I rode 55 miles through Idaho yesterday, and nearly every mile offered something new. The first 30 were hilly, hilly, hilly. The first 20 were against a headwind. The last 25 were nice and flat (see above), and I encountered other trail users only once. In between the first 30 and last 25 I made a friend, Gary, who was holding down the campsite office at Wolf Creek Campground when I arrived tired, thirsty, hungry and somewhat discouraged by my own enthusiasm, which had caused me to detour 3 grueling miles uphill in the wrong direction. When I figured out my error and returned down towards the right road, I faced a ridge that crested well above my first ascent. And so on I went, up Yellowstone Trail Road, which is neither a trail nor a road, but rather something in between, a coarse and lumpy asphalt pathway covered in dirt and rocks and pocked with dips and holes, offering a single winding lane in each direction. I was alone on this road, save for three trucks all going the opposite direction, and so rode against the double yellow lines in the center, away from the steep cutaway edge that lined the right side of the road; the only barriers between myself and a slippery dreadful fall existed for just two 30-foot stretches around sharp turns in the whole of the 4 mile “road.” I didn’t take any photos while up there because I was busy pedaling and simmering in frustration from my foolish wrong-way detour. In retrospect, Higgins Point was worth the detour and a climb to test my will. I kept thinking to myself while on Yellowstone, “Discouragement is riding three miles uphill in the wrong direction,” though we all know everything does indeed happen for a reason–if you choose to believe it.
The great climb up Yellowstone featured a terrible riding surface in a precarious location, but also provided spectacular views of the vast Coeur D’Alene Lake and all the tree-proliferated mountains that surrounded it. Northern Idaho is most magnificent, indeed…
…I settled in Kellogg, ID last night, and there is much, much more to tell about my day riding across Idaho, but I have a bordello museum in a mining town to investigate in Silver Mountain Valley, and will share much more with you soon.
Peace and blessings,