STATS Day: 8 Day Mileage: 64.2 Total Miles: 451.4
Easy day today. Or so I thought.
60 or so miles to the next city park in white bird Idaho. 60 miles nearly entirely downhill. It was going to be easy money. Waking up in a mountain time, w hadn’t quite adjusted to it yet. That was okay though because we decided or take it easy in the morning, make two cups of coffee cans enjoy the process without being rushed. We did all that and it was delightful. As soon as we got on the bike, that changed.
The storm from last night blew over and it was pretty calm as we got ready for the day. We chatted with one of the construction worker who was an avid cyclist and he prepared us for the day. As we turned north on 95 out of New Meadows, the north wind hit us head on. It was brutal. The effort that I put out to maintain 9 miles an hour on flat terrain was almost too much. After 10 miles on the struggle bus, it was really taking its toll. But because there was nowhere to go but forward, we ducked out heads and kept at it. That downhill day was still downhill, but instead of coasting. We had to pedal. All of it.
We made a brief stop in Riggins where we had lunch but because we knew we still had 30 miles into wind, it was hard to enjoy. We set off, never to look back. Following along the salmon river, where people were whitewater rafting, was really enjoyable in terms of sights. The clouds were beautiful and the hillsides were steep as I crept along the river for the remainder of the day. Fun thing about Riggins, immediately as you leave, you cross back over into pacific time. We have been on mountain time for two days only to go back an hour. Needless to say, time doesn’t mean too much to you on a bicycle it seems.
There was one final push into white bird on Old highway 95 and then finally, windburned and all, I arrived into white bird and immediately found the nearest bar. Turns out, white bird is about 4 bars, a general store and a cafe. After a few PBRs including the ones that were bought for us by a local, we began setting up our tents in the city park which was a war memorial for the veterans that fought from white bird. It was a terrific spot and close to the nightlife and also close to river shower number one. 4 wheelers, Mules, and trucks with packs of keystones, the white bird crew knew how to keep it going well into the evening.