Coast to Coast for the FFB: THE ONLINE JOURNAL

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Day 77: Riggins, ID to Cambridge, ID (84 miles, 3730 total)

Churning up the miles! We forgot to mention in yesterday's journal entry that we have now caught up on all the days in the guidebook (remember we were behind by 5 before) and are currently a few miles ahead. This was the plan as we want to be able to slow down some once we get to Oregon and Rebus joins us for the last week. Though I already said it a few days ago, I think (hope) we are now done with our over 80 mile days.

Our sleep last night was fantastic! We're so sold on sleeping without the rainfly in this dry climate that we're going for it again tonight. We awoke at the leisurely hour of 6AM and packed up. Not too many days left of this nomadic lifestyle!

We biked through Riggins on our way to the recommended stop for breakfast. It is definitely a town all about fishing and rafting. I'm so sorry we couldn't take a rest day and enjoy a rafting trip. That will have to be another trip.

Outside of Riggins Jeff pointed out an object in the road. It was a discarded frog stuffed animal complete with top hat. He is now riding on my BOB and his name is Ribbit Riggins Frog, IV, the Unsuccesssful Suicidal Frog of Idaho. I'm happy to have him aboard.
We also passed by several more blackberry bushes that made Jeff swerve over for a stop. I'm still wary of them.

Much like yesterday, we spent the first 35 or so miles climbing away. Nothing was steep, just long and gradual. At some points we had no shoulder to speak of. After my experience yesterday I was in no mood to mess around with big trucks so I was bailing off the side of the road all day when I saw them approaching in my mirror. Please don't squish me!

As we approached the town of New Meadows the road flattened out and we picked up lots of speed. Determined not to feel as dehydrated as I did yesterday given the hot temps and dry, dry winds, I was making myself stop and drink regularly. At one point, I took the time to talk to and then heckle some cows in a field. I just love the blank stares I get back from them.

Lunch was a BBQ joint in New Meadows. Their salads actually had great lettuce for a change. After some brisket and cold drinks, we checked cell phone coverage and were surprised to see almost full bars! It has been several days since we've seen anything other than "searching for service." Where's that Verizon dude now?

Back on the road, we had about 6 more miles of climbing before starting some nice downhill stretches. The wind was blowing in our faces but not too hard, and I decided that it was put there to try to make us a little cooler. With no wind the heat can be oppressive.

We arrived in the town of Council around 5:00. This was our short destination of the day but we both decided to push on for the longer stretch to Cambridge. It was a tough call, especially given that the Council Rodeo was taking place that night. It would be so fun to go, but what swayed me against it was the fact that we would have to bike back to our campsite when it was dark with some not-so-sober cowboys on the road. No thanks. We'll catch a rodeo in Colorado next year. (Note from Jeff: The rodeo was tough to pass up as they were featuring my all time favorite, "mutton bustin'".)

We caught a break on the ride over to Cambridge. The wind died down and the sun took cover behind a bank of clouds. We picked up the pace again and chomped away the final 23 miles to town. Dinner was the first stop again tonight and then it was on to the Frontier Motel. The motel allows camping in the rear for a mere $5.35 per tent and that includes showers. I'm also doing our laundry while I type this so this place is getting great bonus points. It even comes with 2 dogs, one of whom brought a small pine cone over to me, flipped it up in the air and then barked as if to say "Let's play, you know the drill." She was a great catcher!

OK, the laundry is done and the sleeping bag is calling my name.



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