Back in the mountains!
An excellent day of touring after a very good rest/recovery day in Arco. I'm doing this web page before I do day30 because I'm in a good mood after another 8 hours of pedaling, ten hours on the road day that was everything day30 was not. day30 was not easy, not pretty, not safe and, most importantly, not any fun. day31 was all of those things, well, except maybe easy since it took eight hour to cover about 85 miles with about 2500 feet of climbing. However, compared to day30 it was very easy!
My day and two nights in Arco were made better both by my inexpensive motel room and by Pickle's Cafe which is right across the street from the motel. Pickle's is well reviewed on the net, so it was an obvious choice for supper. It is a popular place to eat, so I joined a couple already sitting a big table. When they spoke I knew they were Brits and it turns out he is half German and her folks came from Lithuanian. We had good meals, with wine (!), and a great time visiting for several hours that night.
When I was at Pickle's last night, they came in and joined me at my table. Once more a good time was had by all and I got back to my room at 10 PM. Needless to say, I didn't get the day30 ride report done. My new friends are in Stanley tonight and will be there tomorrow when I get there. Visiting with them is much more fun than creating web pages, especially the day30 web page, so there may be further delays.
This morning, after another good breakfast at Pickle's, which I definitely recommend if you are in Arco, I headed out on OR 93 at about 8 AM. Arco got down into the mid 30s last night, so, even at 8 AM, I needed arm warmers, double knee warmers, and my wind vest. I still got cold wearing all that so I had to add q Subway bag between the two knee warmers on my bad knee and my rain/cold jacket over my vest. Windchill from the moderate headwind that I started the day riding in was part of problem, but I kept most of that stuff on until after an early lunch in MacKay Oregon which is 25 miles up OR 93.
I stopped to eat and rest for the first time about 15 miles from Arco. Because of the headwind and some gentle, but long, hillls, it took me about 1:45 to get there. I bungeed my bike to a warning sign at an irrigation canal and sat on the concrete culvert above the canal.The wind had gone away and it was wonderfully peaceful sitting there. I felt sorry for the people - not many of them - rushing by in their cars, trucks, and motorcycles and missing that peace.
My early lunch in MacKay was a triple stack of good pancakes at a grill right in the middle of town. Mackay is smaller than Arko, but has a motel or two and even has a bike lane marked on the main street ;-}. Those pancakes kept me going for another 30 miles! I stopped again to rest and snack about five miles before the steeper climbing started. I wasn't really hungry yet, but I figured it was a good idea to fuel up beofre the climb.At that stop, I sat in a small patch of shade and again felt that strong sense of peace and beauty. When I stopped that time, a pickup truck going the other way also stopped to ask me if I needed any water. I didn't - I started with 4 liters and ended with one liter - but I alway apreciate water being offered when I'm a long way from services.
What OR 93 looked like fearly in the day
What the view was like fifteen miles later
Half of my bike at my first snack/rest stop ;-}
The MacKay reservoir about 30 miles from Arco
Rolling hills along the reservoir
There are lots of Historical and geological info signs on this route
This one explains the history and geology of the Lost River which formed this valley
The second highest, and prettiest, of the peaks along OR 93
Part of the climb to Willow Creek Summit from about five miles back
The start of the steeper climb - 3 to 4% grade - to the summit
The darker area is a cloud shadow
Some of of the steepest climbing - 5 or 6% grade
Looking back at the highest mountains in Idaho and the Lost River valley
After the summit, it is about 25 miles to Challis, and about 20 of them are downhill ;-}. It is much faster and easier riding than before the summit, but not as pretty except for a mile or so going through Grand View Canyon which really is quite nice
Heading down at 25 mph
More down, but only at 18 mph because of headwinds
Entrance to Grand View Canyon