Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Weiser River Trail: Buck-O-Five

Weiser River bear from Jeremy Humphrey on Vimeo.

I spent yesterday biking the Weiser River Trail.  I have raced there, but never biked it.  It is a rather smooth (rocky in places) and gently rolling path next to the gurgling Weiser River.  It travels from the high mountain meadow of New Meadows, ID southward through a deep canyon before reaching farmlands and open country desert, and finally terminates where the river dumps into the Snake River in Weiser, ID.  It is 84 miles one-way.  I got an early start and entertained thoughts of a double crossing.  However, after a few hours, I realized with the fresh crushed rocks laid down recently and a nasty wind swirling, I was not going all the way.  So, I focused on a century ride.  I've never biked more than a few hours, so a hundred would be a good challenge. I would go from the north terminus at Wye Trailhead, south to Midvale and back.  At Midvale, I would stop for a meal at the Country Coffee Cabin for my midday cessation of activities for consumption of mass quantities.  With a few trips off the trail for snacks, Gatorade, etc- I would get 105 miles.

Along the way, I saw: 2 black bears, 2 owls, many elk and deer (whitetail and mule), eagles, hawks, turkeys, ducks, snakes, rabbits, beavers, assorted rodents and fish splashing.  Lots of cattle and horses grazed in the idyllic meadows along the lazy agricultural stretches.

There were 2 bears together in these bushes.  One was much larger, but I could not get her on camera.  I zoomed up to get these pics.  I don't go close to wildlife on purpose.  Except in September.
Typical stretch of river in the middle miles near Cambridge, ID.
Looking north towards Council Mountain on the return trip.
The best Blueberry Pie I've ever eaten at Country Coffee Cabin in Midvale, ID.  After dispatching a double decker "Titan" Burger, fries and a delicious double espresso- I went for this treat.  Tons of fresh fruit, very little sugar and fresh cream.  WOW!  If you are driving up the Rt 95 corridor for any reason, this place should not be missed.

Near Council, with about 20 miles to go, I blew a tire.  Yesterday, I purchased some tools, pump and an extra tube at Gravity Sports in McCall.  I also watched a 2 minute video on Youtube, so I was pretty much a mechanic by that point.  When the tire blew, I got the old one off, switched tubes and pumped it up. had a big tear in it!  I put the old tube back on and tried to get the SLIME to work. I spun it and pumped it and nothing.  I sat there dejected in the stifling heat.  After a while, I decided to walk the bike over to the road and try to hitch a ride up canyon to my rig.  I tried one more session of furious spinning and amazingly it worked.  I pumped up the old tire, with the SLIME now holding and off I went.  It is hard to come back when you have resigned yourself to defeat, but I took this opportunity to challenge my mind and finish it off.  One problem, my ASS HURT HORRIBLY.  "Biking is dumb and I hate it.  Why am I doing this? Why am I wearing my Old Man's cotton bike shorts from 1990?  The chamois is freaking BURLAP! AHHHH." I swear it I felt like I was sitting in a pile of fire ants.  My legs felt fresh, but the saddle sores were sucking my will to live.

Marsh full of ducks near Council, ID.

Bonking, slowing and stopping frequently.  I have some weak Gatorade in the bottle, but it was not getting it done.  I desperately needed fat and protein.  10 uphill miles to go.
Almost done.  Usually, I cringe at the sight of the old Lumber Mill- a blight in the beautiful valley.  After suffering greatly while climbing the final canyon, I was so happy to see it today.  Only 2 miles to go.
Done.  105 miles in 8:30.  3000' vertical gain and loss.
Bike: My wife's Marin mountain bike.  Quite a bit lighter than mine and slimmer tires.
Ultimate Direction Jurek pack
Ultimate Direction 26 ounce bottle in my bike mount.
5 VFuel Gels
1 VESPA Ultra Concentrate.

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