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Idaho state map
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6/2 38.7/531.5 Hellsgate State Park, ID - Winchester State Park, ID
Today was one of the hardest cycling days I've ever had. At least the last 13 miles or so. It took me 5 hours to make those miles and I ran out of water 3/4 of the way up- stupid, I had the opportunity to fill up before we started up that 13 mile hill and I neglected to do so. We made good time out of Hellsgate until we hit Culdesac, ID. We had to make a choice; Go up the Winchester grade road or follow rte95. the grade road was scenic (that means hilly in german). 95 was not scenic (that means hilly with fast traffic). rte95 turned out to be not hilly, but HILL 13 miles straight up, 7-8 % grade the whole way. And did I mention that they were spraying the roadside? For weeds or cyclists I'm not sure but they almost got both today. I'm exhausted, my knee hurts and I feel discouraged. Moni and Paul beat me up the hill by at least an hour- the hill just beat me up. There was one good thing though. When I finally got into camp the camp host. (Lee) gave me 2 beers- I drank one and put the other one on my knee. His wife Joann gave me and Moni some rhubarb sauce. I enjoyed the conversation with them.

6/3 45.0/576.5 Winchester, ID - Kamiah, ID
Today's ride was a lot like cycling in PA, up/down/up/down. Some of the hills were hard but I didn't feel as bad as I expected. Today at lunch time (that's the time after 2nd breakfast and elevenses and before late lunch and early before dinner snack) we asked a farmer if we could eat on his porch. Ted Schmidt has got to be the hardest working man in the cow business. He was bringing in a field of alfalfa when we came by. He's got 60-70 cows and he's up by 2:30 am every day to milk them- takes around 8 hours. He's a 3rd generation farmer on that land and he once went 12 years without a day off. He did take the time to talk to us and showed us around his farm. At Kamiah me and Paul ate some bland mexican food and we all stayed at the city park. Margeret from the Phred list came up from Tacoma and camped overnight with us and we got a visit from a couple who were hosting a camp along our planned route.

6/4 39.6/616.1 Kamiah, ID - Lowell, ID (Apgar campground)
Hard day today. My legs are dead. I felt tired as soon as we left out of the park. Today's mileage was a struggle and it shouldn't have been. It was a gorgeous and scenic ride with not much hillage (yeah I made that word up). We met up with the Eber's again- I think they're stalking us. They're staying 2 miles out of town at a campground with a couple who are on their honeymoon tour. It was fun meeting up with the Eber's again, we're supposed to go see harry Potter in Missoula together. I'm hoping for a day off tomorrow. The route we followed along route 12 is incredible. I would like to come back here. The road is right along the Clearwater river. I could smell pine most of the way and I saw a crane-like bird flying level with me across the river. But all that beauty was wasted on me-I was too tired to appreciate it. I was hungry, sleepy and lethargic all day (as opposed to normal- just lethargic) and a mite snitty. After I ate a banana and some oj I felt a little better, but I was still dragging by the time we got to camp. We went into the river- it was freezing!!!! I was gonna wash my hair in it, but after I lost feeling in my legs I gave up on that idea. I did do a combat shower and wash my clothes in it. I had some trouble with my stove too. Just what I need when I was tired and grouchy-to putz around with that @#$#@ stove for 30 minutes. I fried up some beef stick and zucchini for dinner. We're getting close to 1000 miles!! Oh no lolo pass is coming up. We start climbing out of here. I think for the next 70 or so miles it will be uphill, hopefully gradual, but lolo is over 5000ft elevation.

6/5 Apgar campground, ID
No cycling today. We took the day off. I goofed around most of the day. tried bathing in the river again (the only facilities here are pit toilets and water), not very successful but I got the necessary stuff done. Fixed a slow leak in my tire, napped and by evening I was almost anxious to get on the road again (almost).

