Hot tubbing across Idaho

21 Sep

Life is great here, where do I begin?
Yesterday morning touring through Craters of the Moon was fascinating.

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I debated if I should be going solo into Bonneville Campground, in the Boise National Forest, on a gravel road following just a sign that I saw on the road. Obviously a good decision.
I had a cold night but slept ok with two sleeping bags, one nestled inside the other and a warm balaclava. I lay in my cozy bag wondering what sort of hot springs surprise I had saved for myself.
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Just a short hike before eating any breakfast to the tub shack from my campsite.
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I took lots of pictures of the steam in the cool morning air.
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I have the camping coffee all figured out, can’t beat Starbucks instant and a homemade penny alcohol stove to boil water. My stove that fits into the light aluminum pot is easy to pack. It’s slow and only suitable to boil a small amount of water but the fuel is relatively safe.
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The riding and scenery is fantastic southbound on hwy 21 from Stanley to Lowman and even better going towards Crouch.
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This is rockslide country, evidenced by rocks on the road, barriers, warning signs and netting. Last night just after I went to bed I was startled when a heard and felt what must have been a huge rock fall. All this steep rugged topography complete with signs that chains are required for snow or ice conditions makes for better twisties to ride. On my return I was blown past by a Buel, a motorcycle I’d seen earlier at a gas station. I presume he is local and knows the road. The road around Garden Valley is old, needing resurfacing soon. It was reasonably hot this afternoon and the many tar snakes could be soft and slippery if cornering hard. Riding solo this far from home, I tend to ride somewhat respectful of the posted speed limits. His riding buddy caught up with me later following a large oversize load barely making it up the grade.
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When I got up this morning in Bonneville campground it was cold while attempting to enjoy my orange juice and granola, only 2degC and 8degC when I had finished parking and rode off with 3 layers under my RoadCrafter jacket. Along hwy 95, west of New Meadows, I stopped at a forest fire-fighters camp and the temperature topped out at 34degC. They were having an easy day with everything under control and graciously allowed me to take some pictures of the big temporary working camp.
I’m lunching in Crouch / Garden Valley at the Dirty Shame cafe complete with good food, WiFi and some electric plugs to get charged up. Even my PPS battey is having trouble keeping all my toys charged, I’m taking hundreds of photos so using battery power. All posted pics are unfortunately just from my smart phone, I don’t ride with the technology needed to handle my real pictires taken my Fuji X10; they get dumped later into someone’s computer.

I’m back in Crouch for breakfast so I’ve ridden through Wildlife Canyon scenic backway 3 times. It is a great road.
North Fork of Payette River at hwy #55 SW of McCall.
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Further south it’s a world class white water river challenging for kayakers. To me it looked insane.

My exit from Idaho couldn’t have been more spectacular, hwy 71 goes downhill forever from Cambridge at posted 25mph to the Idaho Power dam at the Snake River.
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What a fun road to play on!
Tight squeeze right above the power dam.
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Earlier two Honda Goldwings passed me coming the opposite direction, uphill. I expect both well over the speed limit. The second, possibly struggling to keep up, was way over the yellow center solid double lines and in my lane. Mountain roads are hazardous and some very technically challenging; there is no excuse for riding in the wrong lane. Idaho hwy 71 has no guardrails but certainly safe enough at the posted speed. Generally speaking the drivers here seem to be more skilled, attentive and respectful than those back home in Ontario.

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One Response to “Hot tubbing across Idaho”

  1. Taylor Binnington September 22, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    Agreed – Starbucks Via, *almost* worth the price.

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