Day 37 Glenn's Ferry to Murphy ID: 80 miles with 2500 feet of climbing
Another hot Idaho day, started riding along the Snake River and ended riding through the desert of south western Idaho. Most of the day was spent riding Idaho 78 and much of Idaho 78 was under construction! As I write this, in the cafe in Murphy, and oil truck just came by coating the road with oil followed by a gravel truck which dumped a uniform coating of gravel on top of the oil. That is the surface I've been riding on for the last ten miles - it isn't much fun.
I started the day with a late breakfast in Glenn's Ferry after determining that the next place to eat was thirty miles down the road at Bruneau, I headed north on I-84 to Hammett. I wanted to take the frontage road, but a Dead End sign changed my mind. It was only seven miles, and I didn't even have a flat tire. The main problem was that that section of I-84 has rumble strips that cover the outer 80% of the shoulder. Riding with traffic meant riding over the rumble strips.
Hammett isn't much - there is a closed cafe and motel there - but it was nice to be off the interstate! ID 78, heading south and then west out of Hammett is really nice. It goes down to and runs right along the river. Very scenic, pretty flat, easy riding.
Unfortunately, the easy riding doesn't last. ID 78 leaves the river, runs through irrigated farmland, and then climb a 300 foot hill. Not a steep climb, but a fairly long one. Although the ride up is a pain, the view from the top is quite nice.
The ride back down to the river is also nice, but then ID 51 joins ID 78 and two things happen: first the road surface is oiled gravel - this road is under construction, and second, it climbs an even bigger hill. This one has a bout 500 feet of climbing. It is getting pretty warm by this time of day - nearly noon - and I get quite warm climbing that hill!
After another nice, but slower because of the poor surface, descent, I stop at the 'One Stop' in Bruneau. It claims to be a motel, a cafe, a store, and a service station. I enjoy lunch and head on down the road. In a mile or two, ID 51 departs from ID 78 and the resurfacing goes with 51. Ahhh, but not for long. ID 78 turns out to have its own construction projects and I run into the first of them a mile or so later.
I waited ten minutes and then got to ride in the pilot through five miles of major reconstruction on ID 78. They were grinding up the existing pavement and using it as a base for a new roadway, one lane at a time. After that five miles there was another several miles of half-done roadway and then good pavement on into Grand View.
I stopped for a quart of Coke and another quart of water, along with a candy bar, before heading out into "the desert." It was 95 F and the road was hilly, so I needed to be well hydrated for the next 30 miles of riding with no services.
The silliest sign award for this trip goes to the "Report Wildfires, Cellular # FIRE" sign located a long way from anywhere where a cellular phone would actually work! Riding was hot and dry and hilly on 78 from Grand View to Murphy, but the real problem was more construction. I ended up riding the last ten miles on loose gravel just put down over fresh oil. I also got to wait for pilot cars at two places in that section. Finally, about 5 PM, I rode into Murphy.