Sunday 19-Tuesday 21/6:
Rest Days Boise.
Tough days in Boise where we rested Sunday and cycled away Monday but we turned around. Tried to rent a car up the road to have something to aim for later. But we cancelled and booked two nights at the same hotel as before.
Homesickness held Veronika in a tight grip and it only got worse and worse. After thinking and thinking even more, she felt that she wanted to go back home.
I would continue cycling though if I wanted to. And I really wanted it. This is a once in a lifetime adventure that I really want to give a chance.
Veronika booked a flight to NYC via Dallas. From there on Saturday on to Gbg via Amsterdam.
Even though there were obviously supertough times in Boise we also had a great time there. The weather was awesome. A Saturday afternoon at a restaurant with food, great atmosphere and a beer-tasting that was a "big bite we almost didn't manage to chew". We´re not used to that big beer tasting-glasses to say the least.
Boise-Ten Mile Campground. 77.8 km.
Emotional days were followed by an emotional morning when Veronika would take the taxi to the flight. It hit full force and there were no easy steps back up to the room to get myself and the bike ready to ride off later. Ugh ugh ugh!!
Took the route past AT&T to arrange a prepaid simcard as my Swedish subscription ends in 10 days and I don't know when I will reach a city with the opportunity to arrange it next.
Rolled out towards Idaho City. Even though it's called City, only 408 people live there.
Maybe a nice place but really stingy DAMNERS in the store anyway. At most they wanted to refill one of my bottles. "We sell water here".
Had to buy it then for #¤&#%%&# sake!!!!
Rolled on slightly uphill for about 14-15 km and turned into a campsite and spent the night.
Tomorrow it will be more and steeper uphill and a utopian thought is to reach the town/village of Stanley. But, as I said, it's a long way up there.
By the way, got a puncture today but last Sunday we were at the Trek Store in Boise and they filled our tires with "puncture fluid" which did the job. Just inflated the tire a little and it works so far. Not going to try to push in more air. Something will probably go wrong then :-)
A chilly night but still ok sleep it felt like. Had a strange dream though.
The morning began with hot coffee and oatmeal. Yum.
The cycling day began uphill with an undetermined destination. Defeated the first of three mountain peaks for the day in good spirits. Rolled well up the second as well. Both at over 2000m as far as I can understand. Down to Lowman where I topped up with a Coke and a small can of Pringles. Talked to the guy behind the counter, he confused Norway with Sweden and apologized. After all, he had been to Sweden and Denmark on a train trip before the money ran out. But Norway remained on his list. With all the fjords.
Got a tip about a good place to eat a little outside the village. It was good. Funny waitress and good hamburgers. In addition, I chatted with another cyclist who was in a competition called something like "the Transamerican Race". Portland-Washington DC. He had started on Sunday so he had been doing some serious distances. We wished each other good luck before I sat down and ate and he left.
Loaded with calories I headed for my third mountain climb. 36 km uphill. Now I had decided that today's goal had to be Stanley. Just going for it, but it was a long ride to the top. Once up there, I met a German couple who were out on a motorbike. They average 250 km/day and had started the day in Ontario, Oregon. We were there last Friday……but I think we see more of the views along the road than they do!
The descent wasn't as steep downhill as I thought. Went down in stages, then flat and even uphill.
20 km to go I had to panic stop to fill up with water. On a hot day, you need to top up all the time. Don't know how many liters were used today.
Rolled into Stanley anyway, went back and forth a bit, but then I got a tent spot at Mountain Village. 40 dollars though, for a small spot of grass, no showers or anything. A robbery in my opinion.
A quick rinse in the river, up with tent, in with gear in it. Complete the pasta at the mercantile and then have a hearty supper. Now calm in the tent and wondering if it will be as cold tonight.
The days are warm but it cools down quickly when the sun goes down. Have to dress warmly in the sleeping bag. Better safe than sorry. Good night.
The idea was to cycle about 11 km to a hot spring and chill there on Midsummer Eve. But that spring was in the wrong direction....
Amateur map reading.
So it was exchanged for 94 km cycling. 90% downhill. Tailwind. What an "eriksgata". Stopped and replenished energy at regular intervals. No rush. Enjoy enjoy enjoy is the mantra.
Talked to a Park Ranger about this and that, including bears and that he wants to go to Sweden and walk the King's Trail.
A lovely day on the bike even though yesterdays effort still hurt in my legs. Have to think about filling up more energy in between.
Ended up at a motel in Challis.
Pizza would have been good for midsummer but it had closed permanently so it was hamburgers both for lunch and supper.
Now wrestling, chips and a lazy evening celebrating Midsummer Eve in small town america.
A quiet midsummer day´s morning at the motel. No rush to get away. All I knew was that I would somehow get to experience the community of Mackay.
After breakfast, FaceTime with the sweetheart a couple of times. The connection broke all the time for some reason, and after a bit of taking it easy in the room, I rolled away. Stopped and bought Bear Spray and stocked up on Clif Bars.
Calm cycling in a tailwind to begin with. Started going uphill a bit after a while, and up, and up, and up. To almost 2200 m!!!!
The motel owner had even warned of an uphill on the road. But….
Although the descent afterwards was not bad at all! Worth every single height meter. Fantastico!!
Speeds into Mackay and fills up with water, , a baguette, coke and snacks. Talked to the nice business owners and then rode on after lunch.
Downhill but against the wind. You son of a biscuit!!!!
The idea had been to stay in Mackay but I felt good so I aimed for Arco, regretted a bit in the headwind. "Only" 39 km so it went well. Had hopes that I would be able to camp in a park in the community.
A woman I asked didn't think it was ok, there are signs here about "No overnight camping" she said. But the only thing I saw was "No overnight parking". Read properly maybe?
At 10 pm I hear cars and people and think that now it's life. Bright lights come on and I think what the h-ll is happening. It's just that my tent site is next to a baseball field and the teenagers were eager for a spontaneous game on Saturday night, so they lit up and played a game.
Seems to be a bit of the "village's" gathering place. But it is monitored by cameras so it is probably quiet.
Rest day in Arco.
Rest day. Great.
Certainly good for the body too.
Then tough and a bit boring.
Bad thoughts began to creep in. A bit depressing when there was so much time to think about other than all the impressions you get when you sit on the bike.
Missing, longing. A little gloomy tonight.
Surely also a consequence of a less good night's sleep. The sprinklers went on here in the middle of the night and sprayed the tent like every two minutes, so it was almost impossible to sleep between 01-04.
Still managed to come up with some good things. Changing route tomorrow. In that way, about 2,000 meters of altitude is lost. Enter Rexburg instead of Idaho Falls tomorrow em/evening. Slightly longer day tomorrow. 145 instead of 111 km. But on Tuesday I earn it in height meters.
Hottest day so far. Around the 30 C mark an hour or two in.
Stopped in a sunny and flat place, then it quickly rushed up to 43 C. It was a quick sortie from there.
Otherwise, the day seemed to pass by with no hick ups. Felt good all the time. Ate and drank. Ate and drank. Important.
The most delicious pizza of the trip for lunch. Could only manage 4 out of 8-9 slices.
I've hardly seen so much cheese in total in my entire life haha.
Stopped at the beginning of the city of Rexburg for coke and salty chips. Thought about continuing to pedal for a while vs. going to the bike shop and getting the chain cleaned and oiled and then taking the night off. The latter won. Found my way after many ifs and buts the Eagle Campground. Cost $10 but there were no envelopes to put money in where it said there would be so….a free night.
Tomorrow a slightly shorter but slightly more hilly bike ride to Jackson.
Nice feeling in the body like this after a shower under a tap and plenty of food.