Day 65 - Jerry Johnson hot springs, ID to Kooskia, ID - Can('t) Hurt Me - CycleBlaze

July 16, 2021

Day 65 - Jerry Johnson hot springs, ID to Kooskia, ID

A new low (altitude)

This morning, we woke up with some dew on our stuff and we didn't sleep with a fly or out anything away. Fortunately it wasn't much and dried out fast.

The abandoned camp spot
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Jerry Johnson's abandoned camp. We heard some elk around the other side of camp early this morning
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We made breakfast and got on the road as early as possible since the heat and wind pick up after noon. Our day today was about a 70 mile day downhill to kooskia. We started off strong; we drafted off Anton and cruised or about 30 miles at 20 mph.

Risky picture of the draft line
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For the second day in a row, we pass a couple on a tandem riding east bound. I was pretty sure it was the same couple we passed yesterday, but it couldn't have been since they were going the wrong way. We stopped several times to get water and soak our feet in the lochsa river and I couldn't believe how pretty it was.

The lochsa river again
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We stopped for lunch at a diner in Lowell and I got a veggie burger. I didn't feel super great after, but we only had 23 miles or so. Unfortunately the wind picked up and the route flattened out so it was pretty miserable. It also got alot hotter around 2 pm. At Lowell, the lochsa and some other river merge to form the clearwater river and after that it becomes alot less pretty. It seemed like we were going back into the desert. Everyone was in a bad mood when we arrived in kooskia and no one had service. We found our way to the grocery store and bought items for dinner. Outside the store a Vietnam vet tried to start an anti america, pro trump conversation that we avoided. We rode the 2 blocks to the park and set up in the pavilion, right across the street from the veterans house. I had oatmeal and Mary made noodles. It was alot cooler in the shade and we all washed off in the city park. A young dad set his kids free just in time so I didn't get to wash my butt. I was pretty annoyed, and he proceeded to tell us about how he hated living in Portland and wants to move to Florida. He complained about progressives and tried to lead us into a conversation asking what we think of what's going on in america, so I pretty much avoided him as well. After one of his kids got touchy with Alex, they left the park so I could finally wash my butt. Eventually a semi homeless lady showed up and started yelling towards us from across the playground. There was also a pretty solid homeless camp about 20 yards away and we hoped they would leave us alone. 

Another family showed up and an old guy whipped out a jet boil. He said he had just got it at an REI garage sale. He looked equipped for the outdoors, but his body type looked at home on a couch. He nodded the jet boil to run on non refillable propane cans that he refilled himself. We were already scared to be around when he filled the jet boil with oil and proceeded to deep fry fish with it. It cut off several times and in his efforts to relight it, made large flames come out. He even spilled oil all down the side, which melted the handle and cover, which he just cut off. I decided to leave before it blew up and killed us all.

Eventually, after everyone left, we decided to set up camp on picnic benches. The lamp lights came on, and we donned our face masks. From then on, every noise woke me up. I was was worried about crazy drug users and the scary locals. At one point the semi homeless lady moved her car around the block twice and then showed up near marks tent. He yelled at her to back off and she went off about being a good guy and other crap. She left, and then around 11 the sprinklers came on. They said to camp under the pavilion to avoid the sprinklers, but Mary and Alex's table were getting sprayed. Mary also had gotten bit on the hand and the forehead so she was swollen up. We moved the tables around and set up the tents. After getting in, I got hit in the face with a rogue sprinkler that I thought we had avoided, so much got out and threw the rain fly over the tent. After that, I slept pretty good.

Today we also met some new biking people. When we arrived at the park we saw an RV that we had seen just over lolo pass that had a Transamerica poster in the front window. It turns out that the mysteriously transporting tandem couple owns it and they use a jeep and the RV to leapfrog as their own support vehicles. The ride transam sections west to east, but they are travelling west. It was also weird because we had met them briefly in silverthorn at REI. At the time I couldn't talk to them because I was in a rush. 
We also met Jeremy, who had ridden with Alex in Illinois for 3 days. Alex didn't think he would see him again, but Jeremy must have done a ton of miles to catch back up. He seems cool and hopefully we can ride together for a few days.

Altitude gain: 682

I didn't take any pictures of kooskia because it was depressing, so here is another picture by the lochsa
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Today's ride: 77 miles (124 km)
Total: 3,368 miles (5,420 km)

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Scott AndersonThat is an amazing day. Don’t think you’ll forget this one.
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1 week ago
Jeff LeeGreat writeup.

Loved the story about that maniac with the modded Jet Boil!
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1 week ago