Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day 33--A Great Trail, and More Gravel

To, as usual, finish off last night, the family with the 8 kids did come back. Actually, it was great! I met all the kids--Aterick--12, Natalia--10, LilÅ‚ian--8, Josiah--7, Tatiana--5, Oliver--4, Scarlett-–2, and Cortez--6 months. Four boys and four girls. I held Cortez for Kristin while they were setting up the trailer. What a cutie he was! Tatiana and Oliver talked my ear off. I pretty much got the low-down on everyone from Tatiana (they call her "Talkiana"). It was great fun! After they got everything set up, they went in search of pizza. When they came back, I was already in my tent. They were very quiet. I really couldn't believe all those kids could be so quiet. Unfortunately, I didn't get to say goodbye this morning as I left at 7:30, and they weren't out yet.

The first thing I had to do was climb the grade to Troy. It certainly wasn't the worst climb I've had to do. Since it's harvest, I decided to count the grain trucks. The full ones were coming toward me, and the empties were coming from behind. I counted 4 full and 3 empty. 
Wheat harvest

I came down the 9% grade into Troy. I pulled over at the park for a mid-morning snack. There I met Tom and Julia. They were out for a day ride from Moscow to Troy on this amazing trail called the Latah Trail. I'm so glad I met them because I would have had no clue this trail went all the way to Moscow (actually, it continues to Pullman--I did know about that one)! Tom also gave me his card. He runs the Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute in Moscow. He said I could camp there if I wanted. He is also a Moscow City Councilman. 
Latah Trail
Tom and Julia (they passed me, of course)

I rode the 11 mile trail into Moscow. Once there, I stopped at Safeway and got a few groceries. I got back on the trail for a bit more, then got off to get on Hwy 95 (again) to head north. Google Maps said I had another 36 miles to get to where I was going to camp. Ahhh...another big mile day...

Hwy 95 was pretty busy, but for the most part, the shoulder was good. There were some spots where the rumble strips went right down the middle of the shoulder leaving me about 5" on each side. Delightful! It was mostly like that when I was climbing up "Moscow Mtn". Fortunately, there was a secondary lane, so when the guardrail was too close to the shoulder, I rode on the other side of the rumble strips.

The road was primarily all in the sun. It was up, it was down--rolling through the wheat fields.
What I just climbed.

I was hot, and just about out of cooler water when I saw a sign for a rest stop 1 mile ahead. Hallelujah!!! I pulled in there and took a good break. I got a bottle of Dr. Pepper from the vending machine and also drank a full bottle of water, and had a snack. I checked Google Maps to see that I still had 11 miles to go to get to Mary Minerva McCroskey Memorial State Park (how's that for a lot of "M"s?). There was some info at the rest stop. Virgil McCroskey donated this large chunk of land to the State of Idaho. At first they didn't want it, but finally the legislature agreed to accept it on the condition McCroskey manage it for 15 more years (he was 71 at the time). This became Idaho's second oldest state park. It was named after Virgil's mother, Mary Minerva.

Anyway, so the rest stop said it was near there. As soon as I got to the top of the next climb, there was the sign for the park. I turned and was immediately climbing again, this time on gravel. After almost a mile, I came to another info sign about the park. This sign mentioned something none of the other signs had done. There is no water. I pondered it for a moment, before deciding I had enough water to get me through tonight and until I get to the next town tomorrow (3 1/2 bottles--a bit more than 72 ozs.). I continued on the gravel. It was another 5 miles to the first camping area. It climbed some more, then leveled off for a bit before climbing again. There were some good views.
Yep, back in the mountains.

I made it to the campsite. It has a vault toilet, a nice covered picnic shelter, and numerous picnic tables. True to its word, no water.
It would be perfect if there water...

There's no one here. A car went by shortly after I got here, but that's it. Tomorrow I will continue on the gravel for another 7 miles or so, then I'll return to 95 at Tensed.

Total miles today: 61.69
Average speed: 7.73

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