Friday, July 10, 2015

Day 21--Hot Spring Bookends

For the first time this trip, my tent was soaking wet this morning. It had rained again last night, and the humidity of being next to the creek did not allow for any drying.

I wasn't sure where I was on the map. I thought I had about 6 miles to get to Frenchman's Bend Hot Spring. Turns out it was only a bit more than 3 miles. Oh, and me thinking Site 10 was the last one? No, there were more than 30 sites!

 This is the first hot spring that has actually had a sign. Probably because it's not too far from Ketchum.
There was also this sign. I thought it was funny.

When I got to the hot spring, there was a gal laying in the pool, reading a book. After awhile she talked to me. Her name was Alwyn, and she was in Idaho for an artist's residency. She was a nice gal. I just soaked my feet and legs. Here's a picture of the spring. This one had the water bubbling out of the ground.
The rings are from the bubbles. It was quite hot.

After about 20 minutes, I got back on my bike. I guessed I had about a 17 mile climb to Dolłarhide Summit. For most of the miles it was not a steep grade.
See? Not too bad.

When I had started the steeper part, I stopped for a jelly bean break. Here came two cyclists down the hill. Of course, they stopped, and I offered them some jelly beans. 
This is Emily and Dan from Massachusetts. They've got 13 days to do the loop. Based on the weight they were carrying, I think they could do it. Emily's bike was called "Mike", and Dan's was "Turtle". They had started in Boise. They said I was the first cyclist they had seen. I get that a lot due to the fact that I'm going the opposite direction as everyone else! In fact, I'll be interested to find out from the whole-loopers that I've met, and will hopefully see again, if they will have seen anyone else going clockwise.

Anyway, they were on the down, and I still had much to climb, so we said our goodbyes. The steep part was about 5 miles. It had some good switchbacks, and the surface was good (not loose rocky).
Here's a pretty little waterfall.
Looking back down.
A little bit more loose rocky.

I finally made it to the top. Much to my dismay, there was no summit sign. 
Where's the sign? Wait, this is Dollarhide Summit. Maybe it was hidden someplace with...a dollar!

For the 16 miles I had climbed, I had even more downhill!
I had to go all the way down to the bottom!

When I got out to the part where it was still going down, but not so steeply, I met another cyclist coming toward me.
This was Jay, and he was from Boise. He wasn't doing the whole loop, but was going to do the Whitecloud singletrack (hence the full bikepacking mode). I asked him about his bikepacking set up. He said he does miss the creature comforts that bikepacking doesn't really allow for. He also said I was the first cyclist he had seen. Big surprise...

My goal was to get to Baumgartner CG. The reason for this destination was because there was a hot spring at the campground. Although it wouldn't be a shower, and no soap would be involved, at least I could get a full body soak in warm water! It would give the illusion of cleanliness (well, comparatively speaking, I would be pretty clean). 

I arrived at 5:00. There was, again, some thunder, but it seemed to be moving away. Still, just to be on the safe side, I set up my tent and everything before going for my soak. My campsite is close to the pool. And this one is an actual pool.
It was heaven to be able to submerse my whole body!

After my soaking, I cooked my dinner. Tonight's entree was Risotto with Porcini mushrooms. It was a bust. I ate part of it, but it was really salty, and burned on the bottom of the pan. At least I had an appetizer of salamini and baby bell cheese.

I think, if I'm not already, I am very close to being halfway around the loop. All day I was heading west. Tomorrow I should get to Featherville, then I think I head north. 

One final photo for today.
Yes, this is a baby bird. Not quite ready to fledge, he must have fallen out of the nest. He was in my campsite. I moved him into the grassy area in hopes that his mommy would find him and feed him. I did see a bird fly down to him later. Cute little feller!

Total miles today: 47.88 (my highest on the loop)
Average speed: 7.16

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