Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day Two Hundred-eleven, 090927 - Rexburg, ID

Day Two Hundred-eleven, Date Sunday, September 27, 2009 Time in Saddle: 7:00
Distance for the Day: 80.78 miles From West Yellowstone To Rexburg, ID
Accumulated Trip Distance: 10,611 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 6650’/5032’, Highest: 7106’ Accumulated: 1713’
Speeds: Avg: 11.5 mph, Max: 40.3 mph
Weather: 25° clear, cold, but not as cold as yesterday
Expenditures: $20

Woke up at 7:30am and got up at 7:35am. I got 5.5 good hours of good, solid, comfortable sleep, which was nice. Nothing woke me up during the night, and I didn’t even have to use earplugs, it was that quiet. By 8:10am I was broke down and ready to roll. I headed back into town, where at 9:04am I had a breakfast from a mini mart of hot cocoa and Danish and muffin, plus I picked up some liquids ($11). I left town at about 9:30am, and began heading west and south on Hwy 20 towards Rexburg. The terrain was still mountainous, but the road was going mostly down, so I didn’t mind. Plus, it was still quite beautiful, with pine forest, aspens starting to change color, and the Henrys Fork River. At 10:30am, I crossed from Montana into Idaho, and across the Continental Divide, yet again, at 7072’ ASL. I stopped in at another mini mart around 12:15pm for a chili dog and peach lunch, and to get more Gatorade ($5), then continued on.

After coming down from the mountains, the terrain turned agrarian, again – flat, with crops of hay growing all over the place. At 3:45 – 4pm I stopped in Ashton for small choco malted ($4) at local ice cream drive in, and then continued on now due west toward Rexburg. I contacted Scott, who I’d met in West Yellowstone, and got the okay to stay overnight at his home, there – great! However, I still had some 25 miles to go, and it was getting past mid-afternoon. I began pumping harder to make good time, when I ran into – vibration strips. These were the most nonsensical I’d ever seen: they spanned the width of an otherwise beautiful 8’ wide shoulder, and were spaced apart about every 20’. The only way I could avoid them, was to ride out in the right-hand lane of the two-lane/one-way roadway. I kept a careful watch in my mirror, and whenever a single car approached, I let it change lanes to pass me – no big deal. If I saw a gaggle of cars coming, I moved back onto the shoulder and suffered the vibration strips while the gaggle passed, and then went back out into the lane. This was working fine, but some no-good rotten panty-waist prima donna with a cell phone called into 911 to complain that they had to wake up from their nap long enough to turn down their radio, set down their mocha latte, turn their steering wheel 3 degrees to the left and then right to miss me by a quarter mile, to report that I was a hazard to traffic. A *maroon* cop car showed up and flashed his lights at me, so I pulled over, knowing already exactly what happened. I was pissed, but I vented my anger on the roadway design engineers. The cop was slightly amused but firm – stay on the shoulder. In reality, the stupid vibration strips weren’t really all that bad, but I hated being forced to ride on them because one or two fraidy cat road wimps couldn’t stand to share a lightly traveled road with a real cycling he-man (that'd be ME). But, I’d already gone 10 miles like this, and only had 5 more to go, so I at least had the satisfaction of knowing I got away with it for the majority of the time. Once I reached Rexburg, my route would take me onto a different road, which did not have those accursed vibration strips. I got to Scott and Rachel’s by around 6:30pm; pretty good time – 25 miles in about 2 hours! They did a “full” hosting, which I wasn’t quite expecting, with shower, laundry, and a tasty waffle dinner. Their three cute little kids (two girls, one boy) played, and we chatted a long time about my trip and their lives. We got onto the internet, and I showed them my hang gliding video and the “wherethehellismatt” video; he showed me pictures from his ice climbing escapades in Mexico and locally (cool - literally and figuratively!) I plugged in all my electronics to recharge, and went to sleep, dry, warm, and in silence, at 9:30pm on the floor of their spare ‘rumpus room.’ So nice!

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