Idaho will be remembered as the shortest distance covered in a state, more forest fires, truck accident seconds before me, long days with few places to stop, golden mountains, beautiful rivers, bike issues, Hells Canyon, and the river town of Riggins. I entered Idaho after a long climb up Lolo pass with poor air quality and limited views because of the smoke. Every few hours I would pass staging areas for the rural fire teams and be grateful they were there to keep the roads open and me safe. At the top of Lolo pass I entered pacific time and began a 100 mile desolate, winding ride along the Lochsa River through Clearwater National Forest. There wasn’t a single store or stopping point other than beautiful state parks and hiking trails for 100 miles. Halfway along the stretch, a truck failed to negotiate a curve and landed in the river below. It was a horrible scraping sound of metal and thud when the truck hit the river. I am happy to report that the driver came out okay. I stopped in the town of Grangeville to refuel only to realize the screw holding my back rack on for the panniers had broken in half. I was grateful the weld job held, but couldn’t continue without the rack to carry my panniers. Once again, I was lucky to be in a larger town where there were resources available. I went to the local ACE hardware store and purchased metal zip ties to secure the rack to the bike and continued on the next day. I rode through the town of Riggins, the Idaho white water rafter capital, and entered mountain time again. I was so confused what day and time it was! I continued along the Salmon River through Hells Canyon National Recreation Area watching all the rafters and tubers and stopping at roadside waterfalls to try and cool off. As I got closer to Oregon, I had a rapid descent into the breathtaking Hells Canyon with golden mountains surrounding the crystal blue Brownlee Reservoir.
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