Day Ten – Kooskia, ID to Lochsa River Lodge

Day: 10
Day Mileage:89.4
Total Miles: 585.6

Sleeping on the river was terrific. I didn’t have the rain fly on so it was nice and cool in the tent and sleeping bag. Right around 3am dogs from across the river began barking. James and I woke up and began shining a light that way. We had convinced ourselves we were about to see a bear as we were beginning to enter bear country. We saw Two beady eyes staring back and yep, we knew it was a bear. That bear began to bark. We embarrassingly went back to sleep or at least tried. The dogs, come to find out in the daylight, at treed something and kept at it since 3am so I’m not sure what kind of night’s sleep I actually got.

I, again, had breakfast at a local cafe. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, coffee. All of it was needed with the day I had ahead of me. The next stretch of map was what I had been anxiously awaiting. On the map, it states, “extremely limited service” for the next 89 miles. That was a bit unnerving going into knowing that I needed to carry enough water and potentially food to cover that distance. In reality, it was as daunting, but I didn’t know that really when planning. James and I set off for the ride near 8am. 

The first 50 miles were along the Lochsa River and the most picturesque ride. With a relatively flat road, little wind and fully calorie loaded, the miles ticked off quickly. St mile 50, we approached the lone campground of the stretch where we stopped and had lunch. I had two tortillas with retried beans and hot sauce. Really all I had in my pack that sounded good. Peanuts butter, ramen, and squished bread didn’t sound appetizing. I had a quick lunch and set off as James dried out his head from the sprinklers he set up in the night before. I had ~40 more miles until the day was done so I wanted to get started. 

The next 40 miles gradually climbed but was not as noticeable as other climbs as the day stretched over 90 miles and climbed roughly 2,500 ft so it was maybe 1-2% grade as opposed to the 7-8 I’ve been accustomed to on climbs. James caught me as I hit mile 80 and we both struggled over the next 10 miles to the Lochsa River Lodge. It still wasn’t much climbing but somehow that grade became noticeable as I was ready to be off the bike. One perk of the last 10 miles, I found an Oregon license plate on the side of the road that I fashioned into my front rack splash guard which is fun after 8 hours and 20 minutes on the bike, I rolled in the Lochsa River Lodge and headed directly for food before even attempting to set my tent up.

At the lodge, they allow cyclists to camp on the lawn for free which is extremely smart. They also sell showers for $5. The past 5 days I’ve had 2 river showers, 1 sprinkler shower and 1 sink shower so it was time. I happily handed over $5 and finally just hung out in the showers for way too little long. After the shower and the food, I was ready for bed. It had been a long day and my legs knew it.

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