Day 54 – Indecent Idaho

Missoula, MT to Jerry Johnson Campground, ID

The ride today was interesting.  It was hard to ride away from Missoula, the city was so nice and felt like a really big and bike-friendly place where you would definitely want to live if you were from Montana.  We woke up and planned to go 68 miles into Jerry Johnson Campground, Idaho.  We made it into Idaho with not much of a problem, and since the border of Idaho is also the time zone change into Pacific Time, we enjoyed a day with an extra hour as well.  We had a downhill as soon as we got into Idaho, and made it from Mustache Montana to Indecent Idaho, so we all rode the first 5 miles into Idaho shirtless and with hiked up shorts, so hopefully that will help my tan lines a little too.  Brad decided to shave his mustache at the border with only a water bottle, which seemed really painful and unnecessary, but he wouldn’t be convinced otherwise, so we’ll see if he has any skin left there tomorrow. The ride was interesting, we had a downhill almost the entire way from the Idaho border to our campsite, and the scenery was a very "deja vu" experience, as we kept following a river on nearly identical mile-long stretches twisting through huge tree-covered mountains.

    Once we got close to the campground, we stopped under a mile away from the campground to check out some hot springs.  This time, the hot springs were actually really hot, and were mixing with a freezing cold river right next to it, so it was really weird to sit in these pools that had formed.  On one side of you, you could have your hand in freezing water and feel like ice, but your other side would be burning from the water continuously spraying from the rocks.  I’ve never felt anything like it, it was a really bizarre experience.  We found some pools that were the perfect temperature, and managed to squeeze about 10 people in and just hung out for as long as we could. 

Unfortunately, we eventually found out that somehow the campground which we were planning to stay at was not open and hadn’t been for a long time, so we all decided to ride an extra 28 miles to another campground along the route.  We were still making great time because of the time change, and we made it into the new campground by about 4 or 5PM.  Everyone agreed that it was probably the easiest 97 miles that they had ever done, and many people said it was one of their favorite days as well.  We also had a really cool guest rider, Tom, who rode along with us for almost the whole day and camped with us at night. He is touring from Jackson Hole, WY to Eugene, OR so we were impressed with his riding since he had to go up all the same hills as us except with 50 extra pounds of stuff on his bike and he was doing it alone.  It’s cool to be meeting more cyclists out west as we get closer to our destination. Dinner was a pretty good lentil and sweet potato stew, helped out by my custom treat of cocoa puffs in peanut butter eaten with a spoon. 

States traveled through:17(NY,NJ,PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, OH, IN, IL, WI, MN, SD, WY, MT, ID)
Distance today: 97 mi
Total Distance traveled:  3349 mi

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