Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day Two Hundred-sixteen, 091002 - Boise, ID

Day Two Hundred-sixteen, Date Friday, October 2, 2009
Time in Saddle: 3:14
Distance for the Day: 31.24 miles From Regina To Boise, ID
Accumulated Trip Distance: 10,895 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 3264’/2876’, Highest: 3406’ Accumulated: ??
Speeds: Avg: 9.6 mph, Max: 50.8 mph (doubtful)
Weather: 33° partly cloudy, bands of high cirrus, becoming overcast, but no rain, highs in the low 50s
Expenditures: $8

I woke and got up at 7:05, broke down camp just before sunrise at 7:50am, and had a quickie breakfast of breakfast bar, ruby red grapefruit juice, and the rest of my twisty corn chips. I then got back out onto the frontage road, and started heading for the on-ramp to the interstate, as the non-interstate roads from here to Boise may or may not have been gravel, and I didn’t want to spend any time finding out. I’m fine with interstates, anyways, and don’t mind riding them. As I rolled along the frontage road, a couple of young dogs started chasing me and barking. I did my usual thing: I stopped, and didn’t make eye contact. As usual, they stopped chasing me, but then when I started back up, again, they followed me more. I could tell they were friendly, so I stopped again, but this time invited them to make my acquaintance, petted them a bit, and then continued on. But they were still following me. I went more than a mile, all the way to the on-ramp of the interstate, and they were still following! Well, I knew I couldn’t lead them onto the freeway, but they wouldn’t leave, so, I rode all the way back to their house. I knocked on all the doors to the house, and the two mobile homes on the property, but no one was there. I then saw a small, fenced-in kennel, and thought I’d get them into there and close the door. I tried to entice the dogs into the kennel, but they already knew all about that trick, and weren’t having any of it. They ran off into the open fields of sage that surrounded the house, so I took off, and this time they did not follow me – mission accomplished.

I rode back to the on-ramp, didn’t see any sign prohibiting cyclists, and rode onto the interstate, onto a nice, mostly clean, wide shoulder that kept me five feet from the traffic, with a vibration strip as additional protection – excellent! It was only 14 more miles to Boise, which I made by 10:35am, and I stopped to check the exact route to my next host, and to see if there was a Burger King along the way, which there was – excellent, again! As I entered the southern outskirts of town, I found myself on a very nice bicycle path which led about 4/5ths of the way towards my hosts’ home. A part of the town is sort of split-level, and I was on the higher part, wondering how to get down to the lower part. I eventually found the way, and almost immediately also found the Burger King. By now, it was about 11:30am, so went in and had a burger, fries, and soda ($8), and ate lunch while reading my book. I then continued on at 12:48pm and arrived at my hosts’ home at 1:15pm. Their house was partway up the eastern hills of Boise, and I remember seeing a big house at the top of a big hill, and thinking: “Glad I’m not going up there, heh-heh.” Well, in looking for my host’s house, I got to the bottom of that big hill, so I came close (puff, puff!) Turns out it’s the State of Idaho Governor’s mansion, though the current Governor doesn’t live there. It was built by French fry magnate J.R. Simplot, and when he died, he left it to the state of Idaho for the use of the Governor, on the condition that the huge American flag be left to fly, and indeed: it does still fly. Anyways, I realized I’d missed a street, so went back down some, and then found the house. They left the back door open for me, so I took my trike around back, and was immediately accosted by their two Brittany dogs (Angus [the Young], and Glenna [the Mellow]). They were just rambunctiously noisy-but-friendly, and after we got acquainted for a short bit, we were licking each others paws and faces, and instantly became the best of friends. The house and grounds were beautiful, clean and neat as a pin, with lots of artistic objects, pictures, comfortable furniture, modern appliances, and musical instruments (guitar, flute, piano and *bagpipes*) – but most important: wi-fi! I settled in to wait for Bob and Leslie to come home from work, and immediately began to handle email, recharge equipment (including the new camera battery I bought online and had sent to their house), and study the next segment of my trip into Oregon and then Washington. It was going to be tricky, as there were mountains to deal with, and I wanted to try to pick the best route to avoid as much climbing as possible. Bob arrived home, first; we introduced ourselves, and immediately began chatting about my trip, he and his wife’s biking experiences, and on to other subjects. Leslie arrived a bit later and joined in. Then, we all went out walking a short way to dinner at a very nice, local restaurant, and continued chatting away. They’re both avid cyclists, both mountain and road, and between them, have about 8 different bikes(!) and bicycle commute and trail ride regularly. We went back to their house afterwards, and I began blogging while they eventually went off to bed, and I quit at about 2:30am, and slept as I had insisted: on the sunroom floor in my sleeping bag and on my air mattress.

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