Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pocatello, Idaho - Day 13

Last day of June and almost out of Idaho - seems to have gone by pretty quickly. As usual we were up and out earlyish (6:45) to avoid the heat. It was flat and you could see forever, real home-on-the-range country.  It was actually beautiful, especially the first 50 plus miles, as we were on basically empty country roads. This is the land of windmills, silos, and agriculture, ranching and irrigation. The last 30 or so miles we rode mostly on "Frontage Rd." crossing back and forth over I-86 - not quite as scenic, but more so than you would think. The Snake River, and a few reservoirs were visible from time to time throughout the day.  As we approached Pocatello signs of mountains became visible.  Overall, it was a basically straightforward ride. And as usual we have strong men riders to thank for the pulls - Charlie from Concord, NH, and Al from Stockbridge, MA.

One of the things we have seen on a regular basis is a huge variety of roadkill. Today was your average rabbit, or hare (have yet to see a jackalope!)but have seen skunk, badger, red-tail hawks, and a variety of smaller birds, deer, voles, squirrels, cats and even a dog. It is really remarkable how many animals get killed, but probably more remarkable how many live.

We have been staying mostly in Best Westerns. We love Best Westerns! Especially after a night like last night where we had to stay at the Budget Motel - and it was all that the name implies. We had to yank so hard on the faucet to get the water going, we thought we were going to pull the sink out of the wall! However, we did have a bed with clean sheets, and a hot shower. 

Not many photos from today, but we forgot a few from the other days, so we are going to add them below. 

Day 13
Miles: 86
Total Miles: 922
Elevation Gain: 2270
Next Stop: Idaho Falls, Idaho

Link to Mimi's Garmin info

Photos from other days (sometimes our internet or computer are not so reliable and we don't always get everything done as we would wish.)

The Antiques @ Shoshone Falls
(like Mimi's tan? yikes stripes!)

Polly rolling - thanks to Tom!

John Deer tractor photo for Dennis 

Today's Photos
The Wild West

Mimi on the range

Looking around from a quick clothing exchange stop

Our Road - 600 N

Snake River off in the distance

Home on the range

High class Sag stop - (thank God for our vans,
 last time they sold gas here it was $2.50)

Along the frontage road...
hot and dry, Mimi's favorite

Friday, June 29, 2012

Burley, Idaho - Day 12

Lazy Day...We didn't start until 8:30 which gave us time to lounge over breakfast in the hotel breakfast room with our fellow bikers and some mini sluggers who were in town for a Little League game. Just out of town we rode down to take a look at Shoshone Falls with double rainbows and lots of mist. Since it was a short day, the crew sent us on a scavenger hunt along the way at which we failed miserably. We did get an extra point for for our team name, The Antiques Roadshow. Thank God Ward gave me a new diamond ring because that counted for a pretty rock. (They didn't like the perfect skipping rock I picked up out of the parking lot.) During the ride, Richard, one of our riding buddies, got a flat which  gave us the opportunity to take some extra pictures and do some roadside yoga as we were waiting. As you will see from the pictures, we rode through irrigated farm lands.Thank you Snake River! It was pretty much downhill with a strong tailwind--a biker's dream --so we arrived in time for lunch at Wendy's along with half the population of Burley and a few tourists.

We were the last people to the hotel because we took a detour to an yogurt store and then Wal-mart for Simple Green and a new $10 skirt for Polly who is the resident fashion plate. Our rooms were the last to be ready so we scrambled to do laundry, get to the clinic on drive trains ( I should be an expert now, but guess what...), clean our bikes and get to dinner by 5:00. That's where we placed dead last in the scavenger hunt. I guess our MO today was LAST.

Just in case you are wondering, my hands are lily white and my arms are as brown as a berry. Ah, what a pair of bike gloves can do for you.

