2014 posts

Idaho Hot Springs Bike Trip

By |August 27th, 2014|2014 posts, Bigfoot Trail, Bikepacking, Cat Food Can Stove, Current|Comments Off on Idaho Hot Springs Bike Trip

When I returned home from the Bigfoot Trail Adam had a surprise- he had planned a bike tour!! Not just any old bike trip, but one that would be mostly on dirt roads and take us to over a dozen hot springs! I was stoked to get back on my Salsa Fargo and check out Idaho with Adam- a real summer vacation!

We drove out from Bend to Idaho past a few smokey fires, through the heat of the high desert, and past the smelly feed lots of the Snake River Valley to a small town along the Payette River, Crouch, ID.We chose to start our tour in Crouch because the southern portion of the 500 mile route was closed due to a landslide near Ketchum. Our plan was to ride the northern half of the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route (IHSMBR) clockwise, and take the Lowman Cutoff to return to Crouch, the lowest point on the route. After enjoying some fine beer from the Payette River Brewing Company we found a camp site and prepped our bikes. Velcro and buckles attach our Bedrock Bags frame bags, handle bar bags, and seat bags in a nice streamlined way. After some rearranging and finagling we were able to fit everything so we didn’t have to wear backpacks.


After driving around a bit we found the perfect spot to leave our truck (Chisos) during the ride: the Starlight Theater Parking Field. Crouch is a very tiny town that happens to have a large outdoor theater with camping and event parking. The woman I spoke to in the Box Office was more than happy to let us park there and wished us well on our adventure.

And then we […]

Reaching the Redwoods on the Bigfoot Trail

By |August 10th, 2014|2014 posts, Bigfoot Trail, Current|Comments Off on Reaching the Redwoods on the Bigfoot Trail

On the 28th of July I found myself suddenly out of the sunny mountains and walking into a fog enshrouded tsunami hazard zone. My hike ended when my feet left  pavement and sunk into the sand of the beach in Crescent City, and soon there after were dipped into the icy Pacific Ocean. There was something magical about ending a hike at the edge of the Pacific!

The last day of the Bigfoot Trail revealed  four final tree species, Redwoods, Red Cedar, Grand Fir, and Sitka Spruce within the last 15 miles. The morning walk through the Little Bald Hills was a review of many of the conifers I had met throughout the hike: Knobcone Pine, Jeffery Pine, Douglas Fir, Common Juniper, and Port Ortford Cedar to name a few. Day 20 turned out to be a fantastic grand finale to a wonderful thru-hike.

My time on the Bigfoot Trail was mostly bliss tinged with moments of misery in just the right amount to make it a solid adventure. Thru-hiking is never a cake walk, and I probably wouldn’t love it so much if there weren’t challenges like getting lost on overgrown trail or dealing with my ever present sole pain (sore & bruised feet). I loved the rugged, remote, and awe inspiring terrain of this route. There was never a dull moment, even the roadwalks were entertaining with their unique emerald triangle road trash and spectacular scenery.

Swimming was possible almost daily, and some of the swimming holes were in the top 10 pools of my life (check out the Stewart Fork of the Trinity and the North Fork of the Salmon!!). Discovering trees at each new mountain range helped ease the pain of the many […]

Banana slugs on the South Fork of the Trinity

By |July 14th, 2014|2014 posts|Comments Off on Banana slugs on the South Fork of the Trinity

After 20 steps on the S. fork of the Trinity trail I was welcomed by a familiar slimy critter, the mascot of my alma mater, the banana slug. UC Santa Cruz grads seem to have an attachment to these creatures, and I’m no exception.
It was nice to know I was someplace cool and wet enough to be home to one of these yellow slugs, especially after the dry dusty trail in the Yolla Bolly mountains. At lunch I sat down on a cool rock by a flowing creek and slowly realized I was surrounded by slugs. They were everywhere, and one even crawled on my shoe! As I munched on a cheese and salami tortilla lunch I watched two slugs race across a nearby rock, observed a big spotty one sipping water from a puddle, and witnessed one short stubby slug tumble 2ft off a rock onto some pebbles below.
It was interesting to get to know these strange animals a bit better. They are hermaphrodites and mate through holes in the sides of their heads, eat with a tongue called a radula, and sure are slimy!

Hope in a spring!

By |July 14th, 2014|2014 posts|Comments Off on Hope in a spring!

Day two started off with stiff legs and a wobbly left knee. Yoga and physical therapy were an order and I didn’t leave camp until the sun was high. I was prepared for bother few hours of scrambling over piles of downed logs and through pokey deer brush, but was in for a good surprise- a trail crew had restored the tread just down from my camp and I lucked in to walking on a newly refreshed well graded trail!
The water sources for the day turned out to be flowing better than I anticipated after yesterday’s scare, North Yolla Bolly spring seemed to mark some kind of transition where the land turned from dust bowl dry to full of life. The terrain on the west slope of North Yolla Bolly mountain was an unexpected alpine wonderland, complete with quaking aspen and wild flowers.
By camp that second night the butterflies in my stomach had all but flown and I busied myself with smacking mosquitoes. How can there be so many mozzies during a drought anyway?