It was quite a cold morning, so we bundled up before getting on the road. We were in bike shorts, fleeces, and rain coats, and we did everything we could to add some warmth to our heads. I pulled out my Skida headband and used my bandana as a neckwarmer, and Aidan tied his under armour pants around his head, the legs doubling as a scarf. I’m sure we were quite a sight, pedaling down the hill, freezing despite our snazzy outfits.
But the early morning light on the mountains was gorgeous, and Aidan once again came through with some stunning photos.
It was the perfect morning to pass a sign for hot springs. We parked our bikes stealthily in the bushes, locked them up, and walked the 2 miles until we saw a little steaming pool!
After getting used to the warmth, we had to run back and forth from the icy river to the spring to get that extra temperature difference. We knew exactly where the source was – one corner of the pool was much hotter than the rest. It was a beautiful natural hot spring, especially since it has been left undeveloped for anyone willing to hike a bit to enjoy.
We snacked all the way back down to the bikes – Fritos, granola bars and fishy packets..the usual.
Aidan was delighted to pull out the straps on his handlebar bag, transforming it into a fanny pack. He totally pulled off the look (complete with the sock tan and chacos) and probably just started a trend.
We stopped eating just long enough to look around at all the charred trees. It’s amazing to see the marks left behind by a fire that must have come right through where we were walking.
We spent the entire day today on a gradual downhill! And the road went right along the Lochsa River – a gorgeous scene all day! I thought people must have been exaggerating when they said it would be all downhill from there to Lewiston, but I could probably count on one hand the number of actual uphills today – and we biked over 100 miles.
At one of our water stops, we met someone from the Adirondacks! He spends his summers on the very top of a mountain in Idaho as a fire watch, and that was the first time since July 1st that he’d hiked the 12 miles (each way) to the town below his cabin.
We pulled off at a campground for lunch, a swim in the river, and a nap. It had been so hot for those last 15 miles, so we desperately needed the cold water! What would we do without rivers?
We pulled over to ask a police officer for advice on campsites, and we learned that our options ahead were limited, but that the town park allows camping! They even had signs warning us about the sprinklers that were scheduled to come on from 3:00-6:00 am! So we avoided those by setting up our tent directly in the center of the amphitheater.