Mileage: 65 miles
Weather: Upper 60s to start. Mid 80s to end. Big fluffy clouds in the afternoon. Wind not a factor.
Highlights of the day:
We gave up the frontage road in favor of farm roads. The route zigzagged through field after field of crops. Mostly wheat and potatoes. It’s Idaho, we had to see potatoes. The fields of spuds had different color flowers. We came to the non-scientific conclusion that the red flowers are for red potatoes, the purple flowers are for purple potatoes, and the white flours are for white potatoes. It must be on the Internet somewhere.
We started the morning with about 10 miles of “kah-dunk kah-dunk” roads. They were mostly cement with seams and big gaps. Riders tried to find their way around them but often times, it was a case of relax and just take it. A right turn at mile 17 brought some welcome relief. We found more chip seal but the good kind - not the rough new stuff or the old cracked version like we had yesterday. This chip seal was old and smooooth. It might seem odd for those of you new to or unfamiliar with bicycle touring but the discussion of road conditions are very serious!
And then there were the dogs. Lots of dogs. Dogs that hide along the side of the road and run after anything on wheels. They came out of houses, farms and fields. Fortunately, there was no reported contact, just a big adrenaline rush associated with a small (or not so small) barking animal making a bee-line towards one’s bike.
One SAG stop divided today’s ride. The second half continued through farmland with occasional views of the Snake River - wide and calm, reflecting the sun. Coming into Idaho Falls we rode along the Snake River right at the town’s namesake, Idaho Falls. It’s not the huge spectacle of Niagara Falls but a quieter beauty that can be enjoyed on the bike paths that border both banks of the river.
Today was a well-timed “active recovery” day. Lower mileage and into the hotel early. Tonight we need to sleep well for tomorrow we will climb!