Wednesday, June 27 Mountain Home, ID to Twin Falls, ID 98 miles 2,790 feet of climb
Today was a mixed bag of the mental and physical on a merry-go-round. Got up this morning at 5 AM and stepped outside to see what the weather was like. WIND! I guessed it to be 25-30 mph. This early and a wind that strong – and we were going to be heading right into it – would probably get worse.
My roommate Nancy and I got our luggage on the truck at 5:45 and we headed out. 98 mile ride, with the threat of possible rain, into the wind and near 90 degree temperatures predicted. I didn’t want to waste any time. I didn’t go next door for the 6 AM scheduled breakfast, I had some fruit and a protein drink and took that for energy to start. SAG was on the route at 28 miles, I would eat again at that stop.
I really struggled for the first 35-40 miles. The scenery and terrain was mostly flat and really barren and desolate. Houses or signs of life were miles apart. The land was sandy and rocky. There were fields of hay growing, but everything had to be irrigated with water. Learned from some locals last night that very few potatoes ate grown here in this valley. It was almost entirely hay crops. Many horse ranches. The lady who spoke to a group of us said hay is very expensive now – costs her $10 a bale to feed her horses.
Gradually things started to change and we descended into a canyon down to the Snake River. Before we started down we could look over the rim of the canyon and see green fields way down below.
Up to this point I was really feeling discouraged. Riding into the wind for so long and going only 8-10 mph, I felt like giving up. I couldn’t jump on any pace lines that passed me – just too fast to keep up with. There are some guys that can go 19 mph into the wind if they do a good pace line formation. So I trudged forward – slowly.
When we got to the canyon the wind switched and life on the bike got much better. Several stopped for lunch at a grocery/deli store in Bliss. Not much of a town, just a couple of open stores. Everything else was closed or boarded-up.
It stayed overcast almost until 4PM. I wasn’t very smart riding without long sleeves on. I had a sleeveless jersey on and got a nasty sunburn on my shoulders. Usually I apply sun screen every couple of hours – but didn’t today. Even my legs got burned today.
We had some wonderful views of the Snake River Canyon coming in on the North edge of the city of Twin Falls. There were several places we stopped at overlook locations. The bridge that spans the Snake River and the canyon is the same one that Evil Knievel jumped across on his motorcycle. Unbelievable when you see the span he had to go over from one side to the other.
No flats today. Fred from Madison holds the record so far – eleven flats. Last night, after having five flats yesterday, he bought a whole new wheel.
Oh, we passed through a five mile section of dairy cattle. The one feed lot was a whole 2 miles long. Never saw so many cows at the feeding stations. Phew! That silage they feed them smells really rank!