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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

May 9, 2007      Miles 27      Total miles 632


Here is another map with an elevation profile. On the far left is where I came out of Hell's Canyon. I had a pretty good ride downhill after that but didn't enjoy it as much as I should have because I was just so tired. You can see once the long downhill was over, I had to climb again and stayed last night at Council, ID. I should have stayed in Council for a day of rest but I pressed on to New Meadows.

I was just tired from yesterday. I slept great but didn't feel like I got enough sleep. My legs ached and I didn't want to face that traffic. The lady at the motel told me there was a coffee shop outside of town but when I got there it was closed for a doctor's appointment. I went back into Council and had this fine breakfast. Now how can they make a profit selling this for $6.00? There were a lot of cowboy types in here and the topic of conversation around the cafe was ... you want to guess? It was who got booted off American Idol and about the judges.

Council seems unique to me. There are a lot of taverns in this very small town of 800 souls, and as I rode in last night, I could hear a lot of hooping and hollering coming from the open doors of the saloons, just like you might expect from the old west. I am an oddity in these little towns. When I stop, people ask me, "What is that thing? Are you serious, it ain't got a motor?" I tell them the motor is nearly 60 years old and worn out but it gets me where I'm going, slowly but surely.
I stopped by this site to look at the log home which is being built in this very pretty part of Idaho. This is John and he gave me a tour of the construction end of log home building. It turned out that once he and his partner, Johnathon, finish building this home, they will tear it down and move all the pieces to a different location and rebuild it like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is numbered and each piece is custom fit and crafted. These logs are all different sizes whereas some log homes have machined logs which are all the same size. They make every notch and cut by hand and they even shave the bark off the logs by hand. When this home is reconstructed it will have a full basement. He said they built a million dollar log home at one point.

Logging and milling seem to be pretty big business around here and in Oregon. People keep telling me that the small mills have a hard time hanging on. The freshly sawn wood sure smells good as I ride by. On the right are new rail road ties before being treated.

On the left are huge logs. You can't really tell by the picture and this is only a fraction of them. The picture on the right is sawdust blowing out chutes to the ground outside from the milling on the inside.

I am only about 75 miles into Idaho. Outside of Hell's Canyon it turned to farm and ranch land and here you can see it is just beautiful.

Like I said, I didn't get off to a good start in Idaho but the traffic has settled down considerably. I took a nap along the side of the road today for over an hour. That refreshed me. Tomorrow will be a downhill day. The people around here are very friendly and that goes a long way. This kind of hill will put life back into me.

I am staying in this inn tonight. It is sure nicer than Big Agnes. This inn was built in 1911 by a railroad man and a very young couple now own and operate it.

After cleaning up, I decided to go get a bite to eat. These guys were in the parking lot of the inn fixing a fine meal. I spoke and one said, "No hablo Ingles." I tried my terrible Spanish on them and we had an awkward conversation. I told them their food smelled so good and then they tried to get me to eat with them. I would have but there were about ten of them and I didn't think there was enough food for them, much less me too. They told me I had a "muy bonita bicicleta" and I let them all sit on Ol' Blue.