This is the most dangerous part of the road for me.


The shoulder is indeed non existent. On the lower left is looking back up river. It is less than my human stance to go from white line to the small descent to the river. The whoosh of trucks is felt and also gives new meaning to the Bernoulli Effect. The bike is marvelously stable and my mind and eyes and mirror tire of the constant vigilance.

A state of Idaho archaeologist is filtering soil dug by an archaeologist technician from a 3 by 3 foot by 4 feet deep hole along the highway. The state is hoping to widen the highway for a passing lane and wider shoulders (YES!). She is not looking for historical artifacts but pre-historical ones. She hasn't decided if is an important enough site to prohibit widening.

Here, she holds a shard of translucent rock that is a shaving done by some one several thousand years ago. She found as we spoke he her gold searching apparatus (regrets no oro-fino (fine gold) discovered on my watch. No burial grounds here. She picked this spot as it was a wide area that seemed idea for camping by prehistoric Indians.

Opened the motel door to receive a blast of hot stale air. Even if looks calm and beautiful, the air is a wall of moisture. The road down river continues down the geologic slope as well. No bikers this morning passing me.

 Made it to Orofino early. I stopped at a very nice optical shop to ask those standard questions: food, lodging? There an optometrist at hand and he looked aghast at my presence. Kind of that response when you see a sales person that you are not interested in seeing. He had no answers as to the best place to stay; no help about which if any alternative roads existed. I wasn't sure if he was awake yet. His assistant was much more friendly and suggested the White Pine Motel; she told me that the old hotel was actually more residential. Thought I might wangle a lunch out this encounter but left with my disappointment of not being greeted in a more open manner. Perhaps he was worried I was moving in on his territory. Left my biz card as I figured they didn't believe that I was an optometrist. Kind of wanted to know what kind of practice he had. Oh well. Maybe I should dress better. Or take a shower. (I have been showering but that was 30 miles ago.) I did find a library to send a few thank you msgs. Down loaded msgs to respond to later. Back to the motel to try to connect; they reassured me my lap top could connect. Tried for an hour and finally called the 800 help line. They Help people had to call back and they did except the line went dead. And when I asked at the desk if some one had called me, the manager's daughter said yes and she tried to transfer for it but she forgot how to do it. She didn't even say she was sorry. The manager said they only had one room that had the right number of wires in the phone connector. He would be happy if I used the fax line at the front counter. All the Frito Lay and Pepsi people use it. Some of us are just city slickers, let's face it.

Took a straight up ride from the motel at 5:30 pm (hoping to avoid the 105 degree temp) up Dworsak Dam... supposedly the longest straight line dam built by the Corps of Engineers...Still hot. Met Paul the ranger who said no people allowed on the dam due to terrorist activity. I did have a new knife which

I bought in Missoula and my bike pump could be used as a black jack  I Guess. And I was dark. And I was taking pictures no longer like a Japanese tourist but not like a stalking middle eastern terrorist. Actually Paul was very friendly and said he had passed me earlier. Pretty easy to do since I was only going about 3.5 miles an hour. It is as steep as the road to Government Camp from route 26


Took a great shower; rolled around town. Small houses, pretty well cared for. Lots of American flags. Even the obituaries have phrases, "She was an American patriot." However today's front page headline of the local newspaper, wrote, "Bush Has No Advice for Investors." This is the president that wants people to invest their own money in the stock market for Social Security. Right?

and only 2 miles up. Coming down was smooth sailing. It took an hour to get up to the top and 20 min. to get back to the motel. A huge wind storm came up, it rained for five minutes and then the sunset came out to evaporate the humidity just enough to make it oppressive. Still, this is a beautiful place and could feel the Lewis & Clark people relaxing that winter and rough mountains were behind them.

Return to  Jul 22 >