Day Nine – White Bird, ID to Kooskia, ID

Day: 9
Day Mileage: 44.5
Total Miles: 495.9

I woke up ready to go. It was 645 and by the time we could get packed up and out of town, it would be nearly 8am. I crawled out of the tent to the ghost town that is white bird in the morning. Couldn’t quite figure out why the cafe, which was supposed to be open at 630 was closed shut. I was ready for coffee. And then it hit me….. I’m in the Pacific time zone. Again. I waked down to the bar that I had access to their WiFi and began to browse the internet waiting until that magical hour of 630am. I saw two men on four wheelers who had tied one on the evening before and they were out the door early. We exchanged pleasantries and finally, it was time for the bathroom, I mean coffee.

At Red’s Cafe, Biscuits and gravy were literally and figuratively on the menu. If breakfast was as easy as walking across the street each morning, I’d be hard pressed to have ramen and potatoes as I’ve had each morning that I’ve cooked at camp. I was going to take advantage of today location and early opening cafe. Having coffee on the ready was a treat that I haven’t had on the trip and after caffeinating myself properly, it was time to pack up and hit White bird Hill. 

White bird hill was one of the bigger combs I’ve come to thus far in my trip. This climb was different as it was steep and long but with switchbacks the entire time on an old highway. It could not accommodate large semis and those pulling any kind of trailer so they built a new highway within eyesight of this one. Once I began climbing, I could tell why. Almost 2 hours of climbing 3,000ft resulted in reaching the summit with a smooth decent down into Grangeville. James and I had lunch (corn dogs and root beer have become quite a thing this past week. Knowing we had a short day today, we set off for the remainder of the 24 mile to Kooskia, pronounced a Kooski.

It was rolling hills through the Nez  Perce reservation with the craziest downhill I’ve been on. My wheels were HOT by the end of that decent due to braking almost the entire time. Loose gravel and countless switchbacks made it almost unenjoyable, but I’d rather be braking than climbing it any day. Another 4 miles, and we were finished for the day. Staying in the city park tonight, I gathered my clothes and did a load of laundry taking advantage of the short day. 3 days riding in one shirt and 1 in another is about all I’m able to handle at this one. I do have some long sleeves but it’s been too warm for those. After dinner and river shower number two, I’m settling down to sleep by the river near the city park. 

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