Beating The Heat At A Hot Springs

Council ID to White Bird ID- 91 miles 

We are getting stronger, I think.

Up and out by 7:15am. First climb was a little strenuous. We expected the second to be tougher but it wasn't.

Our climb out of Council was on Idaho 95, a narrow and windy but shaded highway that heads north. It had no steep descents and was quite busy with commercial and recreational traffic. We split into 3 smaller groups for safety and paid special attention to the road around us.

 

 The boys, Bear, and Odin. Odin's the dog, by the way.  

The boys, Bear, and Odin. Odin's the dog, by the way.  

Around 18 miles in, we came across the Pine Ridge Cafe. We were greeted by a 140 lb Rottweiler named Odin who we initially avoided. We walked into the cafe for a bite to eat and met the owners, Bear (aka Pastor Dave) and Mrs Bear (sorry, didn't get her name although she made some dynamite grilled cheese with bacon and pancakes).

We ordered food and were invited into the surplus store in the next room. Bear had unique items like a swordfish sword and a fake taser that was all noise and no zap. It was interesting to hear about their move from CA three years ago, the local wolves (imported from Alaska), and info on other cyclists. 

One of the many things that we have been doing out here is staying hydrated. Bear walked out of the kitchen with two pitchers of ice water and asked who wanted the special water. Brian took the bait. Bear told him to put his glass on top of his head and Alex had to fill it from a foot above the rim. Needless to say, Brian cooled down quickly on a hot day!

Later, Bear introduced us to Odin and showed off the dog's excellent training. Alex tried his best to beat Odin in a tug-o-war but the dog was not going to give up. As we were leaving, Bear suggest that we stop at Zim's, a hot springs just outside of New Meadows.

 Alex takes on Odin. My money was on the dog. It was a good bet! 

Alex takes on Odin. My money was on the dog. It was a good bet! 

 

Seven miles down the road and we were soaking in a 105 degree hot pool and a 98 degree cool pool. Two hours later we mounted up for the 60 miles to White Bird.

 

 The crew at Zim's Hot Springs. Dire Straits played in the background. It was the perfect respite.  

The crew at Zim's Hot Springs. Dire Straits played in the background. It was the perfect respite.  

Seven miles down the road and we were soaking in a 105 degree hot pool and a 98 degree cool pool. Two hours later we mounted up for the 60 miles to White Bird.

The first 10 miles were through a beautiful meadow area, unfortunately, with a strong headwind. The meadow disappeared as we rounded a turn into a narrow canyon which twisted along the Little Salmon River. The canyon opened up to mountains that looked much like what we saw near Oxbow and Brunlee Reservoirs. When we stopped in Riggins I learned that we are on the opposite side of mountains that we saw yesterday.

We stopped for dinner in Riggins with the plan to do the last 30 miles today after the temp drops a little. High today was around 100 so it made sense to stay cool for a while. We were on the road by 7:30pm and the temp had dropped into the mid 80s. 

As we rolled through Riggins it became obvious that the economy is driven by the river. Not the Little Salmon, however. The Little Salmon feeds the Salmon which flows at at fast pace out of town. The Salmon is one of those great western rivers that runs unbridled through the mountains. Small rapids appear every quarter mile or so. The river flattens but never slows. We went with its flow for 30 miles to White Bird.

The gradual descent could have made pedaling a little easier but the continuous headwind pushed us back. The slower speed gave us the chance to watch the light change on the mountains as the sun set. Each bend in the road resulted in a change in the light. At times we were in the shadows of the mountains. Other times we were in high intensity sunlight that cast a golden glow on the mountains and down the canyons. Pictures couldn't capture the beauty. 

Ultimately we saw the sun blazing behind a mountaintop and then the shadows disappeared and all light was flat. Minutes later we turned off onto Old Hwy 95 and entered White Bird. We immediately set up camp in a park in the center of town. Thirty minutes later the moon was up and everyone was settling into their tents.

We pedaled over 92 miles today. We were smart in the way we did it. We had fun. We are strong, I know it.