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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

May 10, 2007      Miles 69      Total miles 701


Last night I stayed in New Meadows, ID. It was hot yesterday but we had a storm last night. When I got up this morning I put on some shorts and a short sleeve shirt. When I went outside it was cold enough to see my breath. I went back in and put on some warm clothes. I rode downhill most of the day but I had to ride in the rain for about twenty miles. It had warmed up by then so the rain wasn't a problem.

I stopped at a roadside rest area for a short break and met Joan and Albert May from Yelm, Washington. They were the nicest couple. Joan offered to fix me a bite to eat but I just ate a BLT at a local cafe a few miles back. They will celebrate their 51st anniversary next month.
I am going to put up several pictures so you can see some of the beautiful countryside of Idaho. These pictures really need no explanation except I should say the pictures don't do justice for the real landscape.

This lady is Hattie Stinnett of Riggins, ID. She is 84 years old. When I was riding through town she was working in her yard and we started talking. She is a retired school teacher and she told me she moved to Riggins from a small town in Texas. I told her I know all the small towns in Texas and she told me she lived in Stephenville. I told her it is about 20 miles from Glen Rose where one of my sisters lives. She was sure surprised I knew that. She wanted me to stay and visit so I did. This is her living room with a 100 year old Steinway grand piano and the other piano is a 100 year old German piano.
We went out to her patio and visited. She was very excited about my trip and said she would love to do something like this. After she retired she went to Europe to travel and teach. She traveled to South America and to South Africa. She got married when she was 40 years old and was married for 28 years when her husband died. She never had any children. I noticed she had hundreds of books and she told me she loves to read but she never reads fiction because there is just to much to learn. Before I left she insisted that I take some apples, oranges, bananas, and almonds for my trip. When I left she reached her hand out to shake mine and I said I would rather have a hug and she said, "Oh, thank you. I haven't been hugged in a long, long time." My life was enriched beyond compare today. Here is the view from Hattie's back patio. In the picture on the right, that is a river running behind her house.

A lot of gold was mined from these hills beginning back in the 1860's. I saw another mine right on the side of the road like this but it was pouring rain and I didn't take a picture. This mine is no more than twenty feet off Hwy 95.

This is a pretty view of the area I left behind. It is raining out now and if it is still raining tomorrow I will not ride. I will be continuing north to Grangeville. There are two routes I can take. The shortest is the new Hwy 95. It has a lot of semi traffic on it but the new road has a wide shoulder. The old highway, I am told, has absolutely no traffic but is longer and more difficult. I am tired of being pushed around by traffic so I will have to make a decision how I want to go. I have been advised by several people not to go on the old road because of the steepness, the sheer drops, it is narrow, and if I get in trouble there will most likely be no one else on the road at all to go for help. It is a delima I shall settle tomorrow.