The day after the 80-plus mile day with numerous big hills coming south from Coer D’Alene, ending in a guerrilla camping site, I was feeling a little worn out. We had biked 70-80 miles basically every day of the trip except for the day we spent in Glacier.
The next day took us through some extremely rural areas of Idaho. We had to plan more carefully to make sure we didn’t run out of food, as often “towns” on the map would be a couple of farms and a post office. We were also in logging country, and the little traffic there usually consisted of an 18-wheeler full of logs or sawdust, sometimes giving you plenty of room and sometimes not.
After an epic 4 mile downhill before the town of Kendrick we found the road to put us further east on Highway 12 (the road that would ultimately lead us back to Missoula). We had already biked over 60 hilly miles that day and the shortcut road climbed back out of the same valley we had just descended into. I was not looking forward to a 4 mile uphill.
At the bottom I stopped by the river to take a breather and almost immediately a fellow driving by stopped, walked up to us while eating some fruit cocktail with a tiny plastic spoon, and offered to have us throw our bikes in the back of his truck and give us a ride up the hill. Without the ride we would probably have had to bike another 25 miles or so to get to a place we could camp. After a brief period of contemplation we decided the ride sounded like a really good idea.
The guy who picked us up was Mark, an anesthesiologist who lived nearby. Jeff and I sat in the back of the pickup and had a dope time watching the scenery go by and being grateful we weren’t pedaling up this hill. As we got to the top of the hill Mark stopped and told us our options for camping, and offered to give us a ride another 18 miles to a campground right on the Dworshack reservoir. We took him up on this as well.
Getting to the Dworshack reservoir requires an 8 mile side-trip, much of which is a seriously steep winding downhill right before the lake. Not only did Mark take us down this thing, but the next morning he came and picked us up and took us back out of it. It was some epic assistance with impeccable timing.