September 2, 2016 – Arock Rd and US 95, OR to Jim and Gayle’s house, Eagle, ID

I slept great but woke up with all of my mosquito bites itching pretty bad. It’s about 7:30 when I get out of my tent and the sun is already up and shining bright. Traffic is minimal along US 95 this early so it should be a pretty enjoyable ride into Jordan Valley. There are a few mosquitos still out this morning, perhaps the survivors of the night or the ones who didn’t get a chance to eat. Doesn’t matter much now since I can focus my full attention on each one that lands on me now and I’m able to kill the 5 or so that bother me while I’m packing up.

I’m on the road by 8 and ride through some rolling hills and quiet roads on the way to Jordan Valley to start my day and get 28 miles out of the way. I stop at Rockhouse Coffee, owned by my junior year high school history teacher Dave Skinner, in hopes of seeing him and also grabbing something quick to eat. I’m informed that he only comes by once a year or so, which is a bummer, but oh well. I grab a bagel and an ice cream cone which is a breakfast of champions if you ask me. A friendly family chats with me for a bit as I sat outside eating. The husband and wife did a cross country tour for their honeymoon and we trade some stories. They tell me there are a lot of rolling hills between here and the next services in Marsing, about 50 miles away. But there is a sweet downhill just before Marsing that brings me out of the mountains and into the valley, so I’ll be looking forward to that.

It’s a scenic ride as I quickly make my way into Idaho through the rolling hills and have a long uphill climb that puts me in the thick of the Owhyee Mountains. Not long after that I see signs for a brake check ahead and then for the downhill grade. I stop for a minute at the top to admire the view looking down into the valley. If my memory serves correct it was a 4 mile steep downhill followed by another 4-5 of a coaster to the intersection of US 95 and SR 55. I take the right turn onto SR 55 and shortly after am in Marsing where I take a food break a little before 3 PM. I happen to get into a conversation with a couple who was already there eating and had seen me on the steep downhill. They are from Sacramento and are up in this area visiting the grandkids. We talk about the route I took and they are quite familiar with the small mountain towns I went through in California.

My plan from here is to basically follow SR 55 all the way into the Boise area until it stars heading north on Eagle Road and instead keep going east. I’m heading to Bishop Kelly (BK), my alma mater, to watch a football game and to see my friend and current principal Mike Caldwell. Traffic turns out to be pretty bad through the Nampa/Caldwell area and the shoulder is pretty small, so I make my way onto Cherry Lane through Meridian and into Boise. I never seem to time my entrance into cities very good and end up dealing with rush hour traffic, this is the case again. It’s a lot of stop and go for me as I hit a number of red lights along the way. These seem to take much more of a toll on me just because I can’t maintain my momentum like I do on the open road. Instead I’ve got to start from 0 and with over a century on the day already it isn’t as easy.

I arrive to the game about a half hour early and am able to score a free hamburger at what I think is a alumni BBQ. Mike meets up with me shortly before 7 and gets my bike a safe place in the school and is able to find a vacant locker room for me to take a shower. I end up spending most of the game talking with Mike and Wes Worrell, my health teacher. As the game progresses I see some other old teachers and friends that I chat with and then make plans to meet up with most of the coaching staff (former teachers and classmates) after the game at a bar down the street. I hang out there until maybe 11 and get a ride about halfway to my parents home from my friend Chris. It’s a peaceful 6 mile ride home from here down Eagle Road and I get there around midnight. My dad is still awake so I spend some time chatting with him before eventually making my way upstairs to sleep.

113.32 miles
7:57:43 in the saddle
14.2 Avg. MPH
3950 feet of elevation gained
5154 feet of elevation lost



About darrenmodonnell

I've been bike touring each summer for the last 5 years. Summer of 2016 I'll be flying up to Alaska on June 1st and riding my bike back down towards the lower 48.
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