We declared today an official rest day, not because we were tired or hurting, but because over the last 5 days we've put in some good miles, climbed over 2 mountain passes and it seemed like a good idea. Yesterday we crossed into Montana and boy did we have to work to get out of Idaho...a 25-mile climb that took several hours, but the descent at 40+ mph was exhilarating and well worth the effort. We stayed at an actual campground last night in order to take our first real shower since we set out from Sun Valley. It had been daily river plunges up until that point, so clean water and soap were fantastic luxuries.
Today we rode a few miles north and found a place to camp off the side of the highway (where the camping's free). There's not much to do, I've already read my book and I'm going stir-crazy, but I guess there's going to be days like this along our journey. It's hotter than heck out here, so the thought of going for a hike or moving around much more than relocating every few minutes with my chosen section of shade or walking down to the river to take a quick dip isn't appealing at all. Hopefully our next rest day will at least be near civilization.
Mike's had a good day though. He's had an itch to go fishing ever since we got to Idaho; riding along so many rivers and being surrounded by fishermen has been killing him. Today he found a fish hook and a couple of yards of line at the campground, so he spent the afternoon making a lure out of a paper clip, beer top and thread. His make-shift fishing pole is pretty impressive and he's been enjoying his afternoon down at the river attempting to catch his dinner without getting caught by the game warden.
Mike with his lure and pole.
Mike fishing in the Bitterroot River.
I guess I'll set up camp soon as the mosquitoes will be out if full force within the hour. I've been spoiled living the in the Bay Area...I forgot how much I hated these insects. It's not only a few that occasionally come at you. They come in swarms that you can't see through and you can't escape no matter how much you jump and flail around. We've resorted to wearing our plastic rain jacket and pants in the evenings despite the fact that it's still 80 degrees outside. They have a hard time biting through thick plastic! I'm already a walking ball of itchiness, every inch of me covered with bites, and I'd rather suffer from the heat than be eaten alive. There's just no escaping them when you eat, sleep and LIVE outside 24/7. Where in the world are there no biting bugs? I'm taking my next vacation there!