Friday, July 10, 2015

Day 22--A Heck of a Climb...

...But, strangely, back on schedule.

I left Baumgartner after talking to a couple of fishermen, Mike and Al. They said there was a store in Featherville. I told them all I needed to get was some Payday bars. They said they had plenty of Clif Bars and other Protein bars that I could have. They had more than they could possibly eat. So, I got two Clif Bars and two Protein bars! How nice was that? 

Since I was all stocked up, when I got to Featherville, I just turned onto Rocky Bar Rd. This was a 4 mile climb to an unnamed summit.
Now for the downhill!

Then I had a bit more climbing to get to Rocky Bar.
Geez, I can't even go the speed limit!
I think it used to be a mining town, because shortly after, I saw this sign.

From Rocky Bar I began the mother of all climbs...Phifer (well, that's what everyone calls it--it was still Rocky Bar Rd for a long time). It was continuous up for 7 miles. At first I thought it wouldn't be too bad. From Rocky Bar it was an elevation gain of 1900ft. Turns out, that was just to the turn onto Phifer Creek Rd. The climbing continued, only now it was on a freshly graded road (lots of soft dirt and loose rocks).
This being one of the better sections.

Finally, I got to the top. And just in time too. The skies were looking rather ominous, and there was thunder.

The downhill was long and steep (more freshly graded). I had to stop a few times to rest my hands from braking continuously. Down down down I went until I reached the Middle Fork of the Boise River. There I saw today's touring cyclists. They were calling it a day (which I highly recommended as it was 3:00 and there was no way they would get up and over Phifer). 
Josh, Lauren, and dad Terry. They are doing the loop to celebrate Terry's retirement. Terry is from North Carolina, and the kids live in Colorado. Terry drove to Colorado, then they drove to Idaho City to start the loop. I got the feeling they were rather new to bike touring. I asked if they had a water filter. Terry said they were only carrying iodine tablets (yuck). 

As I wanted to get a couple more hours riding in, I wished them luck and said goodbye. Even though they are doing the whole loop, I doubt I will see them again before I get back to McCall. 

Now I was riding along the Middle Fork of the Boise River. I decided to aim for Neinmeyer CG (and hot spring), but I would stop if I wanted to before then. Here's a few interesting things I saw along the way.
This, what I assume, is a guy dredge mining. The guy was in the water in front of the sledge thing. The motor was running and it was spitting water out the back. The guy had a suction hose. I don't know how he stayed in place with the current going against him.
This skinny burnt log was doing a tremendous job holding up the rock!

It had started raining, but I kept going. Finally, I made it to Neinmeyer. What a dismal place! There were about three semi-campsites and an old stone building with wooden seats for an outhouse. Instead, I came across the road and set up camp by the river. As for the hot spring, I have no idea where it is. Curiously, across the river there is clearly some thermal activity going on.

I fashioned the tarp to create a shelter between MC and my tent because it was still raining when I got here. Now it has stopped and I think I'll take it down so I can cover MC with the tarp overnight. I hope there are no bears around because this is the closest I have parked MC and JP to my tent (because my food is in JP, I usually park them away from my tent).

So, yes, I am back on schedule. Today I was supposed to get to Neinmeyer, and I did. Tomorrow is supposed to be a short day--just 22 miles. We'll see...I know there is a climb, but even with today's doozy of a climb, I still went 47.7 miles (it helps to have a lot of downhill after the climb).

I'm now 8 days without a proper shower (which means it's also been 8 days since I last washed my hair). If Cleanliness is next to Godliness, then I must be seated next to the Devil!

Total miles today: 47.7
Average speed 6.2

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