Monday, July 12, 2010

Best River Trip We Never Had

We were back from our Bahamas trip only two days and we had to gear up for a potential trip down the Lower Salmon River. When I was in the islands I got a message from Jacob Rothrock that the water levels were not good, too high! When we returned I watched the levels recorded at the gage at Whitebird and noted that he was right. The water needed be drop considerably before I would take a group of new bees down. On Tuesday evening of the Thursday put on week, I called the trip a no go and asked everyone what they wanted to do. Of the four couples all but one decided to come over to Coeur d’Alene and ride bikes instead.

Linda and I shifted our focus and laid out a plan that would keep everyone busy and give them an opportunity to ride some of our destination bike trails. Our focus would be on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, and the Hiawatha Trail.

The group arrived on Wednesday night and we went and bought a Nate’s Pizza to eat while we made our plans and packed our gear. Linda and I were a bit behind due to the switch from boats to wheels, but we were able to get it together enough that we didn’t show too much stress.

Our plan hinged upon finding a place to camp that we could use as a base to launch our assaults on the local trails. The best option was getting four spots at Bell Bay Campground and making that our home for the four nights of riding. To make sure we had spots, Larry and I drove our camper down early Thursday morning, hoping to get the spots we needed or to rent the group site if it was available.

Because we were early and it was Thursday, Larry and I snagged three of the best spots at the campground. The fourth spot was available, and there were several choices. At about 11:00 am Linda led the rest of the group in to their weekend retreat.

Larry and Art had campers so they set up in two nice spots. Geo and Zoe were in a tent so they grabbed a nice tent spot that overlooked the lake. We made our favorite spot the gathering place and moved our camper into it.

Once everyone was settled we loaded up and drove into Harrison and rode seven miles upriver on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s. Everyone was amazed at the beauty and how unique the trail was. It was a great start to the four days of riding.

On Friday we got up early and lay siege on the Hiawatha Trail. Everyone was excited because they had heard so much about the ride. Linda elected to stay home, only because she didn’t have a bike with good tires. She only had her skinny tired road bike and that would not work on the gravel trail we were riding. Art drove his truck with the bikes and Geo drove their van with their gear. The trip was a total of eight hours in length, two hours to the trail, four hours on the trail, and two hours back home. The day was clear and sunny and everything went very smoothly. Our only glitch was that we had to wait at the trail head for a half and hour while they evacuated a woman who had gotten disoriented and run into the wall in the Taft Tunnel. Once that was cleared up it was smooth sailing to the bottom and the bouncy ride back up to our rigs.

Once we were home we baked two Dutch ovens of lasagna and had a wonderful meal. Everyone turned in around 9:00 pm, another early morning awaited us.

On Saturday morning everyone was up and had breakfast before 8:00 am. The ride de jour was from Harrison, to Plummer and back.

1 comment:

TheBeanTeam said...

Hiawatha with Uncle Dean & Aunt Linda is still a highlight ride for the members of TheBeanTeam.

Having bike ride envy.....

Glad you guys are home safe. You just missed the adventures of the Barefoot Bandit in the Bahamas huh.