Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 23 - Sleeping on a Highway

Left the RV park and headed to Riggins where we had an amazing breakfast. Have you noticed a theme of food here? Yeah, I thought so. Eating is crucial to this expedition.

The ride was nice until we started to get closer to White Bird (the base of our ascent). We stopped at the Ranger station and found out about a beach where we could hang out. We took a dip and kept trying to wait out the sun, only to find out it was 106 degrees and getting hotter...so we forged on. It was hot, hot and hot! Made it to White Bird and had the best meal thus far! Chicken Parm and a Rum and Coke. (Note to self...DO NOT DRINK BEFORE A MAJOR CLIMB). Mac's in White Bird is delicious. After that we headed out at 5pm to see how far up the pass we could make it. It would be 21 miles before we saw human life again. We opted for the old Highway 95 because the newer one has virtually no pull outs and is steeper and more dangerous. The old highway took us past the battlefields and old farm houses. It was really quite nice, but the headwind was brutal. Jack got blown over and fell off his bike. I was rerouted into gravel more times than once. It was a bit annoying. Wendy got a flat in her armadillo tires, which is extremely rare! AND the cattle guards were very precarious. It was rough! But, it was so desolate that I was able to let Liam run freely alongside of me. He is becoming quite the little billy goat! The view, though, unimaginable! Once night set in we put headlamps on and continued for a bit, but it got to be too dark as a thunderstorm was brewing and we needed to make camp. So what to do? Camp roadside of course! Pitched my tent with the help of Wendy and Jack. It was so windy we had to hold it down at all times. I am glad I opted to put the rainfly on because it soon started to rain. I've learned that mountaintops and rain can be rough and I didn't want to wake up wet. Jack ended up sleeping in my tent because we thought 3 tents would be excessive on a shoulder turnout.

I can't say it was a great night's sleep. We heard 3 cars pass the whole night, but it scared us every time. The wind was fierce and kept ripping at the rainfly. It was crazy! We heard strange things and kept expecting there to be some wild mountain lion or something, but Liam was on the job. He let us know if anything was happening. It was a cramped and sticky night...again no shower! I also lost my emergency water which pissed me off royally.

What an adventurous evening!

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