Mr. Fickle Suddenly Changes His Route - A Snake, A Heart, And An Earring - CycleBlaze

September 11, 2021

Mr. Fickle Suddenly Changes His Route

Moscow, Idaho

SOME CLEAN UP

Before I get a nasty letter from the Lindsay Creek Vineyard's public relations team and/or it's attorneys, I think I need to issue a special statement about yesterday's wine review:

Like all of the wine reviews in all of my other journals, this one was posted for entertainment purposes only.  It should not be taken seriously.  I am nothing more than a dork who doesn't even drink wine.  I just like to act like I know a lot more about wine than I really do.  My schtick is to savage whatever wine I taste, sometimes in a satirically complimentary way, sometimes, as in this review, in a more blatant manner.
In truth, the Lindsay Creek Chardonnay was fine.  It tasted like any other Chardonnay as far as my unsophisticated taste buds could tell.  It didn't really make me do the big spit.  That was only an act.  The part not shown in my video was me drinking the rest of the bottle with no problem at all.

A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT AFTER THE WINE REVIEW

I was just minding my own business, writing in my notebook, when I looked over my shoulder and saw some grazing animals.  They were too large to be sheep and too small to be cows.

They were deer. Cool.
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Later I saw some wild turkeys. Also cool.
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Later still, I saw this huge land whale that emitted a mysterious blue light. Not quite so cool.
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Kelly IniguezI know, I know!

Besides being cool, spaceship looking, the light is to deter any little critters that might want to climb up and chew on wires. Many owners in Arizona surround their vehicles with Christmas style lights laid out on the ground at night. Or, you can buy a little flashing light that attaches to your battery.
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1 month ago
marilyn swettWe actually have rope lights that we lay out under the trailer. You can choose different colors. They are supposed to deter critters from crawling up into the trailer. Not quite as bright as this rig's lights!
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1 month ago

Another significant thing happened last night.  I was talking to a guy who lives in Couer d'Alene, Idaho.  He was interested in my tour, and when I described my route, he offered some horror stories about some of the roads in that area -- roads I had on my itinerary.  He said stuff like, "My god, Highway 97 is no place for a bike rider."   "Bumper to bumper traffic." "Crazy drivers passing dangerously to get someplace faster than everybody else."  "Big trucks."  "Small-to-zero shoulders.  In some places the fog lines are literally painted on the dirt."

His warnings concerned me a little, but I've survived all of those things before.  I can do it again.

Still, he did seem to have a genuine sense of concern.  In addition, he mentioned he was a former state legislator.  A politician wouldn't lie, would he?

Well, yes, a politician would.  But I'm thinking this guy swore off of lying as soon as he became a FORMER politician.  I'm so conflicted. 

MOVING ON TO THIS MORNING

Just after sunrise I took a hike up into the hills above the campground.  I began with three layers on my upper body.  Within ten minutes, I was down to one layer and I could have taken that off too.   I didn't do that though, because nobody should have to be subjected to that spectacle.

On the other hand, nobody else was on the trail so I could have done whatever I wanted.  I could have hiked with nothing on but a pair of shoes and nobody in the campground would have been any the wiser.  Heck, 90% of them weren't even up yet.

The hiking trail was very sandy.
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Rachael AndersonGreat photo! Isn’t it nice to get out early.
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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauIndeed, it is. Thanks Rocky.
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1 month ago
Another view of Doorstop Rock
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When I got back to my campsite, I saw a message from a fellow CycleBlazer.  Marilyn repeated some of the same warnings as the former legislator.  That did it.  I frantically pulled out my maps to find a different route to Lake Couer d' Alene.

FINALLY, I GET TO THE BIKE RIDING

It only took me 30-minutes to develop a new plan.  The thing that made it much easier was the Old Spiral Highway.  I took that amazing road out of the Snake River Canyon two years ago and it was one of the highlights of that tour.  I knew it could easily be one of the highlights of this tour too.

