At the border town of Nyssa, OR, In the late afternoon, I ate a meal of huckleberry yogurt, chocolate milk and a small pepperoni pizza. There was a big neighborhood BBQ going on in the park around me and I got some kind words about my bike and the usual wonderment from the eight and under set. Kids of the middling years, maybe 10 to 13 are universally suspicious at first. Their opinions are formed by the first to verbally give a thumbs up or down, which they’ll follow like a flock of sparrows.
I had my plans all set. I had ridden a good 70 miles and had a bed (or couch, or yard) set up for the next evening in Boise.
I set off down the road to find a place to spend the night.
I crossed into Idaho where, I have now learned, does not have the campgrounds and camp-able parks that Oregon has. Nor are idahoans interested in hoteliering.
It got later and I rode closer to Boise. When I was about 30 miles from Boose with no place to stay, I decided that my time might be better spent blowing through Boise the next day rather than spending the following night. I wrote my generous warmshowers host and let her know of my change of plans.
Then it turned dark. No place to stop materialized. I had now traveled over 100 miles and my legs were starting to feel it.
I suddenly realizes that it was a mistake to have canceled my place to stay in Boise. There was another excellent warmshowers soul that offered space and, in a moment of weakness, shame, guilt, embarrassment, I took that room rather than reconnect with the person I had canceled. I am not proud. (and if you read this Danielle- your warmshowers karma is still viable!)
Jump forward a couple hours. I am now in Star, ID. Nearing Boise. It’s too far to ride, but so very close. There is no where to stay. Frustrated, I went into the local bar to see if anyone had suggestions.
The bartender felt that I was screwed, but - ray of hope! - random guy at the end of the bar knows a place!
“I sometimes see people camp down by the river. Go back a couple miles and take Bent Lane. No one will bother you there.”
Ok. Down by the river it is.
I backtrack to Bent Lane and head toward the river. At first I make a right at the fork, which ends nearly at the door of a trailer, complete with 10 trucks of dubious mechanical viability and a dog that wanted, if not to get the first piece of me, at least warn it’s human to load up and come out.
I turned back.
The other fork went into an abandoned subdivision, with curbs and sewers and driveways, but no houses. The road quickly turned to sand. I was near the river and it is nearing 10:30.
I pushed my bike through the sand for about a quarter mile, where the road was washed out by a creek or sluice from the high river. Foiled.
And there were more sinister trucks in the dark.
I turned back.
Now it’s 11. My phone battery is nearly dead. Though I have the capability to charge it from my bike’s generator hub, I can’t use the lights at the same time. Saturday night at 11- I determined without much thought that lights took priority.
End of my rope, I took one last look at a map. The interstate ran 12 miles to the south. I headed for it. Where there is an interstate, there are motels.
Tired, so tired 12 miles. I reached the interchange and slew of hotels at midnight. Thankful and defeated, I slept in a bed.
Next day was about sore muscles. I made the easy 25 miles into Boise, explored the city and stayed with the lovely couple, Jim and Pam.
Now I’m on my way out.