Friday, July 17, 2015

Day 31--Something Like 32 Complete Circles

This morning I said goodbye to all my friends at Swiftwater. I had a wonderful time there! Here's a photo of Vivian and her cute trailer, Midge.
Isn't it just the coolest!

Ever since I came down Whitebird Hill on my way to McCall, I was dreading the return up Whitebird Hill. That was, until I found out yesterday that the old highway was still rideable. So, instead of getting back on Highway 95, and climbing that relentless hill, I went up Old 95. It was great! Yes, it was still a climb, but with the tons of switchbacks, it wasn't bad. And, I met not a single car until I was about 1/4 mile from getting back to Hwy 95! I used the entire road to climb the switchbacks. They say Old Whitebird Hilł Rd makes something like 32 complete circles. I'm not sure how they figured that out. Also, it was paved the whole way (there was some question about that).
Switchbacking up to the top of that hill. 
The line on the mountainside is the main Highway 95.

There was about a 3/4 mile section of 95 that I had to ride before I could get back to Old Whitebird. When I stopped after turning onto Old WB, two touring cyclists went flying by, headed down the highway. If they had stopped, I would have told them about Old 95 into Whitebird. Ahhh, their loss!

I didn't have too much climbing left before I began the switchbacks down the other side into Grangeville. Since I arrived in Grangeville at 11:50, I decided to stop at Subway again for lunch. 

Now I had a decision to make. Did I continue on 95 back toward Winchester and the mean Ranger at the State Park? Or, did I go on Hwy 13 toward Kooskia and Hwy 12? The downside to going on 13 was that once I got to 12, it's not a great road to ride on. However, there were more camping options. What to do, what to do...I looked out the window of Subway, and noticed there was quite a breeze blowing. If I stayed on 95, it would be a headwind. If I went on 13, it would be a tailwind (at least for awhile). I decided to go with the wind, and take my chances on Hwy 12 (actually, most of the dangerous part will come tomorrow). 

Barb had mentioned Hwy 13 was another Grade (in Idaho Country, Grade means hill...big hill...climb for a really long time hill). Fortunately for me, I would go down it! She wasn't kidding. It was amazing.
Looking down at another road (Hwy 14).
Continuing down.

The road continued to trend down along the South Fork of the Clearwater River. I went through a town called Stites, and then 3 miles later, Kooskia. I was at 48 miles, so I thought I would try to find someplace to camp. I saw a city park, then City Hall. As I pulled up to City Hall (to ask if I could camp at the park). There was a Sheriff's Deputy sitting in his rig. I decided to ask him if there was camping nearby. He said there was a KOA about 5 miles toward Kamiah on Hwy 12. I told him that would work!

So, I'm at the Kamiah KOA. Since this is the Lewis and Clark Trail, the place is heavily Lewis and Clark themed. All the names are either Native American or Lewis and Clark (my campsite is on William Clark Ln). As KOAs go, this one isn't the most expensive I've stayed at, but it's not cheap either. My site cost me $21.93 for the one night. But, there's a pool, and, of course, showers. There was a mass of rowdy kids in the pool, so I just settled for a shower.

Tomorrow I'll be headed for Moscow. That is, if I survive the gauntlet of Hwy 12! I'm hoping, because it will be Saturday, the traffic won't be as much.

Total miles today: 55.44
Average speed: 8.57

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