Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day 6. Along the Clearwater River to Kamiah

I left Lewiston early in the morning in 60 degree weather.  The dry climate temperature changes do indeed swing greatly.  High 90s at 8 pm the previous evening to a cool 67 in the morning.  I was certainly grateful, if not slightly chilled to start the day.  

Today I spent the day riding on Hwy 12, next to the Clearwater River.  Surprisingly,  I enjoyed this scenery much better than the Columbia Gorge.  First, it was accessible.  Numerous points to pull off and view the scenery or go down to the river bank. I am learning to slow the pace and intermix more breaks to take advantage of a few of picturesque access points.  (The Columbia was paralleled with railroad tracks (with heavy rail traffic) and at a distance from the road that prevented any reasonable easy access.)    Second, there were trees and winding bends with flowing rapids that made for one beautiful ride.  

The road on the 70 mile route, was narrow, rough asphalt and little to no shoulder.  So not always comfortable, but nothing remotely startling happened.  The rough asphalt was the biggest bother, but of no real concern.   A light, fresh wind was in my face in to begin the day.   After a lunch stop for Mexican food in Orpino, the heat shot up again, but the prevailing winds were then at my back into Kamiah.  

There were a few notable route detours today.  One was on a bike trail out of Lewiston, that saved me from much of the heavy vehicular work traffic.  The second was a cut through the Nez Perce park that put me out on a closed road now used for walking and biking.   A lovely, quiet detour with the elimination of the traffic. 

I set up my tent in Long Camp RV park, which is close where Lewis and Clark wintered for 6 months with the Nez Perce in 1806.  

After PB&J on a tortilla for dinner, I have enjoyed resting and recovering while spotting a few elk and a variety of birds.  Most of which I am working to identify.   My campsite I select is in the shade of a thicket of trees is next to a small creek and adjacent to a couple of motorcycle tourist.   As they roar out of camp to head out to the nearest town, they ask if I need anything.   I am sure they think my dinner is pitiful.   Grateful, not only for the offer, but that they leave me to enjoy the privacy of the camp alone. 

Tomorrow is a big 90+ mile day that is climbing most of the way, according to the map.  That one is going to take a while with lots of rest stops.  

Pandora Mix of the Day:   by suggestion, Chris Mullins.