Jackson, WY -> Idaho Falls, ID Our second to last state! Its sad to be saying bye to a beautiful state like Wyoming, but alas our time in Idaho has come. Wyoming did have one more awesome thing to offer and that was Teton Pass. We actually ended up taking the pedestrian/bike path that was about 6 miles at 10% grade. The elevation change was nearly 3000 ft! It definitely was one of our harder climbs, but all of the cheering at the top made it one of my favorites. Once the whole team got up to the summit, we had a major dance session that definitely got everyone’s spirits up.
The long and steep downhill led us into Idaho and specifically a small town called Victor. Now I never heard of Victor before this day, but apparently they have the best huckleberry milkshakes in the world! Of course we had to try it and let me tell you, it was good…real good. The rest of the day was pretty long and difficult, but like always we all made it. We stayed at the First Presbyterian Church of Idaho Falls and wow it was fun. Everyone was extremely friendly and they all made us feel at home, it was amazing.
Sarah going through our awesome tunnel at the top of Teton Pass
Huckleberry milkshakes in Victor
Idaho Falls Build Day
There are biking days and there are building days. In Idaho Falls, we had one of our final build days and it was a lot of fun. We helped the local Habitat for Humanity move their Re-Store. Most of us were assigned to painting the walls and staining the outside. Mark and I even got to help with a pick-up that they had of a toiled and a cabinet. After the pick up we helped stain the outside walls of the building. To end, I went on the roof to help put together the new sign and I actually cut myself with a knife that made the day even more eventful.
Once we all finished at the Re-Store we headed to the pastor’s house for a bbq dinner, although I made a pit stop to the Idaho Museum for the Wolf to Woof exhibit haha. The pastor’s house was amazing; we had a huge yard to play volleyball and badminton. His grill setup was huge and the meal was awesome. I made a huge portabella cheeseburger. Gosh I love bbqs. To cap off the amazing time we all had, the pastor offered to drive some of us in his 1965 Mustang. Idaho has gotten off to quite a start!
We love Habitat!
Mark climbing the new re-store
Me and my future car, a 1965 mustang (notice how my shirt matches, its meant to be)
Idaho Falls, ID -> Arco, ID
NUCLEAR POWER! We arrived in Arco just in time for the Atomic Days celebration and along the ride we visited the world’s first nuclear power plant, EBR-1. In the town of Arco we found our third pickle restaurant. So far we’ve eaten at the Chubby Pickle in Kansas, saw the Spicy Pickle in Denver and now Pickle’s Place. Mark and I got some good food and learned our third pickle dance. Later in the night some of us got to check out the rodeo for free, which was pretty fun. I really want to get a lasso and try to rope things.
EBR-1 Nuclear Power Plant
Mark and I at Pickle’s Place
Arco, ID -> Challis, ID
Challis was a day filled with wind. It was a pretty hard day for me personally and the 5-mile climb at the end into the wind didn’t help either. Once I got to the host, I forgot about the hard day and ended up hiking a mountain behind the retreat center we stayed at with Mark and Emma. The hike was a blast, although I did break my rainbows (thank goodness for the lifetime warranty!). Since the sky was clear, I decided to sleep on the deck and it ended up being a great decision. It doesn’t get better than sleeping under the stars! Probably the best sleep of the trip so far, at least for me.
On top of the mountain we climbed
View from the top
Challis, ID -> Stanley, ID
Stanley is the home of the Sawtooth Mountain range. Who knew Idaho had such beautiful mountains?! I think they might even be better than the Colorado Rockies. I know that’s a pretty bold statement, but they were that pretty. As we were riding to Stanley, we found an awesome hot spring that fed into the Salmon River and got to wade in it for a while. On yet another hard ride in Idaho, it was definitely nice to take a break.
In Stanley, we got to check out the 32nd Annual Mountain Mama Arts & Crafts Festival. Phew that was a mouthful. It was pretty cool to look around, but we ended up going to a pace across the street from the fair to watch the 14th stage of the Tour de France. We were camping for the night and with another clear night, I decided to sleep outside again.
Stanley, ID -> Idaho City, ID
Let me tell you about a little known fact about Stanley, Idaho…on any single day, the mountain town of Stanley, Idaho, is most often the coldest place in the 48 continental states. Why didn’t anyone tell me this before I slept outside?! I woke up in the morning with my sleeping bag covered in frost! Man it was a cold COLD morning. After hiding in my sleeping bag for what seemed like forever, I finally knew I had to get the day started. The first 15 miles was pretty miserable for me until the sun got high enough to get the temperature up.
The second part of the ride was actually pretty awesome as we had a very long descent to and through lunch. We had a long 12-mile climb, but I think that might be the best I’ve ever climbed a mountain. It felt great. There was another climb towards the end that sort of caught everyone by surprise, but that led into a nice 13-mile descent straight into the city. Awesome.
Idaho City, ID -> Boise, ID
One of our shorter rides on the trip, we only had 39 miles to go. We had a deadline of about 11:30 to get in since the church was needed the building from 1-3. So with a 7:30 start, we were off. Mark and I took off straight from the start at a hard pace of 23 mph. While pulling for a mile then switching, we were able to hammer the first 13 miles at that pace. It felt awesome to go fast, really fast. We booked it straight up a climb straight into lunch. After a quick bag of chips, we headed off again down a great descent. We even had a rare tailwind and with that I got to hit 46 mph, even though the downhill wasn’t that steep. Including our lunch stop, we got to the host in 2 hours keeping up a 20 mph average! Today was probably the fastest I’ve felt through an entire ride, it was great.
With a whole day ahead of us, we got breakfast at arguably the best breakfast place in the world. To say Goldie’s Breakfast Bistro was delicious would be an understatement. I think it might have been the best breakfast I have ever had in my life. Definitely going back there tomorrow morning on our day off. I had the chicken fried steak with gravy, 2 eggs, corned beef hash and a blueberry pancake all with an endless cup of great coffee. What a way to start our 2 days in Boise.
Since breakfast, I’ve been at Thomas Hammer (a great local coffee roaster) blogging away. If you haven’t noticed by now, I think one of my favorite things about Bike & Build is how we get to experience this country. I get the privilege to see the best parts of a place, whether its a city as big as Boise or a town as small as Victor. Sometimes it comes in the form of a burger or a cup of coffee, but also its the people we meet along the way. We see every aspect of America, especially the parts that are hidden to the rest of the country. Its something that’s really hard to convey through words, which is why everyone should do Bike & Build!
The best breakfast in the world (mind you this was before my blueberry pancake and coffee came out)