Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 27--Idaho, Land of the Thunderstorm

I think there has been a thunderstorm everyday since...well, since I can remember...I think Ketchum. Last night after I finished my dinner and returned to my tent, there was a thunderstorm. This morning, nice and sunny. 

When I left Clear Creek, I rode along the valley to Cascade.
Hot Spring in the valley.
Lake Cascade.

It was about 10 miles of pleasant riding. I picked up some snacks in town, then headed on my way to my last long climb of the IHSMBR. I turned onto Warm Lake Rd. Yes, this road goes to Warm Lake where I was about a week and a half ago. Funny thing, it's only 26 miles to Warm Lake from Cascade.
Of course, there would be some mountains to go over.

I turned off about 6 miles up the road--back on the dirt and the beginning of the last climb. As for a climb, it didn't disappoint. There were some steep, heart-thumping parts, and some not so bad spots.
A steeper part.

As I went higher and higher, I got some great views of the valley.
Still Cascade Lake.
The town of Cascade that I had just been to.

Before long, I started hearing thunder. At the time, where I was, it was sunny. That didn't last for long. It started raining. This time, I put my rain jacket on, even though I wasn't cold. 

I came to the top of the ridge (just like yesterday, there were several miles of up and down along the ridge). I saw these little white rocks.
Oh, not rocks...hail. Lucky me, I had missed that. Unlucky me, it hailed again a few minutes later. I took cover under a tree until it passed.

I finally made it to the big descent. I think it was longer going down than going up, but perhaps less steep. 
If you look closely, you can see the road continuing down.

My goal was Gold Fork Hot Spring. I got there, but there is no camping there. I came about a quarter mile back up the road, and am camped by the river (one final night). 

One weird thing about today was that the time flew by. I had a snack in Cascade, and ate a little bit of trail mix during the climb, but when I thought it was about 11:00, I looked and it was 12:45. Then when I got to Gold Fork, it was 3:45! It felt like about 2:00. That's why I called it a day. The next camping opportunity was about 15 miles away.

It has been thundering off and on and raining too. I have my tent set up, but there is also a nice dry spot under the tree.
Even when it's raining, it stays dry under here.

For the first time since the beginning, I have not seen any other cyclists today. I did, however, see a bald eagle come swooping down to the river!

Total miles today: 36.something
Average speed: 6.something

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