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Buhl…er, Anyone? Anyone?

Hank – The last three days were pretty intense physically so we were needing a break. Plus, I’ve been feeling like we’re missing out on things because we spend so much time on the road and don’t stop and smell the roses so to speak. So we decided we’d travel the 30 miles to Buhl today instead of going to Twin Falls. Then tomorrow take an easy day going to Twin Falls and have plenty of time to see Shoshone Falls, which are taller than Niagra Falls.

While packing, Kathy was going through her panniers looking for something.

“What the heck is this?” It was a package of four large sugar cookies with icing. Kathy and I made these cookies for our send-off party we had back in April. Jan took the cookies home from the party, froze them, and then snuck them into Kathy’s pannier during our visit. It’s been two days and Jan was wondering when the cookies would be discovered. Busted! Kathy complained that was at least an extra pound she was hauling. 🙂

We checked out of the motel and went to the Oxbow Cafe for breakfast. Then we coasted down River Road into the canyon down by the Snake River. We ran into Norm–he got his own blog post–while he was out for a walk. After merging back onto Highway 30 we made short work of the trip to Hagerman. We hoped to visit the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center (stop and smell the roses, right?) but it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Just our luck. We pressed our faces against the windows and got a good view of everything, but it would have been better to go inside.

On to Buhl we went. We followed the canyon some more, cross the Snake again, and then hit the big climb for the day. Kathy and I dropped down to the granny gear and spun for about two miles to the top. From there it was a gradual climb to Buhl. The day was hot again and we finally found a shade tree to take a break–right next to a dairy farm. We did our best to ignore the smell while we ate a snack. Then a vehicle pulled up. Rich and Tina Baker of Hagerman saw our bikes lying on the side of the roadway and stopped to check on us. We assured them we were fine and thanked them for being so considerate as to check on us. They were excited to learn of our adventure. Tina shared that she spent three years traveling Europe and staying in hostels back in the 60’s. How cool is that?

The weather was threatening when we arrived in Buhl. We checked in at the Buhl Chamber of Commerce RV Park, which I’d swear offered tent camping on their web site. They don’t. But Michelle took pity on us and let us camp on the grass for ten bucks. A windstorm hit while we were setting up the tent. We got everything anchored down and the panniers tucked away and then crossed the street to the laundromat. After getting our clothes all lemony fresh we settled into the tent with some wine and cheese while the rain fell.

Kathy – We debated to head on to Twin falls today, but after the past few long days of riding and the 32 miles and 1,200 feet of elevation today I am happy we decided to call it a day in Buhl, Idaho.  We enjoyed our travels today and the people we met.  I am getting stronger each day as the last two large climbs we have done I did not need to stop as we were traveling up the hillside (mountainside).  Just took it slow and spun my way to the top.  I awoke this morning with a bit of overall soreness but once I got moving all was good…well, except on the climbing where occasionally my thighs remind me of my pain.

It was good to chat with Norm, the 89 year old man walking this morning.  I enjoyed our conversation with Tina and Rich as they were nice enough to turn their van around and drive back to check on us during our break-time.  And, while we arrived at the laundromat to do a quick load of bike clothes I found a wallet on the ground.  Inside the laundromat I asked a gal if see lost her wallet and in a panic she said yes.  I was hiding it behind my back and made her describe it as she did before gave it to her.  Once I did this I quickly remembered all I really needed to do was open it up and look at the drivers license picture  to ensure it was her.  So, just to be on the careful side, I asked her to show me the license picture and yep it was her.  🙂  She was SO thankful for me being honest.  Too bad she didn’t offer us some of her big bottle of laundry detergent instead of us having to pay $2.50 for a small box from the vending machine.  😉  It was a good day and I am thankful for an easy and enjoyable day.

I Can See For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles…

Hank – We checked out after breakfast and stopped by Tony’s bike shop in Mountain Home. We wanted to replace Kathy’s bike pump and see if he had a better helmet mirror for Kathy. Tony’s was closed. The sign said they would open at noon. We were about to leave when Tony showed up. Today was his first official day back after cancer surgery. He has an employee who’s been opening the shop at noon while he’s been out. Tony said he only showed up today to catch the UPS delivery. He had a pump and I bought it. Tony thought the pump head needed to be changed to fit a Presta valve. I was looking at the package and there were no instructions for making such an adjustment. Plus, the “Smarthead” designation indicated to me it would fit either valve. Unfortunately, Tony lost a spring while futzing with it. It was the only pump he had so I got my money back. I hope Tony’s day got better.

Kathy and I got on Old Highway 30 and headed towards Bliss, ID. It was so flat and there was nothing to see for miles, but you could definitely see it all. We arrived in Hammett hoping to get a cold drink but the Hammett Trading Post was closed. A man on the roof had what sounded like a leaf blower. We’re not sure what he was doing. He looked at us and didn’t wave or anything. He just went back to whatever he was doing. So we sat in the shade and ate a snack and took a few pictures. We followed the Snake River for the nine miles to Glenns Ferry. We ate a late lunch at the Oregon Trail Cafe. While in Glenns Ferry we took photos of several interesting sites. And I got to meet Trudy, today’s adopted dog for a day. She was a sweetheart.

The day was at its hottest as we left Glenns Ferry. We had about 22 miles to go and there was nothing to stop at the entire way. A few miles into it Kathy got a flat. This time it was the back tire. She’d caught a thorn somewhere. I swapped out the tube and inflated it using my “pump of a thousand wanks”. It’s a very small pump that’ll do the job as long as you have the time. I got her rolling again and we climbed in the heat for most of the way to Bliss. One time we caught a break and got to stand in the shade of a tree. There’s no camping in Bliss and we were both hot and tired so we got a room at the Amber Inn Motel. After dinner and a shower I patched the tube and cleaned the chains on both bikes.

Kathy – Today we got off to a late start riding due to our detour at Tony’s bike shop.  Our 59 mile ride didn’t begin until 11 am so most of our ride was in the 80 degree heat.  And, we were lucky enough to save all 1,100 feet of the elevation until the end.  We had some beautiful views of the landscape, and Hank and I had lots of time to talk and enjoy the ride.  Not going to lie, my muscles are tired tonight.  After our 4 hour hike on Sunday, 60+ mile ride on Monday, and another almost 60 miles today with a weighted bike, lots of headwind and elevation, and then add some hot sun…my quads (thighs) and glutes (butt) are sore, and overall I’m just tired.  We may modify our plans tomorrow or the next day to ensure we are resting appropriately.

Even though I’m tired tonight, it really was a good day.  Hank and I enjoyed seeing many new sights in Idaho.  Hank was also amazing with fixing my flat tire in record time.  I am so blessed to have him!  I was fine with tenting it tonight, but Hank thought it was best to check out this 2-star hotel in Bliss, Idaho.  Our hotel pickings were slim, only two hotels and both are 2 star.  It cost us a mere $53.  After all my work travel this is a step down from the Hilton’s and Marriott’s that I’m used to.  I must say, it is much better than I anticipated…Thank God!  🙂  All is good, we are safe, have full bellys, are clean, and inside an air conditioned room for the night.  No doubt we will sleep well.