Cumulative: 842 miles, 37777 feet of climb and one scavenger hunt
It was another gorgeous day to ride our bicycles and see new sights. Cool and mostly sunny with a tailwind at our back. The route today was due east and at times near, but not on Interstate 84. In the morning we took two side trips to Shoshone Falls and Twin Falls, and then continued on straight farm roads to Burley. Here, where the land is left to itself, it is arid and dry. Where the land is irrigated, we pass fields of barley, potatoes, corn, and alfalfa. The interstate traffic was at times heard to our side. Otherwise, we heard the wind as it rippled through the fields of barley. And on the right of us we can now see mountains in the distance; the Rocky Mountains. We’ll be climbing towards the Tetons in just a few days. But for now, it is relatively flat riding in what is called Magic Valley.
Snake River Canyon at Shoshone Falls (rainbow barely visible)
The Hansen Bridge
Because of the short mileage and early arrival time, today was the official America by Bicycle “Scavenger Hunt”. Everyone needed to break into teams of four or five, which was perfect for the five of us. Each team was supposed to find sixteen items including an Idaho quarter, a piece of fan belt, a clothespin, a #4 golf ball, a round ban-aid, a blue flower, a popsicle stick, a church key, a pretty rock, a sprig of alfalfa, a bottle cap, and a store stamp from a store in Burley. Now, those of you who know me would know I normally don’t go for that kind of stuff. And let’s just say the two Marks, Jeff, and Dave were equally motivated as well. But with no effort put into it at all (wink, wink), miraculously we came with all of the items before we reached the Hansen Bridge. That included us having the store stamp from a store in Burley, despite the fact that we hadn’t even reached Burley yet; if you know what I mean. And then, "The Incident" happened. For some reason, the judges didn’t believe our story about trying to save a poor little white lab named “Jimmy” who was running along the cliff overlooking the Snake River Canyon at the Hansen Bridge. While we were saving the dog, the bag containing all of the scavenged items slipped out of Mark's hand and went over the cliff. A totally true story, completely believable, although only witnessed by the five of us. For some unknown reason, the judges did not believe our story about The Incident and we were awarded negative points and our team finished in last place. We think the judges were bribed. However, we did get some of the better laughs of the night.
Tomorrow, we get more serious with an 83 mile ride to Pocatello. We’ll also be riding a bit on I-86. It is hard to believe it is two weeks tomorrow since I left home. In some ways the two weeks have gone by fast. And in others, it has seemed like a very long time. I am having a great time on the ride, but I do miss Karen, family, friends, and the mountains of Big Canoe. You really appreciate things when you don't have them.