Day 12
Total Miles: 836
Elevation Gain: 1569
Next Stop: Pocatello, Idaho

Link to Mimi's Garmin info

Rainbow at Shoshone Falls
Double Rainbow at Shoshone Falls

Bikers enjoying the falls
Potato Flowers

Lots of Idaho Potatoes

A Little Alfalfa Hay
Now that's irrigation

Some History

The Hansen Bridge through a chain link fence

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Twin Falls, Idaho - Day 11

Up and out before the sun today to beat the heat. When we started it was high desert and pretty dry, the Snake River lending its water to any green we saw. In the early morning, it was so beautiful to see the fans of the irrigation as it sprayed out over the fields. We rode along country roads, past fields of potatoes, lots of potatoes, and corn. We entered Bliss -the town that is- and just beyond our senses were assaulted by the scent of thousands of dairy cows, their heads poking through stanchions to chow down on hay. 

As we approached Twin Falls, we stopped to look at the canyon, made famous as you might recall by Evil Kneivel, who tried and failed to jump over it on a motor cycle (it did not kill him.) Then again from the bridge into the city. 

We had several saviors today, Tom a neurologist from Macon, Georgia, Ollie a police officer from Hamburg Germany, and Tony a retired educator and IT guy from Castle Rock, Colorado. They pulled the antiques pretty much the whole way. Thank Goodness! We even enjoyed a little conversation, and at the end of the day we actually feel pretty good.

We will write more about our fellow travelers as we journey on. But we can say that we are enjoying everyone. We would like to start, however, with the staff who are exceptional. 
Mike, who is the leader has been at this for at least 10  years, maybe longer. He has so much knowledge and runs a tight ship, but with humor and enthusiasm. His crew has been with him for years and years, with the exception of 2 newbies this year. He blessed us this morning with the secret of longevity - one brightly colored fruit loop each - green for Mimi, pink for Polly! He does a great journal with amazing photos and info everyday. Check it out at
Barb - Mike's wife, and the person who handles all the logistics - hotels, meals, and gives us "health" tips on protecting our "naughty bits" and with a smile. Barb and Mike live in Alabama when not criss-crossing the country.
Karen - always does Rap - giving us directions, photo op places, suggestions for food stops, and general info about the road, the ride etc. She also does all the shopping for the sag stops and organized them. She lives in Eugene.
Jeff - Takes care of "the box" - he makes sure our bags are organized, that we can get to stuff that is stored there (we have food and extra bike equipment)
Jim - Mechanic extraordinaire. He is from Lincoln, Vt. and works at Middlebury when the snow flies and he can't ride his bike. 
Bud - is one of the newbies from San Diego and joined the crew for fun, leaving his "real work" behind for his son.
Kathy - hails from Minneapolis, and is a friend of Jeff's. She is the jack-of-all-trades helping with everything.

Day 11
Miles: 97
Total Miles: 794
Elevation Gain: 3114
Next Stop: Burley, Idaho

Mimi's Garmin Upload for today

Map of our Route

The Snake River as we left Mountain Home, ID

Historical information!

The Snake River Valley - note difference in vegetation & windmills on the hill

Historical Marker at Sag Stop

Close-up of Oregon Trail Covered Wagon  

Our Saviors: Ollie, Tom & Tony

The Antiques

The Twin Falls Gorge from the Bridge

The Twin Falls Bridge

Mimi & the boys: Boston Al, Tom, and Ollie

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mountain Home, Idaho - Day 10

Bye, bye Boise! 
Late start today (8:00) because it was a shorter, relatively easy ride. Rode through some basically flat and open country - telephone poles the only relative of a tree in sight. You could see forever. Rode alongside a burned area for several miles where the ground was just black! Worrisome shades of Colorado. 

The day started cool and ended quite warm, foreshadowing days ahead. We got in early and were able to enjoy time by the pool, and attend a clinic on tricks of the trade for changing a flat. We also had time to slip around Walmart in our cleats to buy bandanas to put ice in and wrap around our necks to help with the heat.

Tomorrow is a 97 mile day so, breakfast at 5:30 and departure between 6:00 and 6:15. Supposed to be in the 90's - cool compared with Colorado's three digit temperatures and fires. 

