Seeking Council

 Oxbow OR to Council ID- 63 miles

Up at sunrise. We weren't the first. The car campers two sites over had their lantern on by 4am so they could go fishing. I could smell the coffee.

For me, breakfast was pop tarts and a bagel with peanut butter. We all consumed what we could to get us to down the road to breakfast 20 miles away. 

We climbed out of camp, around the oxbow bend in the Snake, past the Oxbow Dam. The dam forms a 10 mile long narrow lake. The mountains around the lake rise up a 1000 feet or more. We pedaled on a relatively flat road on the Oregon side until we came to the Brownlee Dam.

 

 On the Snake River, goodbye Oregon, hello Idaho! 

On the Snake River, goodbye Oregon, hello Idaho! 

We crossed a bridge just below the dam, rolled 50 feet, and crossed the Idaho line. One beautiful, friendly, surprising State down.

Idaho presented us with a climb immediately upon crossing the state line. We pushed up to the level of the Brownlee Dam and rolled up and down along the lake that it formed. As with Oxbow Reservoir below it, the Brownlee Reservoir was surrounded towering mountains. 

In need of a rest and wanting to soak in the view, Ed and I stopped to look over the various fingers of the lake from a pullout on the road. An osprey flew up from the water with a fish in its talons.

As we got started again, we could see a line of seven cyclists in perfect formation advancing toward our next destination... Breakfast #2.

After our meal, we immediately started a six mile, 1500' climb to a pass with no name. As usual with long climbs, we separated into small groups. 

 

 The simple pleasures: shade, an ad hoc game and  The Eye of The Tiger on the iphone.

The simple pleasures: shade, an ad hoc game and  The Eye of The Tiger on the iphone.

Half way into the climb the first group pulled over in one of the few shady spots on the side of the road. It just so happened to be on the tail end of a curve and had a low guardrail that was suitable for sitting.  

We all sat there in a tight canyon with the view of little more than the bend in the road and a tree 20 feet away. The irony of the situation was that none of us wanted to be anywhere else. We were having the time of our lives, all lined up, water bottles in hand, sitting in the shade tossing pebbles at the solid yellow line and listening to bad '90s music.

 

 A mid road chat in Idaho. 

A mid road chat in Idaho. 

 

Back on the bikes, over the pass and after a 30 mile descent we rolled into Cambridge, ID. We passed at least 4 other Transamerica cycles and met a couple more in Cambridge. At the top of the next pass, Mesa Pass, we met a couple guys who where headed west on recumbents. They offered suggestions on restaurants and road conditions in Council.

Once in Council, we settled in in a city park with other cyclists. We met a nice couple from Ohio, Susan & Bob, who are riding to generate awareness of stroke and bladder cancer. Bob has experienced both.

Our community of fellow Transamerica cyclist is growing daily. We share stories, information, and a mutual goal.