Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 66 - August 8, 2013 - Grangeville, ID to Riggins, ID

Miles - 45
Total Miles - 1,764

We were back on our own this morning. We headed out of the cabin and quickly found ourselves climbing up a 4 mile stretch of hill. So much for easing back into our routine! Thankfully, the scenery was great, with mountains in the distance and the smell of pine trees all around us.

We even caught a glance at a couple of young bucks about 500 feet from the road. When we reached the top of the hill, the scenery changed again to a sort of desert-mesa, and we could see for miles and miles.

 Due to some wildfires in other parts of Idaho and Oregon, the sky appeared hazy and smoky in the valley below us. We started our descent down the 7% grade, stopping quite often to keep our rims cool. We decided to ride down what is known as "new 95" instead of following Adventure Cycling's directions to ride down old 95. This decision probably saved us quite a few extra miles and uphills, and kept us on a more direct route to our destination for the day. At one point, we crossed the road to check out a small National Historic Site center for the Nez Perce battlefield. Continuing downhill, we arrived in the town of WhiteBird, stopping at a little cafe for some snacks and a cold drink. We briefly entertained the idea of staying in WhiteBird, but decided to press on to Riggins. The rest of the day was a beautiful ride, as we continually rode along the Salmon River, and next to beautiful walls of stone. 
We came across what appeared to be a small roadside fire that had started on some patches of dried grass close to the road. Local police and forest service personnel were out in full force and had it all under control. 

Near the end of our day, we stopped at a local produce stand to pick up some cold drinks. We always love going to these places to check out what fresh fruits and goodies they have. Unfortunately, we had to make the difficult decision to not purchase a jar of homemade pickles, due to their lack of portability with our gear and our lack of being able to keep them refrigerated properly. 

A little further down the road was the teeny tiny town of Riggins. We stopped in at the River Valley RV Park, secured a sweet camping spot right next to the river, and set up camp. We then decided to walk up the hill a bit to find some food, stopping in at Shelley's Back Eddy for a great dinner. We saw a couple of other cyclists in the restaurant, and when we returned to our camp later, we found they had set up camp not too far from us. 

We spent the evening chatting with two ladies that were vacationing in the area and were picking blackberries for pie making. They had a sweet little pup named Gracie that we got to hang out with.  We also swapped stories from the road with the other two cyclists. Before we knew it, 10 p.m. had rolled around and we knew we needed to get to bed. 

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