This morning hurt. Too little sleep. Coffee couldn't come quick enough. Padded into the kitchen already in bike clothes, and bagged dried food from the dehydrator.
Five minutes turned to fifty and we were late again, cramming bags, bikes and boxes into the back of the charger. My helmet sat in the hallway forgotten; didn't realize that until we were down the mountains and too far gone.
We just stopped at the school to drop off some supplies for the technology class and shave out the holes for the wheels, so they could spin freely. The scissors on the Swiss Army knife work best. Sherrie, the teacher, is one of those moms who thinks their kid is above it all. But in a school where we heard few parents are around and concerned, she stood out as a champion for her boy.
Becca had her eighth grade class see us off. I couldn't believe we were leaving Cambridge. That's been a pivot for our trip, the first stop we planned. With each visit, we have fewer and fewer certain plans. After Yellowstone, we have nothing until Iowa or later.
We ran into the old science teacher at the post office, and then finally rode this gorgeous rocky canyon out of the town. No shoulder though.
At the bottom, I stopped to adjust my brakes and true my front wheel, which has been too dynamic of late. Rachel realized she had Becca's car keys in her jersey pocket and rode back to return them. I've never trued a wheel before. Disc brakes make it extra tough, because it's hard to tell which spoke corresponds to where the disc starts rubbing. But it was also meditative, except for loud interruptions from motorized vehicles, large trucks, and the jar of Nutella.
After Rachel returned, we headed on down to Ontario. Well. We ended in Payette. An easy ride down 95 through farmland that soaked up yesterday's sprinkling. Every blade of grass looked a little bit greener. I sung loudly to Taj Mahal's love in my lady's eyes. Singing on your bike going downhill is better than the car than karaoke. The wind whips the song right out of your lungs and disperses it across the earth.
We made it to Payette easy and stopped at the Hideaway grill. Dinner was alright. This guy who lived across the street tried to sell us another bike. We didn't bite. He left.
We sat down at the booth and ordered spicy pasta and then he shows up at our table and invites himself to join dinner. That's fine, I guess, but Rachel and I were both looking forward to inhaling our food and being content in silence and exhaustion.
The folks at the restaurant directed us to their city park to camp, a big reservoir of trees and grass I didn't expect here. All the old play ground equipment is still intact, metal slides slick and fast and falling over as they should be. There's a carnival in town, we shared the grass with them, setting up under hundred foot trees for a little bit of cover from the imminent rain. Our bikes were sealed under a tarp and we were sequestered away under the rain fly, rolled into sleeping bags, before it really started to pour.