Day 9 – Idaho

Adventure by Bike, Bikepacking, El Mariachi Ti, Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Magic Cycles, Mountain Biking, Reveal The Path, ride the divide, Salsa Cycles, Tour Divide, Tour Divide 2013

Day 9 started off with rain.  We packed up our stuff at the RV Campground and were looking forward to a nice hot meal in one of the towns ahead.  Packing up was a little challenging in the rain.  I ended up hanging out with Chris, Kevin and Sean under a little umbrella covering a small table.  It worked okay for the time being.  It wasn’t raining too hard for the most part.  The owner of the RV Campground came out and wanted to get some photos of us for the Bikepacking.net Forum.  He was a follower of the race and a super nice guy, I wish I could remember his name!  He snapped a couple shots and we were off into the rain.

Once we started riding I quickly warmed up.  The rain seemed to have stopped so I took off my rain gear to keep from drenching myself with sweat. Then the rain started back up and I started getting cold. I stopped and put my rain gear back on, then it stopped again. It seems the weather was going to do this for a while so I just left my jacket on and slowed the pace to keep from sweating too bad.

After riding through some snowmobile trails and through some nice thick forest areas we popped out at a little crossroads near Macks Inn and Big Springs.  There was a restaurant open for breakfast and it was probably the best thing I had seen since leaving the cafe in Lima.  Food seemed to always been the cure all!

After eating two full breakfasts of eggs, bacon, toast, fruit and a second order of bacon and french toast, several cups of coffee, juice and water, I was finally full. I still ordered a huge cinnamon roll to go and stuffed it in my frame bag for later.

Keving, Sean and I rolled over to the little grocery store across the street and stocked up.  I was dragging my feet a little and after a long breakfast finally realized it was already pretty late.  I wasn’t looking forward to the long stretch of rails-to-trails section either.  It was famous for being bumpy, loose kitty litter.  A lot like riding through sand.

Once we turned onto the trail it was no joke.  I almost dumped my bike several times in the first few hundred feet.  After a while it got a little better.  The only problem was every time you would get in a grove on one side of the double track it would all the sudden turn to sand and you would almost come to a stop before trying to jump across the sand heap between the two tracks.  It was sort of like a game leaping back and forth trying not to eat it each time!

Once we finally made if through the 30 miles of sand, I decided it was time to stop for my cinnamon roll.  It seemed like a good place to stop and take a break.  Next up was some paved miles.  We eventually made our way to Ashton Flagg Ranch Road and took another break.  I think the group (at this point Peter was riding with us too) and I were all feeling pretty beat. Ashton Flagg Ranch Road was a super wide dusty road with more traffic than I would have hoped for.  We got dusted out a few times while taking our break so figured it was best to just continue on.  It was hot and the road went on and on.  We started climbing up and over the north flank of the Tetons and the road became really rough.  I must have taken my mind off the numbing gravel road because I was picking it up and starting to make some better time.  We started down the other side and next thing we knew we were at Flagg Ranch Resort, sitting down to a huge meal!
They put us at a table smack in the middle of the restaurant.  It seemed that a lot of people, tourist mostly were staring at us in our tight fit biking clothes with 9 days worth of dirt and grime covering us from head to toe.  The manager came over to our table and said we looked pretty hungry and that he had an offer for us.  There was a burger challenge and he really didn’t think we could manage to pull it off.  I don’t think he had any idea what we had been through over the past 9 days or what shape our bodies were in but we all signed up!  They brought out our huge double patty burgers and giant piles of french fries.  We all looked at each other and thought, this was it?  Needless to say, we all finished our burgers and got our meals on the house.  Most of us even order desert afterwards. 

By this point it was pretty late in the day and we were all beat.  There was some talk of pushing on and getting a few more miles in but the thought of a campground, possibly a shower and some good sleep sounded too good.  We got a site and the four of us hit the hay.