Day 34: Malad City ID to Snowville UT : 40 miles and about 1500 feet of climbing that took me 55 miles and 2500 feet of climbing
Well, today was an adventure gone wrong. In retrospect, I should have ridden to Snowville last night instead of Malad City, but I had a non-interstate route to Malad - I thought - and I good way to get from Malad to Burley - I thought. Yesterday I ended up using I-15 to get to Malad since the real roads didn't match the map. Today I ended up in Snowville instead of Burley because my 'short cut' didn't work and the weather didn't cooperate.
I had a good breakfast at Me'n Lou's this morning, but suffered from heartburn for the rest of the day, apparently because of drinking too much coffee trying to stay awake yesterday. ID 38 is a nice road with a really big hill starting about 8 miles from Malad and lasting for more than four miles. It climbs over 1000 feet in those four miles, so it is a good climb. This morning was cool, around 70 F, yet I managed to soak my clothing and the part of my map sticking out of the map holder (it won't rain...) with my sweat on the way up that hill. There was little traffic other than construction trucks hauling asphalt up to a section where they were resurfacing the road. A pretty, if hot, ride to the top.
After the summit, there is a good downhill into the next valley. The land is dryer on the west side and hillier. It is also a lot more desolate.
At Holbrook, there are three options: go north to American Falls on ID 37, go south to Snowville, Utah on Holbrook-Stone Rd, or continue west on a dirt road, the Holbrook-Burn Rd. I chose the last option hoping that I could use it to get to I-84 on the other side of that set of mountains. It wasn't promising looking, but it was rideable and the county map showed that it could be used to get where I wanted to go. I rode up that road for about six miles.
It was rough, and too steep in parts for me to ride, but pretty and mostly rideable.
I walked my bike for several of those miles, and I spent a lot of time and energy getting up that road.
After five miles or so, the dirt road became a soft sand road. I couldn't ride it and I could only walk it at 2 mph because of the effort required to move the bike in the sand. I figured I still had at least ten miles to go and, after I got to a high point and looked ahead, I saw that there were miles of soft sand to get through. I had a good conversation with a cow, and decided to go back. Going back was a lot easier and faster than getting there since I had climbed a lot - 1000 feet or so.
Although there were a few branches, I didn't have to worry about getting lost since my bike tracks were the only tracks on the road.
When I got back down to Holbrook, it was starting to rain lightly and the wind was gusting strongly. I chose to head south to Snowville, since that was the shortest route to services and, after my aborted adventure, I was low on supplies. As I rode south the wind blew strongly from all directions at different times. Rain came with the wind, and I had to put my camera away. I rode south, hoping to get beyond the storms boundary and those gusty winds. I managed to get out of the gusty winds and reached Snowville without further problems.
In Snowville, I ate a late lunch at Mille's Café and, about 3:00 P.M., headed west on I-84. The storm that had produced the gusty winds was still hanging over the mountains and the winds on I-84 were strong from the north west - bad headwinds. I had a long was to go to anything, 20 mph headwinds, and a storm hanging over my path. I took the next exit and headed back to Snowville. I went to the only motel in town and found that its owners don't come in till five P.M., so I'm back in Millie's writing this report and listening to the locals. Tomorrow will be a better day for getting to Twin Falls!