Day 19: Cambridge, Idaho to New Meadows, Idaho

Managed 48.42 miles (78 km) today.  This morning’s weather forecast stated: “Today will be MUCH COOLER than yesterday. Yesterday was 104.8 and today’s temperature will only be 92.0 degrees.” The bold text was in ice cold blue, with icicles. Break out the ear muffs and mukluks. I wondered if I’d need snow tires on the bike.

Seriously, I couldn’t believe the forecast. It must be automated and they didn’t consider what the temperatures really were. That said, it wasn’t a bad day, although I didn’t make it as far as I had wished. I was hoping for 72 miles (115 km), but I’m satisfied. Tomorrow I should be able to do nearly 80 miles to Riggins, ID, which is supposed to have a very nice park to camp in, in honor of veterans.

I say I should be able to make it because from all the information I can gather it will be practically all downhill to Riggins. Riggins will put me in a good strategic location to get to White Bird, ID, the next day. White Bird is at the foot of a, almost, 4000-foot (1219 m) climb. I suspect that I won’t go much beyond that climb on Wednesday. The profile of the climb looks like an upside-down icicle. That should be the last serious climb until Missoula, Montana. However, from Thursday on, it is one, long, gradual climb all the way to Missoula. Nowhere to go, but up.

Pass, just east of Cambridge, ID

It may be hard to believe, but I started climbing shortly after sunrise from Cambridge, Idaho, only to get to the top of the 1400 foot (427 m) pass, then go down, and do it all over again.

One thing I enjoy here is lots of historical markers, here was one at this same pass:


The crops here wouldn’t have been frozen this morning! When I took this photo it was already near ninety degrees F. (32.2 C).

The day ended in New Meadows, ID. Seeing a few Confederate flags around is a bit disconcerting, makes one wonder what is going through those heads?

Spending another night in a hotel, it is just too hot out there to get a good night’s sleep. When it is that hot it is too hot to go out and set up the ham radio and have some fun with that hobby. Maybe tomorrow night, we’ll see.

Author: Dennis Blanchard

Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He and his wife Jane moved to New Hampshire in 1980 where he has climbed thirty 4000-foot mountains, biked the trails and enjoyed the wilderness. Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, Dennis was always aware of the seductive siren’s call to hike it. Dennis is an electronics engineer who has freelanced for amateur radio, technical and motorcycle adventure magazines. He now lives in Sarasota, Florida.

5 thoughts on “Day 19: Cambridge, Idaho to New Meadows, Idaho”

  1. Heya Dennis,

    Slow down a bit would ya? I’m having trouble keeping up.
    I got a late start with my writing challenge being as I had family come in from out of state the day you started, and they were around for 3 days.
    Then, I broke a toe while at the top of a 10 foot ladder with a running chainsaw in my hand.
    How does one break a toe at the top of a ladder with a running chainsaw in their hand?
    Yep, you guessed it, The large branch I cut from the top of the ladder fell straight down and missed the ladder completely. but my toe was sticking out about a 1/4 inch from the top step, and I can pretty much guarantee my index toe did not slow down the velocity of the falling branch one bit.
    One thing you should never ever do Dennis.
    Now write this down, never, ever, reach for an injured body part with a running chainsaw in your hand while at the top of a tall ladder. (no matter how much blood is squirting out of your injured body part. Just don’t do it, it’s a bad idea. just sayin’.
    After a few days of convalescence I began seriously writing to try and meet par with pages written to your miles traveled.
    It’s turning out to be taking longer than I expected to get up to speed. I was hoping to get in 2 to 4 pages a day but I’m falling short of my goal. but as I keep plowing forward I know the pace will pick up once I get past the minutia of describing some of the early plot devices.
    Your journey reminds me, that however tough it is for me to write 4 pages a day in an air conditioned office, it’s a lot easier than biking up thousands of feet in 108 degree weather.
    But then again, I’m sure all of your toes are intact. (just sayin’ )
    I’ve got my eye on you Dennis, Enjoy the adventure. Your inspiring more people than you may realize.

    73 old man, 73

    1. Gee, most people in Florida do those sorts of things with an AR-15 in their hands! Just a chain saw? What a wimp. Keep up the writing, I really do want to read that book. Keep working on those Darwin Awards.


  2. Hi Dennis. I’m really enjoying reading your blog. I’m an amateur compared to you. I ride a Trek Verve 3 aluminum frame bike getting ready to upgrade to Trek 7.7fx carbon fiber. I’m really curious what model bike you are riding? You seem to be doing fine. I’m 62. Need all the tips that I can get.

    1. Hi Ed:

      It is a Cannondale T-800 touring machine. I don’t think they make that model any longer. Look for wheels that are spoked for touring, usually 36 spokes, good mounts for racks for the panniers and, above all, make certain a bike shop “fits” you to it. Fit is very important, don’t just get any old sized frame. If you’re planning long rides in remote places stay away from fancy materials, such as carbon fiber, the local welding shop can’t repair it. Space age materials are great for fast riding, but don’t hold up well under the stress of touring. Then again, my body might not either!

      See you out there….


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