I set off on my new route.  I only got a quarter-mile before stopping at the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center for a quick visit.  Lewis & Clark are kind of heroes to me.

Three famous adventurers
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After that, I made it no further than Lewiston before I had to stop again.  I started seeing a lot of horses and horse trailers and people in horse clothing.  I wondered what was going on.  Eventually I figured it out.  It was a horse parade.  How could I resist taking a couple pictures of that?

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The parade was just forming, but I didn't have time to wait until it got into full swing.  I had a 2,000 foot climb ahead of me.  So I continued on the beautiful Riverside Trail, where I showed great restraint by taking only one picture.

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Since this post is already getting pretty long, I am also going to show a little more restraint by not posting all the pictures I took while riding the Old Spiral Highway.  Instead, I will provide three videos for your viewing pleasure.

A SPIRAL HIGHWAY DOCUMENTARY WITH EXCELLENT CINEMATOGRAPHY AND NARRATION

The Old Spiral Highway was worth every minute of the non-stop climbing.  There weren't many cars, although I did see one sporty BMW driver who was taking some of those tight curves at high speed.  I saw two road bike riders, both of whom were also going at high speed.  Is it wrong of me to believe they probably had somebody drive them to the top so they could race down?  I've seen such things before.

And it was nice to see that no view-blockers have popped up in the last two years to ruin the awesome views.  Hopefully that will NEVER happen.

Alright, after some reconsideration, there are a few photos I've got to show.

This one relates to my holy land theme. In only a few miles I had risen from Hell's Canyon to Angel Lane.
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This one also relates to my theme. "Blessd1" was posted at the end of a driveway. There was a huge cross in front of the house. Sad to say, it appears that the Blessd1 expired in 2003.
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My victory picture at the top, ruined by the ill-informed graffiti just to the right of my rear wheel.
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And here's a screen shot of how the twisty Old Spiral Highway looks on a map.
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                                                                  ************

FROM THE OLD SPIRAL HIGHWAY TO MOSCOW

It was hot during the entire climb.  At the top, the temperature was only 65 degrees and there was a cool breeze.  I resisted putting on some long sleeves.  I had no intention of putting anything on my legs.  Until my niece's wedding last week, I hadn't worn long pants since April.  I hope to not wear them again until late October.

I guess the sweat on my body made me feel colder than I should have on a 65-degree day, but a slight chill wasn't any big deal.  I kept riding.

Then I got Paloused again.
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The next 16 miles were pretty nice thanks to the Palouse scenery and the huge shoulders along the mild four-lane traffic.

That changed abruptly in the next six miles leading to the city of Moscow.  Suddenly, Highway 95 became a two-lane route with a seriously damaged shoulder.  It was so broken up that sometimes I had to veer into traffic.

And those last few miles into Moscow were very hilly.  It's not too hard to work your way UP a crappy shoulder, but going downward at high speed is downright hazardous.  I grasped my handlebars with all the intensity I could muster to keep from crashing.

As always, I survived.  But I was frazzled by the time I found a motel in Moscow.

The first part of my new route.
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marilyn swettHopefully 95 is ok going to Plummer. We haven't driven that section but will do so tomorrow. I would recommend that when you get to Plummer you get on the trail at Veteren's Memorial Park on the north side of town off of 95 and follow it to the lake. It's all downhill. Then go right to get to the state park. I assume you are camping at one of the 2 campgrounds near the visitor center/office? One has showers and flush toilets. The other only old looking wooden pit toilets - very rustic. That route keeps you totally off of the highway.
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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo marilyn swettI think I will do exactly that Marilyn. Keep an eye out for a biker in an orange shirt tomorrow.
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1 month ago

Today's ride: 48 miles (77 km)
Total: 195 miles (314 km)

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Rachael AndersonThat Old Spiral Hiway looks like a very challenging ride but with great views! Looks like a fun ride going down. I loved your videos! Sorry you had such a bad road at the end. I’m glad you survived! I’d really miss your witty writing!
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1 month ago