After a pretty restful sleep (only one freight train whistle woke me up), we got another early start. The Oregon Trail tourers were already finishing up breakfast and were preparing to head off to Rupert (about 50 miles to the west). With well wishes exchanged, they headed off.
After we packed up camp we headed back on I-86 towards Pocatello for another Denny's Grand Slam breakfast.
Today's breakfasts were about 25 miles into our trip. Big meals lead to slower biking, and despite saying we would eat less this morning... Well, we didn't. The staff at Denny's was fantastic and gave us some coupons for future use. They crowded around Jonathan's iPad and checked out the photos he's been shooting since Oregon. In general, now that we've been off busy bike touring routes (such as the Adventure Cycling Association Pacific Coast route we unofficially followed) people we meet are much more interested in our trip. Honks and waves on the highway, questions and encouragement at rest stops and gas stations. Personally, I'm really enjoying getting to tell so many people about our trip and cause.
After breakfast it was time for a trip to Walmart. We found the best bathing suit we could. In terms of sizes that weren't XXL, XXXL or XXXXL, the only real choices were camouflage. Luckily we found some misplaced patriotic bathing suits over in the boys' section.
Following fun merging onto I-15N, we headed off to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. At a gas station, we repeated the process of explaining our ride to one of its customers. Some odd questions popped up during the conversation: "Have you guys ever felt unsafe?" "Is it just the two of you?" "Do you guys know any martial arts to protect yourselves?" He shook our hands at the end of the conversation and said he'd be honored to go on such a trip. Regardless, we realized that we should start answering questions more carefully. What is the easiest way to make me feel uncomfortable? Ask me if I feel "unsafe" or "uncomfortable".
Leaving the reservation and north of Blackfoot, we came to our daily rest area. This time it had cold water and more importantly lava fields! While the Devil's Half Acre pales in comparison to Craters of the Moon National Monument, we were still quite excited to see some hardened lava as our time in Idaho winds down. These fields now have some vegetation growing on them and eventually will be covered by windswept dirt like the rest of this area of Idaho.
One highway overpass tire tube repair later, we rolled into Idaho Falls. We recharged at a truck stop and then headed to Dave's Bike Shop. The staff was fantastic at helping us find what we needed and wanted to hear about our ride. If you're ever in the Idaho Falls area, check them out, they have a great selection. We ran into the Snake River once more downtown, this time with the massive The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Temple along its shore. It's very impressive, look it up.
Today we reached 1341 miles completed during this tour. That's a bit more than 1/3 of our anticipated 4000 miles. Quite a big milestone!
Photos by Jonathan Kobles