Arco, ID ➡️ Shoshone, ID: 84.5
Shoshone, ID ➡️ Mountain Home, ID: 78.5
Mountain Home, ID ➡️ Nampa, ID: 69.4
Oh, Idaho…you had us fooled…
Your lush greenness quickly disappeared
Your temperatures were hot
Your towns were far apart
Return, I will not.
Well, at least to this part of Idaho.
You guys, the past few days have been rough. We have had some good moments, like seeing Craters of the Moon National Monument.
It was really neat seeing the ancient lava flows and the cinder cone buttes! I would definitely love to go back and explore the area when I have more time.
We crossed one of our last milestones of the trip- our 3,000th mile! Wow!
It has still not set in how far we have come. When I pull up the map to see our location, all I can think is holy cow!
So, I’m going to cut to the chase about Idaho. The areas that we have been riding through have had absolutely no services. I mean…there’s literally nothing!
The wind has been in our face the entire time, and, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s really hard to ride into the wind all day long. Combine that with the heat, occasional long climbs, and no shade- phew! It’s not easy.
Not only has it been physically difficult, but it is psychologically difficult. I found myself trying to stay focused and to not get worked up over being out in the middle of nowhere with nothing…but it’s hard to not feel uncomfortable and worried when all of your water is blazing hot, and all you want is a cold drink…but you have to ride 35 miles into the wind and heat to get it….after already riding 40 miles.
I’ve listened to lots of music and podcasts the past few days trying to keep my mind off of everything. I don’t want people to think I’m miserable- But I also don’t want to sugar coat things… it has definitely been difficult!! BUT, the personal growth I have experienced from day to day has been rewarding.
I did it yesterday, and I can do it again today.
Yesterday, at the end of our long, hot, windy ride, I could tell my back tire felt a little ‘bouncy’, and sure enough, it was losing air.
Really? Right now?
A man pulled over while he saw me taking my back tire off. I was expecting him to ask us if we needed help.
“Oh, well you girls don’t need any help. You got it taken care of.”
That’s right, mister. We’ve got this. 💪🏻
Craig had a good outlook on my 3rd flat tire- one flat tire per every thousand miles. Not too bad.
At this point in the trip, we have lost so much strength in our hands that it took both of us to be able to get the tire lever in so I could open up my tire and pull my tube out to patch it. It took me a few minutes to find the hole, and then we found a thorn in my tire. It wasn’t before long and we were headed into town.
Forget food, forget cleaning off the bike grease…all we wanted was an ice cold drink.
So, that gets us caught up to today (Day 55).
Good ol’ Google Maps decided to take us down a dirt road this morning. It had all kinds of huge ruts, loose gravel, and even sand! It wasn’t fun to ride on at all.
I came up to an area that was all rutted up. The ruts were all filled with water. As I tried to avoid the ruts and the water, I hit other ruts that blended in, and totally lost control.
Let me tell you, I have laughed so hard about this all day and I wish I had it on film. I hit a giant rut and almost fell of my bike on the left side…and then I hit another rut and almost fell off on the other side. While I’m trying to regain control of my bike, I hit another rut so hard that I came off my saddle and was sitting on my back rack/panniers and was stretched out still holding onto my handlebars. Haha!!! At that point I gave up and hopped/kind of fell off my bike as it fell over. Mud was slung all over my leg. I just left it there. I mean…who has time to get mud off their leg?
I rode about a quarter mile down the dirt road and noticed my mirror was missing. Forget riding, I walked back and found it at ground zero.
After we got off the dirt road, we had to get on the interstate for the rest of the day (it’s legal to ride on the interstate in Idaho). It wasn’t too bad at first, but when we got to Boise, it was complete chaos. Who knows how many lanes of traffic, cars flying by you, a shoulder covered in glass and debris.
I’m hoping neither of us wake up with a flat, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all.
When we got to Nampa, we got some pizza and had fun with the ducks!
So….tomorrow is a BIG day!
I absolutely cannot believe we will be crossing into Oregon tomorrow. Our last state line.
Well, on this tour, anyway… 😉
As we get closer and closer to the coast, I can’t help reflecting on my trip. Over the past couple of days I have been answering interview questions about the trip via email with the editor of the Marshall County Tribune. It seems like I’ve been on the road for so long, yet it all seems like a blur. The trip I have spent over a year preparing for, and a life dreaming about, is about a week from coming to an end…and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
I absolutely can’t wait to return home and get back to normal life and see all the people I care about whom I’ve missed all summer…but, I’m going to be honest, I’m nervous about the transition back to normal life.
Last night, I slept in my tent on a baseball field. I kept my fly off and stared up at the stars, thinking and reflecting on my trip; what I’ve learned, what I’ve gained, trying to decide what the big ‘take-away’ is.
But today, while I was riding and listening to music…trying to not fall off my bike while riding through the ruts, the perfect song came on, and I told myself that the trip isn’t over yet. Because it’s not.
And I will try, and I will stumble
But I will fly, he told me so
Proud and high or low and humble
Many miles before I go
Many miles before I go