Day 64 (July 31st 2016) Kooskia – Riggins ID; 90+ miles

I wrote a really nice post, but it got deleted because Idaho hates reliable internet connections. So here are some bullet notes:

Felt like Kentucky, steepest hill we’ve encountered since.

The second climb of the day gave way to 10 miles of hairpin turns without a guardrail to protect us from flying off the cliff. Sheena loved it, me not so much.

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Really hot, we have entered the mouth of hell’s Canyon, greeted by the locals with “how’s Hell treating you?”

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Last 20 miles were defeating, but we luckily rode with a group of transammers (including a father and 13 year old daughter tandem duo) who kept us going at a good 18 mph avg.

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Prepared for my eventual Survivor debut by bathing in the river.

Apparently we have time traveled, because we are back on Mountain time. Idaho is confusing and it makes no sense.

 

Arlen, an ACA tour director visited us last night. It was nice to meet him and he warned that these last few days tend to be the most dangerous, with the most hospitalizations due to fatigue and excitement to be done = carelessness.

Sleeping next to the salmon River tonight, looking forward to falling asleep to its peaceful flow. Except the wind is absolutely ridiculous.

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Sheena’s corner makes a triumphant return!
So the last few days have felt like an emotional roller coaster and maybe a physical one after today. It seems that every time I am feeling completely over this trip, something really great happens and lifts my spirit. So I’m just going to touch on some of those awesome moments.

On top of Lolo pass a couple of days ago I had the pleasure of meeting these great guys. One of them, Sam, was from Baltimore and went to Calvert hall back in the day. It was so wonderful chatting with someone from home. He served 3 tours with the Marines in Vietnam and told me all about his time. Sam and his buddy were hilarious and completely changed my mood and entire day.

Then today turned out to be one of my favorite days, despite how long and hellish it was. The ridiculously long steep climb in the beginning turned out to be totally worth it. That descent was beautiful and so much fun. After that, Em and I were feeling rough and out of nowhere a few other random tourers showed up and changed our mood right around. We ended up crushing the last 30 miles with them.

Fun fact: “Highway to Hell” played on my mix today. Very appropriate. Today was rough and tomorrow we ride through Hell’s Canyon. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t go beyond 100°F.

 

HEHE Found the original post!

This morning felt like deja vu. I could’ve sworn we were transported back into Kentucky. We hiked up 2 steep hills, one the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Appalachians. We went down one descent that was, to me, really terrifying. It was a steep grade with hairpin turns without guardrails. Sheena, in her usual fashion, sped down like like a crazy person. Every time I went past a curve, I peaked over the edge to make sure she didn’t fly off the cliff. This went on for 10 miles. The rest of the morning was rolling hills surrounded by farms, just like good old KY.

After the morning and some quality breaks, we hit the heat. We have entered the appropriately named Hell’s Canyon, greeted by locals with the phrase “how are you all enjoying Hell?”. It’s lovely. After nearly letting the heat bring us down, we met up with a group of transammers going the same way as us. We stuck with them for the last 20 miles, averaging an impressive 18 mph. We stopped at a local fruit stand for a break and delicious pie. The group we rode with consists of 6 people who just happened to be leaving From VA the same day. They stuck together for the most part. Two of the riders is a father daughter tandem bike, the daughter is only 13 years old. The father does the TransAm with all his kids, with the exception of one who didn’t want to. Kids these days. They were really fun to ride with and were a needed motivation to carry on with the ride.

We are staying right by the Salmon River tonight and it’s gorgeous. We took baths in it and I look forward to sleeping to its soothing flow. Except the wind is crazy, hopefully the tent doesn’t fly away!

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