Unfortunately, the Ride Idaho was scheduled during the same week as our trip. Until today, we only saw a few of them at the local tourist areas. However, today their route coincided with our ride, and we probably encountered 50 or more of them whizzing past us at about 20 mph saying “on your left.” I actually kept pace with one group for awhile; I enjoyed hearing about their trip, but I’m not sure that I could ride 450 miles in a week nor sleep in tents with 300 other people!I enjoyed the variety of trees along this portion of the trail. Not only did we see beautiful evergreens, we also saw Aspen, cottonwood, and cedar trees. As other days, different varieties of wild flowers lined both sides of the trail. As it approached lunchtime, we tried to find a picnic table in the shade. The sun was hot today, and I felt the back of my neck getting sunburned. Finally, after riding about five miles past when we really wanted to stop for lunch, we gave up and sat on the ground along the river bank. Later, we read trail signs which warned against eating on the ground due to the possibility of heavy metal contamination from the mining operations in the area. This warning made me regret eating my sandwich after dropping it on the ground.
The last third of today’s ride flew by quickly as we anticipated eating an ice cream cone in Harrison, assuming the bikers hadn’t eaten all of it before we arrived. We were not disappointed; the creamery was well-stocked in anticipation of the crowds. After finishing our ice cream, we met our shuttle driver, Lou, at the Pedal Pushers bike shop. Lou skillfully loaded our bikes on his trailer and drove us back to Enaville. We appreciated his flexibility with our changing schedule and were grateful for his reasonable price.
We returned our bikes to the rental shop in Kellogg and drove back to our condo to take showers before dinner. The Silver Mountain Lodge offers a Gondola ride and barbecue on Friday nights during the summer.The gondola is the longest single expansion ride in the world; the trip to the top of the mountain took 20 minutes. Since the gondola goes 1,000 feet per minute, that means we rode 20,000 feet, which is approximately 4 miles. We enjoyed the barbecue dinner and view at the top of the mountain. We took a short hike and admired the layout of their ski slopes before returning to the base of the mountain.
Joyce and I wanted to see the resort’s indoor water park so we all took a quick walk through the different attractions (wave surfing, lazy river, slides, obstacle courses, etc.). Finally, we printed our boarding passes and returned to our condo.
Tomorrow, we fly back to Atlanta from Spokane. Because we’re out of groceries, we plan to eat breakfast in Coeur d’Alene. We also need to find a place to mail our hiking poles home since we can’t carry them on the plane.We’ve had a wonderful trip! I’m leaving a part of my soul on the trails in Idaho and in the mountains at Olympic National Park. Soon it will be time to start planning our next bike trip… perhaps the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota …