Cycling Date: Thursday 26-June-14
Mileage: 97 miles
Weather: Mostly cloudy and cool. Low 60s to start. Low 70s to end. Strong winds out of the west (weeeeee!!!). A few scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon.
Highlights of the day:
The distances we ride each day are dictated by logistics, where we can find appropriate places to lodge and feed our flock of riders within reasonable riding distances. The resulting rides can seem a bit odd, and this leg is a prime example. We have both our shortest and longest ride within a few days. Today we rode 97 mi, and tomorrow we ride 38, followed by 87. If only the locals, back in the day, could have been more thoughtful in terms of locating larger towns with proper facilities in terms of consistent cycling distances.
Today we started early for the longer ride and saw our fist sunrise on the road. The route was long but fairly flat. We rode through a string of farms and dairies, all on land that can only support agriculture with heavy irrigation. Sprinklers and rolling irrigation systems were everywhere. And livestock. The smell of money (as they like to call it in Kansas) is well represented between Mountain Home and Twin Falls. Mostly cows with a smattering of goats, sheep, and even an ostrich or two.
The wind was in our favor and brought everyone into the hotel by early afternoon. All the staff remarked on how this was one of the earliest days we’ve had into Twin Falls. The staff is not complaining. Neither are the riders. Here’s hoping that this is a trend for the tour. Mother Nature, if you’re listening, pleeeeeeze??
We finished the day at the Snake River canyon. Stunning views. Photos don’t do it justice but we’ll try to get some tomorrow (rain & clouds today). Evel Knievel made the canyon famous back in the 70s when he attempted to jump it in a steam-powered rocket. The steel bridge at Twin Falls is now a favorite of daredevil parachute jumpers – aka BASE jumpers. For you geeks out there, BASE in an acronym for Buildings, Antenna, Spans, and Earth. Riders actually saw a few jump today even with the stiff winds. Crazy? Perhaps. But as a group riding bicycles across the US, some would argue that we need to look in the mirror.