Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 13 - Burley to Pocatello, ID

Today: 82 miles, 2115 feet of climb
Cumulative: 925 miles, 39892 feet of climb

It was chilly today. 47 degrees in the morning and it never seemed to warm up much past 60 degrees. We also had a nice tailwind most of the day. The windbreaker, arm warmers, and vest were all in use and I only took the windbreaker off at the 58 mile point. The vest and arm warmers stayed on all day. Is it summer and is tomorrow really July 4? Maybe if they held the Peachtree Road Race in Idaho it would warm up. Actually, the weather is perfect for cycling and we have no complaints.

With the longer mileage day, breakfast began at 6AM with luggage load at 7AM. Our group set a time of 6:30 to meet, and I got to the dining room at 6:20 to mostly empty tables. Most everyone else had eaten and left already. So the five of us were at the back of the line for luggage load and the last group to hit the road.

Mountains to our right

By the way, our group of five (Dave, Jeff, the two Marks, and me) are not named “The Thoroughbreds” anymore. We are “The Geldings”, since we all know who is really in charge at home when we return from this tour. We were officially named at the scavenger hunt last night. And we’re still disappointed about not winning the hunt because our scavenged items fell off the cliff. But enough of that.

Another Snake River Crossing

What beautiful scenery today. We left the hotel and went a bit east on Country Road 300, and a bit north on Route 25. Then, we hit East Baseline Road, dubbed by ABB as “the loneliest road in America”. I’m not sure about that, but it was in the middle of nowhere and absolutely wonderful. Barbara Munk says it is her favorite road to ride on the whole tour.

E. Baseline Road

On E. Baseline Road we crossed the Snake River one more time and passed some farms for a while. Then, there was nothing but scrub and grass for miles and miles, with the mountains to our right in the distance as the road stretched forever eastward, straight as an arrow. Eventually, the road curved to the southeast and headed back toward civilization. We could see the sun through a high layer of clouds.

Another view along E. Baseline Road

Once off E. Baseline Road we stopped at Register Rock, a camping area along the Oregon Trail where travelers carved their name in a large rock. Many carvings dated to the 1840’s to 1860’s with some as late as the early 1900’s. The sculptor J.J. Hansen carved an Indian head and Preacher head here in 1866 when he was 7 years old. Forty two years later, he was to return to review his work and redate his carving a second time. Register Rock reminded me a bit of El Morro National Monument in New Mexico, a gem of a national monument that is not much visited.

Register Rock

Hansen Carving of a Preacher and Indian at Register Rock

After Register Rock we rode on I-86 for a while before reaching the town of American Falls, named for the nearby falls on the Snake River.

Riding on I-86

We had a sixth rider in our group today! Katie from New York City rode with us today and we enjoyed her company, plus the turns she took in front pulling the group. She has not been cycling for a long time but is a very good rider never the less. Katie, you can ride with us anytime you want.

Joe, Dave, Mark K., Jeff, Katie, and Mark W.

We have one more easy day tomorrow, about 60 miles to Idaho Falls. Then, two days of climbing to Jackson and Dubois, WY.

Today’s route (on the right side of the page, click the “Player” tab, then the right arrow to follow the route):

1 comment:

  1. Thanks!!! :)

    P.S. I borrowed (stole) your group shot since mine was washed out.