Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 8-July 27- Near Lucile to Grangeville, ID -34 miles + 9 miles (by truck)

We had a glorious morning by the Salmon River and were packed up and ready to go by 7:30. Gregory and I had a driftwood sword fight while Mike did the last bit of packing. We had relatively flat riding with just a couple of small hills on our way to White Bird and got in at around 10:30 A.M. with 23 miles under our belts. We had hoped to find a restaurant in White Bird but as we pedaled through town nothing looked open. We stopped to figure out what to do next when Darlene pulled up in her car and we started to chat. When she asked where we were going next, Mike offhandedly said, “We were hoping we might hitch a ride up White Bird pass.” (This pass is either taking the new highway at 7%+ grade for 9 miles or the old highway that is an even longer climb with a series of long switchbacks.) Darlene immediately tried to come up with a solution for us. The next truck that pulled by just happened to be Brian, President of the White Bird Chamber of Commerce (pop. 100) and he generously offered us a lift. He went off and switched his small truck for his larger one, came back within a couple of minutes, loaded us up and drove us to the top of White Bird pass. We thanked him profusely and as he drove off we celebrated our good fortune. We hopped on the bike only to realize that I was the only one with a helmet on. Mike and Gregory had left theirs on the side of the road in White Bird. Ugh! We waited for a while in hopes that Brian either saw them or had them in the back of his truck but I finally convinced Mike to hitch a ride down the hill and back up once he found the helmets. As he walked into White Bird he saw Brian pulling into his brother’s house and he and Brian found the helmets right beside the road where we’d left them. Brian once again drove Mike up to the pass and we were finally off at around 1:30. One of the great things that came from all of this was that we met Matt & Ross, TransAm cyclists originally from Ohio (where Mike grew up) and they are riding for the ABTA (American Brain Tumor Association). It turns out that Ross (I think it was Ross and not Matt. I apologize if I have it backwards.) had a pituitary tumor that was discovered when he was 8 years old and this is such a coincidence because I had a pituitary tumor also. It wrecked havoc on my body for over 10 years before I was diagnosed and had 1/3 of my pituitary removed in 1999. Anyhow, they put us in touch with the association they are riding for. Their blog is: abtabicycletour.blogspot.com. The downhill to White Bird was an exhilarating one though we did run into some gravel spray as the truckers passed us near town. We rejoiced when we saw the Subway sign since all we had eaten that morning was fruit, carrots and a bit of jerky. Mike’s 15-year old SIDI shoes finally started falling apart so ACE Hardware was a must where he picked up some epoxy and duck tape. He also went online and ordered up a new pair to be sent General Delivery to Missoula, MT. We are free camping at the city park and had a delicious pizza at The Depot before heading over to the city pool for a dip and a shower. We topped off the evening with a large chocolate frozen yogurt (split 3 ways) and cycled back to camp under an orange and pink sky. I’m typing at a picnic table in the pitch dark using my backlit keyboard and enjoying the cool night air. Mike is keeping me company as Gregory snoozes in his comfy sleeping bag only a few feet away. I enjoy keeping in touch with everyone via the blog but now I understand what other fellow cycling bloggers warned me. There is often not enough time in the day. I’m making the most of every minute of it.


  1. Hi! We just got caught up with you and I must tell you that reading your blog is a joy! The hospitality you've experienced is heart-warming. We've spent alot of time in Idaho as our relatives live there - great people, your description of the food makes me a bit homesick for them! Know we are sending you warmest thoughts. Thank you for doing the blog, it's a great gift. The Leppanens

  2. We so admire your ambitions. Looks like an amazing adventure and a memory of a life time. Please know that you are feeding a part of our souls here in the the Burke household! Enjoy every minute...this is amazing!
    Nikki, Christian, Bailey and Reese Burke (CHICO/Tri Counties Bank)