Friday, July 10, 2015

Day 23--Short, but Eventful!

As I am back on schedule, I opted to take the short day that I had planned. I know, I said I might do the big climb today, but for good reasons I'll get to in a moment, I decided not to.

It was still overcast when I got up, but not raining...yet. By the time I finished my breakfast, it was starting to rain a little. I contemplated putting my rain jacket on, but I didn't.

Today there were a lot more hot springs (I didn't see all of them). The first that I found was Loftus.
Now, this would have been nice to soak in, what with the shower and all. It was quite hot though.

Next was Smith Cabin HS. It was on both sides of the river. This was the little pool on my side. It was still too steep of a hill down, so I didn't go to it (I'm guessing the water was warm).

The road was mostly trending down, but it was pretty flat. Once I crossed the river (and into Boise County), the road was very rough. If it wasn't rocky, it was washboard. It made for slow going. It's hard to pedal when you are bouncing. I rode around it as much as possible, but really, the whole road was rough.

The next hot spring was Twin Springs. It's a "Resort". It looked pretty dead to me, but I did see some hot water running down to the road.
My guess is there is a hot tub in the building.
Good thing I didn't need anything because there wasn't anyone around.

Before I got to Twin Springs, I started seeing tracks in the road. At first I thought they were bike tracks, but then I noticed there were two of them. Pretty soon after Twin Springs, I came across this guy.
This is Chris. His cooler was what was making the tracks. Yes, he was walking...pulling a cooler. His biggest complaint was that he forgot his socks, and his shoe was giving him a blister. Why was he pulling a cooler whilst walking down the road in the middle of nowhere? Him and some friends had planned to stay at The Rock House (?). His friend's wife wasn't feeling well, so they left. Not wanting to waste the $60 he paid to stay there, he said he would just hitchhike the next morning. The funny thing was, there had been no cars. I hadn't seen a single one since I left my campsite. It was probably because of the rain (no fishermen). But, Chris was lucky I caught up to him because, no sooner had I said there were no cars, then one came along (my reverse karma). I said, "There's your ride!" Sure enough, the guy picked him up, and off he went--no more worries about no socks!

Riding through the canyon was really beautiful. I stopped frequently to take photos. Here's some...

Pretty, huh?

I came to where the Boise Spur (30 miles of route from Boise) joined the main route. This is where I turned to go up the long climb to Bald Mountain, then over to Idaho City. Or...I could stay at Cottonwood CG. Of course, I had already decided to do that. Trick was...finding it. The sign had said 1/2 mile to the campground, and 1 mile to Cottonwood. I rode up the hill (the climb starts now), but only came to the Ranger Station. I didn't see any sign for the campground. I rode a little further, but realized there was no way the campground was that far away. I turned around and came back to the Ranger Station. There was no one around for me to ask. I rode back down thinking I must have missed a sign. As I was coming back down, I glanced over to my right and saw a picnic table and some people with bikes! The people were sitting near the creek. I stopped and asked them how to get there. They said, "You got here fast!" It was Pam and Walter who I had met on the 4th before coming into Stanley! I went back up and found the road into the campground (would it kill them to put up a sign??? Well, there are only 3 sites). Pam and Walter had stayed here last night. It was noon when I arrived and they were still packing up. They weren't going far today, just out to a campground on the Boise Spur. We caught up on our experiences. We didn't have much route in common because they had taken the Lowman Cut-off, and were headed out to Boise (they didn't do the north part, or the part from Ketchum to here. They did tell me about the climb to Bald Mountain that I will do tomorrow. It will be long, but not too bad.
Pam and Walter with their stuff still exploded over the picnic table.

They pulled out at 1:30 (a new record for late start for them). I took over the picnic table, did a bunch of laundry, and took a "bath", of sorts, in the creek.
Home Sweet Home!

By the way, as you can tell, the clouds passed and the sun came out. It's quite pleasant! Pam, Walter, and I were laughing at how our definition of having everything we need has changed. Now, having a vault toilet, a picnic table, some sun, and a source of running water to filter is having everything we need!

Miles today: 23.5
Average speed: 7.48

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