I slept for a full ten hours and could have slept more. But alas, Idaho is a land of extremes and we wanted to catch the blissfully cool early morning hours as we summited our first mountain. We were warned that the road to Rocky Bar was a little tougher than the canyon we took out of Boise.
Well that was an exaggeration. This was an elevation gain of 2000 feet in 10 miles. I rode about 15% of that and walked the rest.
Have you ever walked ten miles, how about ten miles up a mountain? Pushing a bicycle?
Sections were so steep each pedal stroke felt like the wheel turned a quarter turn. I was going so slow I lost all momentum and fell sideways off my bike.
And then the three guys we met yesterday just zoomed past us, one of them wasn't even in his easiest gear, and they weren't clipped in. It was insane. It's really hard to tell how in shape you are in these situations.
So that's what we did all day, we pushed our bikes up a mountain, talked with these three bikepacking sweethearts from California, and somehow we descended.
We made it to Featherville, where they were expecting us.
When we walked in the door of the cafe, the owner seemed genuinely mad and asked, "Are you cyclists? You know you're SCREWED??" He explained that the road on our route had literally washed away this spring, and I realized that he wasn't mad at cyclists he was just honestly did not understand why we would go up these mountains without motors. Touché, sir. He had already written out directions for cyclists, and showed us on a forest service map the reroute he planned for us and our ilk who would be passing through all summer. He said one guy didn't listen to him and called him from the summit to say he didn't wish the washed out route on his worst enemy. Apparently he had four inches of path to push his bike along the roaring riverside, batting willows out his way as he ascended 4000 feet up Dollarhide Mountain. Sounds terrible.
Then we feasted on wonderful diner food.
Crucially, we were able to end the day at water. Western reservoirs are pretty great.
Camp that night was the only pullout along the reservoir that was too steep and bumpy for people to drive their RVs down, so we had our own cove to ourselves on Fourth of July weekend.