Montana to California – Part 5, Ontario, OR

{ Saturday June 17th, 2000 }

Mountain side road to Emmett ID
On June 11 I rode out of Ketchum. It wasn’t bad. I rode on a bike path for the first couple of miles. I napped on the side of the road for a little while. The galena pass was ahead but by the time I realized I was on the pass I was almost over it. As I rolled down the other side the weather started to deteriorate. By the time I got to the campsite I was soaked despite my rain gear.

Rainy Day in Stanley IDNik and I had traded tents back in Ketchum because Nik’s tent was lighter than mine. I wasn’t sure how to set Nik’s tent up and I think I did it wrong. Everything that wasn’t in a waterproof bag got wet. When I woke up in the morning I was still wet and it was still raining. I lay in the tent trying to decide if I should leave. I decided that if I was going to be wet I might as well be riding. I rode into Stanley and got some breakfast and then headed out of town. My knee was aching, I was wet and I was heading into the Sawtooth Mountains. The nearest town was sixty miles away. After about a mile I felt awful so I headed back to town and got a hotel room. It rained all night but by morning it was beautiful. I think that I made the right decision.

Galena Pass SignThe ride from Stanley to Lowman was great. It seemed like I spent the whole day riding down hill. Outside of Lowman are the Kirchner hot springs. I was thinking of camping there but the sites did not look to appealing so I soaked for a while and then headed on my way. I met some hippies in the parking lot. They were heading from Cali to Bozeman. We chatted for a while and they gave some chocolate chip cookies just like Nik used to make.

Kirchner Hot Springs
I camped that night in the middle of nowhere by the Salmon River. I met a guy there who had retired from Motorola. He was from Phoenix and he was driving around Idaho exploring the back roads. We talked for a while and he shared some of his food with me. The next day I left the Idaho highlands and moved back into the desert. I followed the river all day long. I think that I would have been better off with a raft. The town of Emmett was uneventful. The next day I had a short day of riding in the wind.

Itty Bitty rafters on the Salmon River
There is a race going on in Idaho now called the Hewitt Packard LaserJet Women’s Challenge or something like that. It is a fairly big deal in women’s cycling. It is an important race in choosing the women for the US Olympic cycling team. I had wanted to see part of the race considering that they were racing in a lot of the places that I had ridden. So I was riding the other day when I came to motorcycle cop stopping traffic at an intersection. I thought that there was an accident but then I saw that a convoy was coming through with a police escort in front. I thought that it might be a funeral. The vehicles went past for a while and suddenly the riders appeared. At least one hundred racers cruised by and then is a second they were gone. I didn’t even have time to take a picture.

So finally I ended up here in Ontario, Oregon. Finally out of Idaho, although I enjoyed Idaho much more than I thought that I would. I have met seven people in total who were on bike trips, but they were all heading the wrong way. I think that it would be nice to have someone to ride with for a while.

Next Stop: Bend, Oregon


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