Day 10
Miles: 53
Total Miles: 697
Elevation Gain:1325
Tomorrow: Twin Falls

Mimi's Garmin information link
Link to map of our route so far

The Boise River

Looking back on Boise

I-84 Today very little debris -a downhill course
rather than slalom 

On the road -It's drying out

Surprise envelope from Mimi's support

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Boise, Idaho - Day 9 - Rest Day

Well, the word to sum up today would be: relax. 

Boise is a great little town, nice downtown, neighborhoods and sweet restaurants. Our day was leisurely start to finish - late breakfast, dawdle over coffee, head off for massages - blissful, walk over to check out the Boise Co-op, great natural food store, and pick up a few things, wander downtown for coffee and more relaxing, a little frozen yogurt, then wander to Hannah's Nails (great if you are ever in Boise) to get our toes done (Mimi's first, and now she's hooked), and then a quick trip to the bike store before heading back to the hotel for laundry and bike cleaning and a little hanging out in the courtyard with some of our fellow pedalers. Going to try Red Feather Restaurant, recommended by Polly's masseuse, for dinner. It looks great with a farm to table approach.

So, there you have it... Rest Day #1 under out belts, and most welcome.

Sorry, no pics today!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Boise, Idaho - Day 8+9

Since we only had 64 miles to ride today, we had a leisurely departure. We rode with the Georgia boys --Tom, Charles, and Robert-- today. Basically, Charles pulled both of us the whole way. We chatted the whole time so the miles rolled by: farmlands, neighborhoods and the mountains looming in the distance. We pulled into Boise around noon just in time for lunch at a nice restaurant in an area called Hyde Park. Five of the group left today including Charles and Robert, so no more sucking their wheels. We are looking forward to a rest day tomorrow with a leisurely breakfast, massage, and checking out Boise. We might even take a day off from the Blog.

Day 8 
Miles: 64
Total Miles:644
Elevation Gain: 1,205
Next Stop: Mountain Home, ID

Link to Mimi's Garmin:
Link to map of our route:

Finally a new state!

Idaho farmland

Lunch in the Hyde Park Area

Polly enjoying Goody's homemade
ice cream

Eating ice cream. Everyone wore ABB jerseys
 coming into Boise. Mimi's looked more like a dress.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ontario, Oregon - Day 7

This morning we set off with a bunch of fast riders who Polly pulled for at least 10 miles on a frontage road along Interstate 84. After about 30 miles, we entered the mighty interstate 84. We rode several miles through Burnt Canyon,  part of the Oregon Trail, before arriving at the SAG. Polly feels that riding the interstate is a bit like running slalom gates as we swerved through tire parts, sprite bottles, nasty wire, bungy cords, plastic, bolts, etc. I, myself, likened it to beachcombing, carefuly searching the ground but without the bending over to pick up beautiful shells. When Polly checked her tire, it appeared that one of those lovely items on the road had torn it. We booted the tire with a dollar bill and off we went. Polly was feeling very tired and at the next SAG dicovered the reason. Her brake had been rubbing... We fixed that and continued on along the Oregon Trail and the wide Snake River. The surrounding hills are dry, but along the river we passed irrigated fields of corn, onions, wheat, and a leafy mystery plant.The highlight for me was spotting two beautiful, white egrets. I might add that riding without leggings and two or three jackets was also a big plus.

Because of the time change, the rooms were ready when we arrived, so we swung into our routine: shower, download pics and garmin, mechanic stop for a new tire for Pol, eat, don the compression tights and blog. Polly is fighting off a sore throat so she's gargling, viamin C-ing and putting herself to bed early.

Day 7
Elevation Gain: 2,349
Next Stop: Boise, ID

Click on the link for Mimi's Garmin

Bud:Open for business

Waiting for Bud's okay to load
Mimi, happy to be on the frontage road

Our route: Idaho here we come
Farmland along tne Snake River
Wheat Field
Corn Field
Our directions and clothes we took off at the SAG that need to be calimed
Bud helps Polly "boot" her tire - I-84 Road

Mimi riding along the Snake River