24 Jun 09 - Okay, so it's not really the 24th, but what do you expect when Duff is not the one doing this blog. I'm his wife, and I lost his password, so until I could talk with him (which isn't always possible), I have just been making notes. On 21 June, Duff, Max, & I started driving the route (in reverse) that the two of them would take riding north. We stopped at each place where he was to meet with an Idaho Habitat affiliate. It took about 3 days to arrive at the Idaho-Utah border, as well as check out the conditions of the road, and look for potential spots for him & Max to stay at night. When he's in the towns where the Habitat affiliates are, someone is helping him with accommodations. So, to get back to the 24th June.... We stopped in Montpelier, ID. We drove to the Idaho-Utah border (last little town was called Fish Haven), and Duff & Max started their journey at 3 p.m. The rode mostly on flat terrain, comfortable weather conditions, and little traffic. Their first trip of 26 miles took about 2 1/2 hours. Both did well, and they both slept well.
25 Jun 09 - Up and ready to go by 8:00 a.m., but needed to wait for the News Examiner reporter from Montpellier to show up for an interview. By 9 a.m., the "guys" were on the road. Their first day was a long one, despite starting in the morning, they didn't finish the 50 miles to a camping site called Henry until about 5 p.m. Duff had to walk about a quarter of the way, as the hills were steeper than he remembered, and the temperature was higher than the previous day. They arrived just after the small cafe closed, so they ate their rations (dehydrated meal & dog food). Duff asked if he could buy a couple bottles of beer from the owner of the cafe, but without beverage license, none was available. Thankfully, word passed quickly to the rest of the campers, and a fellow camper brought a camp chair and four bottles of beer. Duff got the tent set up, none too soon, as a horrendous thunder & lightning storm swooped into Southern Idaho (and Utah). Max & Duff survived the night. Max experienced a lot of firsts, including the thunder & lightning. They also got to share the experience of swarms of mosquitoes.
26 Jun 09 - Okay, the storm lingered a bit longer than Duff expected. In fact, there was just enough of a lull to allow him to start packing up to ride again. The heavy downpour did not abate until almost 11 a.m.; Duff & Max huddled in the campsite latrine waiting for the rain to stop. By the time Duff was able to get started, everything was soaked. Max actually dried out the quickest. Max met his first cow, and started barking, bring others to figure out what the noise was. Horses were also curious what the contraption was, and ran along the fenceline to keep up with Duff & Max. Max has been a real "trooper". Every once in a while, Duff heard him chewing on one of toys, but the rest of the time, he just rested quietly. Max is so happy when they see other people, and is staying pretty close to Duff. The "guys" finally made it to Alpine, where Duff had reserved a motel room. Hot shower felt great, had room to spread everything out to dry, Max got to share a hamburger, and sleep in the bed with Duff instead of on the floor. Feeling pretty fatigued, Duff & Max didn't set out on their ride until late morning.
27 Jun 09 - Another rough day, 22 miles, but they're done for the day in a place called Irwin. Duff thought they might be able to get a cabin, but when the owner found out Max was along for the ride, he offered a nice grassy area instead of the cabin. Duff & Max are fine - probably more Max than Duff. Duff has earned some unfortunate blisters on the balls of both feet, and pulled a right calf muscle. He's tired, but feeling like he's done the hardest distance for now. He is ahead of schedule, so the next few days he'll be able to ride shorter distances, like 25 instead of 50. He wanted me to relate to you that about 4 years ago, he thought about hiking the State of Idaho, so he can honestly say he has now hiked & biked on this journey. You may know how Duff likes to talk?? Well, he has been talking with as many folks who even look their way. He is impressed with the generosity of the people he has met. Several cars stopped while he was pushing the bike up one of those long hills to see if he was okay, or if there was a bike malfunction. Others have given him discounts on lodging or food.