Spuds, spuds, and more spuds - The Adventures of Garfield and Tango - CycleBlaze

August 31, 2021

Spuds, spuds, and more spuds

Shelley loop

It was much warmer here in the morning than in Coalville, so we were able to get on the tandem earlier. Don took a look at the roads in the area and suggested we do a some zigzagging through the countryside.

We headed east to Shelley for a few miles, then turned north to stay on the farm roads. From there I couldn't tell you the names or numbers of the roads we took as we wandered around at will.

Traffic was light to non-existent. Some of the roads were so small they didn't even have a center line. 

I love this type of riding! Out in the country looking at all the different crops that were being grown. Mostly we saw lots of potatoes, barley, corn and hay. Plenty of horses along with some cattle and goats.

Idaho leads the nation in potato production with more than 30 different varities. I found out they grow at least 11 types of russetts! And that's in addition to reds, golds, blue/purples and fingerlings. 

The potato fields won't be harvested until the last 2 weeks of September through the first 2 weeks of October. Potatoes are planted at the end of April through the first part of May.

I read that Shelley hosts "Spud Days" in September. It's a big festival that celebrates the potato. The highlight is a tug-of-war that is performed over a pit of mashed potatoes. Volunteers dig a pit 16 ft. long and 8 ft wide, then fill it with 2000 lbs of potatos flakes and water to create just the right mushy consistency. Sounds like a fun thing to watch, but maybe not participate in!

Idaho also grows barley (for malt), wheat, hay, sugarbeets, seeds for crops like sweetcorn and other vegetables, onions, oilseeds like canola and sunflower, peas and lentils, beans, apples and other fruit, and grapes for a growing wine culture. 

What was really interesting in my reading was that Idaho is the nation's 3rd largest grower of mint! We last ran into mint being grown in the Willamette River Valley in Oregon.

We enjoyed looking at all the farms and homes along the way, many of which were new and quite large. Each with their own equally huge RV parked alongside. Hmmm, they must be snowbirds and head south for the winter, although I understand that winters here are mild. 

The drawback of country riding can be loose dogs chasing you. But all the dogs we saw were fenced which was nice.

While it remained hazy all day, we never smelled any smoke. Just your typical country odors of fresh cut hay and manure. 

Eventually we made it about as far east that we wanted to go today which was almost to the hills along that side of the valley. From this point we turned back west - right into a little headwind! So, although the ride was flat, we did get our workout today!

We made it back to the trailer by noon and after eating lunch, spent the rest of the day relaxing. 

This is a field of potatoes. They'll be harvested the last 2 weeks of September through the first 2 weeks October.
Heart 0 Comment 0
I love the name of this team! Nothing political or racist about the name of a potato. I read that students are given 2 weeks off during potato harvest season. Their mascot is "Boomer" - a Burbank russet potato. The high school's nickname is the"spud cellar" because of its unique architecture which looks just like a potato cellar. Not on purpose - it was a cheaper way to build.
Heart 0 Comment 0
This was quite an interesting sculpture at one home we passed.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The broad Snake River. Plenty of water here.
Heart 0 Comment 0
These are the older style of potato cellars. Maybe used for storing seed potatoes. Modern potato cellars are made of steel with many in an arched roof quonset hut style. They are insulated and have computerized temperature/humidity controls that can be controlled by an app on a phone. They are used to prevent the potatoes from sprouting. Potatoes can be held for nearly a year in these. Tempuratures range from 35 - 60 degrees with humidity at 75 - 95%. The higher humidity is needed right after harvest in order to facilitate the healing of potatoes.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The saying stenciled on the back of one of our neighbors RV says it all whether you travel by bike or trailer!
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 21 miles (34 km)
Total: 298 miles (480 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 1
Kelly IniguezVictor, ID has a drive in movie theatre named Spud!
Reply to this comment
3 weeks ago