time. My bike computer said it was 68 this morning. That was perfect because almost all of my riding was out in the open today. If it had been hot, I think I would've died. Okay, maybe not died, but it would have been unpleasant! Now, it's even spitting a little rain! Once again, good weather karma when I needed it!

Total miles today: 46.something
Ave speed: 6.69 (even with the long downhill at the end)

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