6/6 20.1/636.2 Apgar Campgrnd, ID - Wilderness Gateway Campgrnd, ID

Last night was one of the most miserable nights I have ever spent. It was like the perfect storm of camping. It started raining right before bedtime. I got in my tent to do some reading and journal stuff. Then my headlamp starts dimming- the bulb is going, I turn it off/on, it's working but after a minute or so it starts dimming again. Then the rain gets heavier- no problem, I'm in my nice cozy tent- right? Wrong. I feel not only drops on my face but the bottom of my sleeping bag is suspiciously chilly. I turn on the light (I only get a minute of light between burnouts) and find a wet spot in the netting and the top-my tent fly is leaking. But wait there's more. The front and rear floor corner seams are also leaking. I use my camp towel to sop up the water and wring it outside. That's how my whole night went. Me perched on an ever decreasing island of dry, mopping up water every few minutes. I put some plastic under the tent fly but that only slows down the water from above, it does nothing to stop the lake forming at my feet and head. To add insult to injury, after a couple of hours of this I gotta pee. I got no light so I have to feel my way to the pit toilet outside and pray the toilet monster doesn't get me. I had to sleep in my rain gear. I must've dozed off at some point because it was suddenly 6 a.m.. When I got up I wanted nothing more then a cup of something hot- HA!, not. My stupid stove has decided that it doesn't want to work for me anymore then the tent did. I was wet, cold and ...I don't have to words. The ride today was short and nice. I felt much better on the bike. We went generally uphill but my legs felt stronger. I'm still pulling up the rear though. We stopped at the Lochsa historic ranger station. The caretakers Ken and Shirley King were kind enough ot let us use their shower. It was nice to be clean. Then it was less than 2 miles to camp. When I got there I hung up my sleeping bag and reseam sealed my tent and put some more plastic under the fly. I do not want another night like last night. I'll look for another tent in Missoula and ship this one home. Note to self: insure that my youngest offspring, who water tested the tent for me sleeps in said tent for a month. I hope I can get some sleep tonight. The campsite we're staying at is infested with cyclists today- they'll have to spray after we're gone. After we got here we ran into another group cycling to Montana (4 people) and the Eber's showed up. Looks like we'll be riding together til we hit Montana. OHNO Lolo Pass in 2 days!!

Is it called a gaggle?

6/7 41.5/677.7 /Wilderness Gateway - Powell, ID
Not a bad day today. I rode with the Eber's all day. Nice weather. Some uphill, but not too hard. We tried to find the hot springs at Weir creek but we didn't follow the creek far enough. The scenery was beautiful. We stayed at Lochsa Lodge in Powell. It was cold and rainy. When we got to camp a major gust of wind knocked Moni's bike over and the handlebar bolt snapped off. Lorenz Eber and the store guy tried drilling and putting screws to hold it together, but the setup was jiggly. So Moni tried getting a ride to Missoula from the guy who was sagging for the other cycling group, but he wouldn't take her the 60 odd miles and back unless she waited til tomorrow and just rode with him while he followed his wife. So I stared at it for a bit and Lorenz and I put our heads together. Once the hollow ringing stopped we used jbweld, tie wraps, hose clamps and duct tape to repair it. A rather nice job if I must say so myself. We sat the patient by the fire to cure and we'll test it tomorrow. If Moni survives the test it worked, if not... well no one can prove we had anything to do with it.

6/8 21.2/698.9 Powell, ID - Lolo Hot Springs, MT
Another state down!! And a new time zone. The ride to Lolo pass was almost anticlimactic. The hard part was only 5 miles with a steep grade. Winchester Hill was WAY harder. Locals had warned us about how dangerous the pass was, but I only got passed by 8 or 9 vehichles the entire climb. We hung around the visitor's center at the top of the pass for a couple of hours, warming up and checking out the exhibits. We hijacked a passerby to take our pictures-that needed a picture itself, the poor guy must've had 7 or 8 cameras hanging on his arm. It was pretty cold riding up and I haven't gotten any faster. The ride down was not a whole lot of downhill. when we got to Lolo Hot springs we found the prices very steep. $200 for all 7 of us (the try try crew and the Eber family). I didn't think we were gonna be able to swing it, but I managed to talk the owner into a 1/2 price thing. It was nice to sleep in a bed, even if there were 7 of us in the room and I had to sleep with Moni. We used the Hot springs hot tub and pooled all our cooking supplies to make a community 4 course dinner. We had a spaghetti/pasta-like dish, a rice-tuna-curry-like dish and an apple-trailmix-like dessert. After dinner I played chess with Paula and Lorenz and we all played a game like scattergories. I had a good time. It's been fun traveling with the Eber's and I'll miss them when we split up, they're going north out of Missoula and we're going south.

At the top of Lolo Pass