I'll tell you what, these Idaho descents are extremely short. We spent literally all day climbing Galena summit and we made down into the next valley in less than 15 minutes. No kidding.
At the bottom in the hot, completely dry, absolutely unshaded valley, I realized my back tire was flat. I must have run over a rock just right and it cut my sidewall. But no problem right? I have tubeless tires now, and if I get a puncture then the goo will ooze through and harden, sealing the hole. Let me disabuse you of this thought. You're talking to Claire Mitchell, the Mistress of Flat Tires.
I get more flats than anyone I know. At least once a month. Once all my tires on two bikes went flat in like two weeks. I get flats after I buy new tires. Once we were sitting inside with the front door open eating dinner and I heard a pop and a hiss and my bike that had been hanging up all day on the porch had spontaneously gotten a flat. Travis refuses to believe this narrative, saying that the universe is not conspiring against me but COME ON. So of course this tubeless tire thing didn't work. It's my tire.
The goo would shoot out of the puncture and hold, but then air would gurgle out and it would go flat again. We struggled with it for like an hour in this HOT, SHADELESS VALLEY.
Finally it held enough air that I could ride it and we continued on, but had to pump it consistently throughout the day. I would like to point out that Travis has pumped up his tires twice on this trip so far.
A couple in their 50s passed us in the valley and stopped to talk. They were just doing a little bike overnight to Stanley, and said they had a lot of tire trouble when they did a bikepacking trip in Baja. This is all I can hope for, is that 20 or 30 or 40 years from now, Travis and I still love each other and want to go on bike adventures together.
Our map said that today would be a downhill day over to Redfish Lake, so we were expecting some easy pedaling. Well the valley did slant down slightly, but it was a tough, hot day. We stopped for lunch at a little stream and found some wild strawberries for dessert, and only had one leg of the journey left before camp.
Well of course the Forest Service provided us with another insane road that just went straight up through a burnt out forest. The trees were burned so there was no shade, it was like 4pm so the sun was really cooking, and we walked over two more ridgelines on a sandy washed out road. Easy day!
Finally we made it to Redfish Lake, not really realizing what we were getting into. This is Idaho's beach. This is where everyone comes to party, get really sunburned and ride jetskis. Well you know what? They party at a lodge that serves beer and ice cream, and the sun doesn't go down till 10pm so we took advantage of the waterfront views and RELAXED.
There weren't any real campsites left, so we returned to the burnt out woods and stealth camped in a dust pile.
It's very very dusty here in parts. We're coated with it all the time. It sticks to our sunscreen. But we decided to stay the night and take a rest day to do an 11 mile round trip hike up a mountain to see an alpine lake.