Day 52 - Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Total to date: 3494.96 miles (5624.6 km)
Moving time: 4 hr 31 min.
Average Speed: 12.0 mph (19.3 km/hr)
Total ascent: 2196 ft. (669.3 m)
Minimum elevation: 1525 ft. (464.8 m)
Maximum elevation: 4224
Ending elevation: 2446 ft. (745.5 m)
Wind: Variables breezes until Riggins. Hot, dry 15 mph headwind for last 10 miles.
Joe and I rode out of Grangeville early this morning and tackled the 900 foot climb to the top of White Bird Hill. The eight mile approach was along the Camas Prairie - one of the most picturesque spots along the route.
The ride down White Bird Hill was pretty amazing. The seven percent grade on this 8 mile road really let me open it up. I maintained a speed of 35 to 40 miles per hour all the way down this 8 mile monster into a valley that lies 2000 feet below the top of the hill. I got some great video footage on the descent that I'll have to include in my ride video. I passed a truck going down the hill. Here is a sequence from the video:
A picture says 1000 words:
Ah, the Salmon River. What a treat! Idaho sports more miles of whitewater than any other state in our nation. The Salmon is also the longest river without a dam in the lower 48. There were hundreds of people rafting down the river today
Riggins, Idaho proclaims itself to be "Idaho's Whitewater Capitol." We had lunch at Summerville's Bar & Cafe where the bartender, Karen, shared some local history and insider information on the hot spots in the area. What she didn't tell us is how hot our ride would be this afternoon.
As we started the gradual climb out of Riggins along the Little Salmon River toward New Meadows both the wind speed and temperature began to rise dramatically. By the time I reached Pollock only five miles later the temperature had risen by ten degrees to 98°F and a dry, hot wind was parching my mouth. It felt like someone stuck a hairdryer in my mouth! I went through 1 gallon (4 liters) of water in that short stretch. Although it was early in the day, Joe and I both decided to look into a place to stay rather than push it to New Meadows.
We stayed at the R&R Adventure Lodge in Pollock, Idaho. It is a lodge that offers meals with the room. We enjoyed a nice dinner with some people who were here on a float trip. The owner and his family operate the lodge and a guide service and take care of all the cooking and cleaning themselves.
The next two days look to be pretty good. I'm set up to do a 2000 foot climb tomorrow morning and a 1500 foot climb the next day. Climbing in the morning is preferred to climbing in the afternoon for a few reasons: It's cool, there's little traffic, and my muscles are fresh first thing in the day. I expect it to be quite hot the next two days until we get out of Hell's Canyon in eastern Oregon.
Lodging: $44.00 including dinner & breakfast