Today was easy. We woke up and had some coffee with our host, Maureen, and then she gave us the keys to her truck so we just rolled it right up to Boise with our bikes in the back. Ha, just kidding! She did give us the keys to her truck but we took it to a breakfast buffet up the road. We started biking around 11 am.
We cruised 25 miles on the Old Oregon Trail highway before stopping to grab a bite and we hadn’t even broken a sweat. After yesterday, it was a nice change.
It was an uneventful trip, but there were a few humorous moments along the way.
We had to ride the interstate for about 20 miles but thankfully we were flying at 17-20 mph. The wind was on our side.
We made to our hosts by 4:45 pm and had an awesome spaghetti dinner with Jason and his parents. They had a camper in their garage that they let us sleep in.
Next up: we’re crossing the border into Oregon!
If I thought Wednesday was windy, then today was windy and cold. First day I rode with my jacket on the whole day.
The headwind wasn’t too bad, but after a while it does get tiring getting smacked up side the face by the wind for hours on end.
We set our sights on the McDonald’s in Mountain Home and kept pedaling.
The fun part was getting to the top of the last hill and going 30 mph on a long descent about 10 miles from our destination.
The road shoulder was narrow, so combine that with the wind and sometimes it can be a bit scary getting blown around with cars and hay trucks rolling by.
We all finished around 5 pm and made it McDonald’s. We contacted a Warm Showers host in town who took us in. It felt great to be out of the wind.
We found the house our Warm Showers host let use so appealing that we decided to take a day off and relax.
The day was spent napping, reading, going to the pizza place in town for dinner, and watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Not bad.
Not much to say here, except that it was windy for the last 25 miles to Fairfield.
It was more high plains desert, and I’ve taken so many photos of that already I’m sure everyone who’s been reading the blog gets it by now.
We contacted a Warm Showers host in Fairfield who let us use an extra house she owns. Super nice!
We bought supplies at the local grocery and cooked up some homemade meals in the kitchen. It was a nice change of pace from restaurants.
While we were packing up camp in the morning, Scar come out and told us about a little hot spring on the way to Carey, ID.
We ate breakfast at the Pickle and were riding by 10:45 am. An early start!
Craters is really something to see. Otherwordly. I hear the moon landing was filmed there.
We stopped at the visitors center for lunch and had a spirited “debate” about the correct condiment for hot dogs. That would be mustard. You can say ketchup, and you’d be wrong.
We found the hot spring about 10 miles from the town of Carey, just north of the park. It sits just out of sight off the road.
We chilled there for two and a half hours before riding on to Carey to spend the night.
We went to a little cafe in town and Anthony and I both ordered the steak fingers. They’re the beef version of chicken fingers. Interesting.
We asked the owners of the cafe if they knew where we could pitch tents for the night and they directed us to a pavilion on the fairgrounds behind the cafe. Apparently someone had left money to the town to build a place where people like us could camp if necessary. We wound up sleeping on top of the picnic tables because we didn’t feel like pitching our tents.
Today we went across the desert, and in our usual fashion, we didn’t get started until after 11 am, but we had a great breakfast at our hosts, so we were prepared for a long day.
There’s a US Department of Energy facility out here, and they’ve done a lot of research with nuclear power in this area.
After 70 long miles, we made it to Arco, the first town in the U.S. to be powered by atomic energy. The town is also famous for Pickle’s Place, home of the atomic burger. If you ever find yourself in Arco, go to the Pickle.
We camped the night at Honey’s Campground, a free spot run by its proprietor, Scar (Me: “Is that his name?” Anthony: “Well I don’t think his mom gave him that name, but yeah”).
Our hosts for the previous night returned from their camping trip right as we were about to leave, so instead we stuck around and had breakfast and chatted. We didn’t leave until 11:45 am. A late start sure, but what’s the point of the bike trip if you’re always rushing around and don’t stop to talk to cool people?
Betsy and Jason told us about some Hot Springs in Heise so we made that our first official stop, but we did manage to grab some ice cream along the way, which they serve in squares around here. Interesting.
The Heise hotsprings were great, but exhausting. They’ll put you right to sleep.
Right as we were about to leave the hot springs, Anthony found his front tire was flat. Bummer.
It was about 7 pm when we left, so the sun was going down already. We sped right along to Idaho Falls and got in around 8:30.
After getting some questionable fast food Chinese for dinner, we connected with our hosts the Carlsens, a family of six so it was a full house!
This morning, we said goodbye to the Tetons and continued on our way to Idaho.
We rode 20 miles to Jackson and hit the post office so Anthony could get a package of contact lenses. An ongoing trip joke is how much we both we want lasic. Maybe it’s not a joke anymore.
After that we climbed up Teton Pass. It was super steep (10% grade) for five miles. Maybe a mile or two up the hill, Anthony and Reid jumped in a pond (at elevation of 7,000 ft) and quickly discovered it was a tad cold.
The view from the top was incredible though.
We flew down the other side of the pass at 30-40 mph, which is fun and scary. You know that if one little thing goes wrong, one bump or a jammed wheel, and you’re flying over those handlebars and you won’t remember much after that.
Shortly after, we arrived in Idaho, our penultimate state. Only one more border to cross.
We spent the night camping in Betsy and Jason’s backyard. Thanks guys!
We decided to spend a few days enjoying the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Anthony’s friends Max and Ben drove up from Utah to visit, and all of us drove around seeing the sights and hanging out.
On Friday, we hiked out to Hidden Falls on the far side of Jenny Lake, right under the mountains.
We started the day with a 31-mile ascent to Togwatee Pass, which is also the Continental Divide. The last 7 miles were the steepest and took us a solid 2 hours to complete.
After climbing to the top, we found the perfect spot to eat lunch.
We rode 17 more miles to the Moran Junction, where you enter Grand Teton National Park. The attendant let us in for free, and we rode up to Colter Bay Village to spend the night.