That Moment When Your Jaw Drops: Day 6 of the Idaho Bicycle Ride 2017

Ride Basics

From/To: Challis to Stanley
Number of miles: 58
Elevation: 2,535
Weather: Warm with evening showers

We left Challis by making a right turn into one of the fiercest headwinds we had experienced yet on the trip. A sign beyond the turn read, “Bighorn sheep in roadway next 2 1/2 miles” (the fraction seemed oddly specific to some of our riders, but since we are not acquainted with these wandering sheep, we can only guess at the reasons). At least three riders—Mary, Joella, and Sue—saw six bighorn sheep just after the sign in the bike lane. According to the trio, the sheep paused and then frolicked off, bounding out of the way yet sparing one last backward glance.

After our recent grumblings about the chip seal, it is incumbent upon us to state that the road surface improved a good deal from the previous day’s road.

We continued to follow the Salmon River gradually along a lazy pattern that a few fly fisherman were also imbibing. I was reminded of the Greg Brown song entitled “Just By Myself:”

And I’ll go fishin’-
Get with the flow.
I know a river
In Idaho.
I’ll catch a big trout
And let him go,
And I’ll be happy
Just by myself.

Whether folks were riding by themselves or with a few friends, the road work brought us all together as we waited for a pilot car to chaperone us over the project area. After the second rest stop, some riders went straight on to Stanley, our final destination for the day; but others stopped to enjoy the nearby hot springs.

The approach to Stanley involves rounding a bend that reveals a full view of the Sawtooth Mountains. That is the moment when your jaw drops. It is beyond description. Here is an insufficient picture:

Our final evening together began with a serenade from Touch, Wes, and special guest Dan the Harmonica Man and such crowd pleasers as, “Brown-Eyed Girl” and “Angel from Montgomery.”

Announcements took a special turn as everyone present shared their awe and gratitude for all that Sanna has made possible during her tenure as Executive Director.

There is no doubt that this organization is a family.