Route: Kamiah to Lewiston, Idaho
Saya’s (age 6) quote of the day: “I wish I had no nose.” Because of the strong rotten-egg smell from the paper mill as we pedaled into Lewiston. (Factoid: the offensive odor comes from the sulfer used to soften the wood pulp).
Today’s 65-mile route followed the lovely Clearwater River, whose waters were sometimes broad and gentle, at other times foaming with rapids. Ospreys and golden eagles called out overhead, and wading sandpipers took off when we neared, soaring low over the river. The clear azure sky offered a perfect backdrop to the dense green fir trees that lined the hillsides along the sparkling water. Frequently, I wanted to stop cycling, pull out my camera and capture the scene, but was frustrated because the road was narrow, winding and had just enough traffic to demand our attention. Logging trucks stacked with large wooden logs sometimes roared past, the pleasant smell of pine lingering for a few seconds after they were gone. We often had no shoulder or only a small strip that was full of gravel and debris. Whenever we approached a blind curve, Sho checked behind. If a vehicle was approaching, he called out a warning, and we pulled to a stop to let them pass. My fear was that a truck might come rumbling around the curve from the opposite direction, allowing no room for the two vehicles and us to share the road. We stopped frequently and stayed safe.
The temperature climbed to 99 degrees today, but the breeze off the river and shade from the pine forest kept us cool enough to continue all the way to Lewiston. We took several breaks by the river, drenching each other with cold water before returning to the road to pedal again through the oppressive heat, our clothes drying out quickly and the drops of water evaporating off the hot pavement.
Here are some pics:
Highway 12 along the Clearwater River
Taking a short break
Cooling off, part two
The temp as we cycled into Lewiston