Monday, March 26, 2007

More Laughs Per Mile

Spring On The Palouse

Spring In Northern Idaho

Where do I start? Ben is back from Sun Valley and he is all psyched to do some mileage after some good riding with Daryl Price and Greg Randolph on the Carbonate Trail (a route I hiked daily during my short time in Hailey years ago). I told him that I was looking to do 120-130 miles. He was game. I thought that I might mix things up a bit and find a new big loop to take.
I spent hours on Bikely and google maps trying to find the right route. Somewhere along the way I remembered the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. For years I have intended to do the the 75 mile long paved bike path that cuts across the Northern Idaho peninsula, but I never wanted to drive out there. The route is flat but very scenic and I notice that it has bathrooms and water available every few miles. This trail is plush. The plan was to drive to Plummer, Idaho (45 miles away) and ride the 60 miles to Kellogg, get lunch and ride back. The elevation is only slightly higher than Spokane and doesn't change much along the way.
The weather forecast was for 54 degrees and sunny. I decided I would bring a sweater just for the ride down and than leave it in the car. I was worried more about catching a sunburn than keeping warm. The whole drive down was blue skies and greens fields. Than 5 miles from Plummer we saw a car driving the other way with snow on it. Neither of us mentioned it though it came up again just a few minutes later. We pulled into the parking lot for the trail head and saw that there was still remnants of snow everywhere. We forged ahead putting the bikes together and digging extra clothes out of the nooks and crannies of Ben's car. 10 minutes of getting ready and both of us were frozen straight through from the steady wind blowing from the east.
It was disappointing that we left a perfect Spring day in Spokane to drive back to winter. Seeing as how the trail has water available up and down it's length I brought very little liquid. When I found out that the bathrooms were locked and the water was not turned on, I knew this trip was falling apart. We quickly drove back to Spokane, got on our bikes and tried to salvage the day. I am not a big fan of driving and driving to a bike ride is less appealing. After all that time in the car, I was shot. I had no desire to do anything.
We decided to ride up to De Leon's for lunch. We took the long way through the Peone Prairie. After a big lunch of shredded beef, beans and rice; I felt even less like riding but we were still 45 minutes from home. I bought a Bimbo pound cake just because I like the Bimbo brand baby clothes the Mexican market was selling. When we left the market we were greeted by a dog tied up on the sidewalk. The dog was shooting liquid poo out it's backside. As if that scene was not shocking enough, the dog had a full ear-to-ear grin on it's face as it took care of business next to the front door. The 45 minutes biking home was difficult as I dealt with the giant belly of tacos and unstoppable laughter that overtook me whenever I thought of the grin on that dog's face. If I had taken a picture of that dog shitting and smiling, it surely would have become an internet legend.
We did 30 miles instead of 130 miles and I feel as tired as Ben looks.

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