Day 65 (August 1st 2016) Riggins – Cambridge ID; 85 miles

Last night when thinking about today’s ride, I thought it would be much like a log in a failing expedition’s diary. In fact, I thought today’s post would go a lot like this:

“The endless weeks on the trail have caught up to us. We are fatigued beyond comparison and morale is low. Day 2 in hell’s Canyon. Sheena is leading a death march. 35 miles in this god forsaken place without a break. It is hot. Really hot. We almost ran out of water but the friendly natives replenished our reserves. This land is not fit for human habitation. The good in this is that old Bessie is has proven to be a noble and reliable steed in these trying times. While others have fallen, she has stood the test of time. Speaking of time, we are all disoriented. We have no concept of what day it is, let alone what time zone we are in. Idaho has proven to be a worthy adversary. We have yet to find ourselves in need of resorting to cannibalism. If/when we do, Jake will be the first to be sacrificed.”

Okay, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it was a fun distraction when riding today. Since tomorrow we are in the thick of Hell’s Canyon, don’t be surprised if the blog post reads very similar to above.

Shockingly, today wasn’t bad at all! Sure it was hot, but when riding along Hell’s Canyon and street names like “Seven Devils”, what do you expect? There were plenty of hills, but there were also plenty of descents to make up for it. We rode pretty far without breaks, trying to beat the heat.

We crossed the 45th parallel, which I didn’t know was a thing. It apparently is halfway between the equator and the North Pole. The sign denoting it does a fine job at explaining it, as the picture also shows.

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We are staying in a city park tonight without showers. We were reassured that the sprinklers weren’t going to be going off tonight, so hopefully we stay unexpected shower free. We talked with a guy, Chris, who rode two TransAm tours before, in addition to other tours as well. He is house/dog sitting for a friend and invited us to use the shower. It was a welcome invitation because of how sweaty we were after the ride. Another trail angel to the rescue!

For most people August denotes the end of summer and isn’t necessarily a positive thing. But this year, August 1st is special. Even before this trip, I knew it was going to be special. It felt so far off and I knew that if I made it to August, I would definitely finish the whole trip. And it’s here! So if nothing horrific happens, in 9 days we’ll all be done this epic adventure.

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