Cycling Date: Sunday 22-June-14
Weather: Sunny all day. Low 50s to start. Low 80s to end. Winds out of the west. Tailwinds!
Highlights of the day:
After several days with significant climbing, the riders were not terribly upset to learn that today’s route was primarily downhill. The seventh day on the road took us out of the mountains and to the eastern edge of Oregon. It included our first foray onto an interstate highway. In some of the western states it’s legal to ride on the highway when there are no reasonable alternatives, and we met that criteria twice today. We were on the highway for 12 miles, on a Sunday, so the traffic was light. The shoulder was nice & wide and vehicles frequently gave us wide birth by passing us in the far lane. The biggest challenge is dodging debris. Small wires and thorns made for a busy day changing flat tires.
The pine-covered mountains gave way to golden rolling hills along the Snake River. This is a river the riders will get to know very well. It comes in and out of our route all the way into Wyoming. What we saw today was wide and ambling but soon will be dotted with rapids and falls as we head east.
We are also coming into farmland. This is farmland that apparently would not exist without a great deal of irrigation. Brown borders of scrub and dried grass surround the bright green fields. No irrigation. No green. We passed large fields of clover and (what I think was) lavender. Breathe deep and relax! We also passed large fields of onions later in the day. Breathe deep and hear the tummy rumble with hunger!
It was a good day. Warm and sunny, with a great tailwind, and some beautiful quiet roads. Most of the riders would have been into our motel by early afternoon, but we also changed time zones today from Pacific to Mountain. Tomorrow we ride 60 miles into Boise and our first rest day.