From Tater Talk To Trail Tales - A Snake, A Heart, And An Earring - CycleBlaze

September 16, 2021

From Tater Talk To Trail Tales

Farragut State Park, Idaho

I know I come across as just a normal everyday bike tourist, but I'm about to tell you something about me that proves I'm some sort of a cycling freak.  Here it is:  I have never eaten a second breakfast.

Even worse, I rarely even eat a first breakfast--unless you count coffee as breakfast.  I do like my coffee in the morning, but food in the morning makes me feel bloated and sluggish for the next couple of hours.  Sometimes it gives me heartburn too.

So it came as a surprise to me that I had a craving for eggs and hashbrowns this morning.  I decided to indulge myself--bloatedness and sluggishness and heartburn be damned--and walked to the nearest breakfast place.

Perhaps my urge for eggs & hashbrowns has something to do with being in the state that's famous for its potatoes. See? It's on every Idaho license plate.
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Yet, I haven't seen a single potato--famous or otherwise--since I've been here.  And potatoes certainly aren't one of the most flavorful of the vegetable kingdom.  But if you fry them in grease or slather them with butter or gravy, they become one of my favorite vegetables.  I think hashbrowns are the best form of potato.

I satisfied my craving at a restaurant called Elmer's.  It was only my second meal in a restaurant on this trip.  I drank the coffee, gobbled the eggs, and saved the best for last.  Check out my food picture.

I'd like to think these delicious hashbrowns were made from potatoes grown in Idaho. Better yet, grown in Elmer's back yard.
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 Upon leaving Elmer's, the headline on the local morning paper was glaring at me from the newspaper machine.  It reminded me of part of the reason I've been staying away from people and avoiding public places.  Honestly though, that's what I tend to do anyway while touring.

Yup, I'm in Kootenai County.
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Andrea BrownThis made national news, Kootenai Health is sending patients to nearby Spokane (where Washington state mask mandates provide empty beds for Idahoans).
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1 month ago
marilyn swettYou might make sure you don't have any accidents while you're in Idaho and need health care! Their hospitals are full with covid patients and they are under"crisis care" you might not find treament.
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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo Andrea BrownThat's just plain crazy. And yet, very few Idahoans are wearing masks in the grocery stores or anywhere else. Earlier in this journal I mentioned attending my niece's wedding in Spokane. She is a nurse and works brutal hours in the Covid ward. She'll be back from her honeymoon soon and will have to go back to this sad situation.
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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo marilyn swettI'll be extra careful, Marilyn.
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1 month ago
Andrea BrownTo Gregory GarceauI have antivax family members in North Idaho, my brother's mother-in-law is in the hospital with covid/pneumonia as we speak.
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1 month ago
Rachael AndersonTo Gregory GarceauWhen we were in Idaho last year we had the same issue with masks. They not only didn’t require masks in the grocery store, they gave us dirty looks for wearing them in the store. I’m glad you’re vaccinated but be careful! We want to meet up again some day.
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1 month ago

                                                         ************

I was kind of impressed that there was a 20-mile bike trail heading north out of Couer d' Alene.  But I wasn't so impressed that it ran alongside Highway 95, and the entire distance was marked by commercial development, loud traffic, and a distinct lack of pristine scenery.

I did have one bit of adventure though.  I took my chances and rode right through a "Trail Closed" sign along the way.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  This time I won when I realized I was very likely the first person ever to ride on this fresh blacktop.

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At the town of Athol (which reminded of a swear word with a lisp) I turned off the trail and headed east to Farragut State Park which was my destination for the night.

Similar to my experience at Hell's Gate State Park a few days ago, the rangers were hard-asses about early check-ins.  But this time there was a line of about 40 people waiting to be checked in and most of them seemed to know each other.  They were Frisbee golfers and these guys were serious about the sport.  They were bantering about this tournament here, and that tournament there.  I picture the same kind of thing going on when PGA golfers check-in to their fancy hotel before a major tournament.  Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and Rory McElroy and Shooter McGavin and Happy Gilmore, all trading friendly barbs at each other. I felt kind of left out.

One of the funniest things I heard while waiting in line came from one of the most vocal Frisbee golfers.  He was from Washington and shouted to one of the other Frisbee golfers further back in the line, "this is why there's such a Covid problem in Idaho.  They make you stand in long lines while waiting to check into their parks."

Anyway, there is a major three-day Frisbee golf tournament taking place here starting tomorrow.  Farragut State Park has one of the best Frisbee golf courses in the region and there will be over 300 participants.  I did not know that when I headed here.  Luckily it is a HUGE park with over 400 campsites.  I got one of those sites in the "basic" area, which means no water or electric hookups.

After filming that video, I rode down to the boat landing on Lake Pend Oreille.   (French for "hangs from ears," hence the earring part of the title of my journal.)  It was a very steep ride down there and I worried about getting back up without having to walk the bike.  I captured the following pictures and I DID ride back up successfully.

My first glimpse of Lake Pend Oreille
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Suzanne GibsonI always wonder how these French names are supposed to be pronounced in Idaho, for example. Something like the French or more the way it's spelled?
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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo Suzanne GibsonI know what you mean, Suzanne. But in this case, Idahoans actually do pronounce it "Pondoray."
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1 month ago

  

A better glimpse
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It's another Idaho Holy Place.
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I have another pretty short day tomorrow, so I'm going to watch some of the Frisbee golf tournament and take a few pictures of that spectacle.  I've got a hike planned too.

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Today's ride: 30 miles (48 km)
Total: 352 miles (566 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 5
Bill StoneFamous potatoes? The last time I was biking in Idaho I saw a huge banner as I walked into the supermarket, something like "Washington Potatoes on sale, xxx per pound." (I don't remember the price.) When checking out, I asked the teenage clerk "What about Idaho potatoes?" She knew the right thing to say. "Oh, these Washington potatoes are real good, and sure you can't beat the price." So much for famous potatoes when you're in Idaho.
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1 month ago
Keith KleinHi,
I lost it at Athol. Anyway, I actually saw some spuds on a farm stand near Elk River MN labeled “ Idaho potatoes ” once when on a trip to St. Cloud. Go figure.
Cheers,
Keith
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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo Bill StoneShe must have been asked that question many times before. And she was probably also well-coached by her manager as to the correct response.
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1 month ago
Bob DistelbergYeah, there's a town named Athol in Massachusetts that I used to drive through on the way to see my son at college. I'll admit that I chuckled like an adolescent teenager whenever I saw the sign.
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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo Bob DistelbergYou and me both. When will we ever grow up?
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1 month ago