July 26-New Meadows almost to Lucile (Free camping on the Salmon River)-39 miles
Today was one big downhill. We were definitely getting spoiled but it was sure pleasant riding and with a nice wide shoulder. We made the mistake of showing Gregory how to signal to the trucks to honk their horns (grab the sky and pretend you are pulling down on a rope). Most of the time the truckers accommodate his requests, much to his delight. It is a bit unnerving for Mom and Dad though especially when they honk right next to us. It isn’t quite as bad if they’ve passed us already. We originally planned to stay in Riggins and had an incredible pesto chicken sandwich on foccacia bread at the River City Café before heading down to the recommended RV Park. However, they wanted $15 for a tent and 2 people, an extra $4 for Gregory and $3 each to shower! After a fellow biker advised us that there was a fruit stand 3 miles away we decided to be adventurous and look for free camping along the Salmon River. The fruit stand was amazing. We sampled juicy peaches and apricots, huckleberry pie filling and my favorite apricot-pineapple filling! We bought peaches, pluots, fresh green beans, apples and cherries! Just as we left the stand it started to sprinkle. We had two miles to our camping spot and the rain steadily increased along the way. We pulled off the road and Gregory and I tried to hold a tarp over the B.O.B. trailer while Mike dug out the footprint (tent ground cloth) and the tent. This wasn’t ideal but worked pretty well considering that Gregory is quite a bit shorter than I am and his little arms don’t stretch quite as far. Fortunately the rain stopped while we were setting up the tent and the sun peaked out from the behind the clouds. We warmed up instantly and all stripped off our jerseys and finished setting up camp. We took a delightful swim in the Salmon River as we watched the rafters and kayakers drift by. After relaxing for a while we decided to cook our dinner on the sand shores. We first cooked fresh green beans, took them out of the boiling water, added more water and brought that back to a boil, then cooked our macaroni for Deluxe Mac & Cheese. It is not a favorite but we always carry some in case we miss the store and want to free camp like tonight. We also had fresh juicy peaches and cherries from the stand. There’s nothing quite like preparing and eating a meal along side a rushing river. It thundered as we prepared our meal and we had a plan if it started raining, and rain it did. We all grabbed our assigned items and hightailed it to the tent. We finished dinner in the tent but once again it cleared out and we spent the last couple of hours of the evening sitting on the sandy beach enjoying the cool breeze and the sights and sounds of the river. What a glorious day!