This time it is actually Duff doing the reporting. I started out from the Mountain River Ranch RV Park right at 8 AM, and the weather was great--clear skies, relatively cool temperature, and once I turned west I had a nice morning tail wind. I covered the 20 miles in a fairly leisurely pace, and got to the Candlewood Suites building just before 11 AM. Along the way, the traffic in town was probably the scariest part of the ride so far. There just was not much room to get over to the side, and some drivers were not too good about granting me room. The last half-mile, I chose to get off and walk the bike on the sidewalk.
Let me tell you about a really nice place to stay in Idaho Falls, and I'm sure I'll have the same thing to say after my stay in Meridian on the 7th. Candlewood Suites has been partnering with Habitat for Humanity since 1996, and we are the major non-profit they support. They have taken wonderful care of Max and me, and have made us feel so welcome. Before I went off to meet the Idaho Falls director at the ReStore this afternoon at 2, the staff all gathered around the bike and we got a group photo together. Again, I can not say enough good things about Candlewood Suites, and I would gladly stay with them anytime in the future.
The meeting at 2 PM did not work out, so it looked like I would spend the day in my room just relaxing--what a wonderful notion! I was enjoying eating a giant sub sandwich while watching Band of Brothers on TV when Melody Burns invited me to join her for dinner out. Melody is my point of contact here in IF, and is the Executive Director of the local affiliate and the Director of the Idaho State Support Office. She found us a place where Max could come along, and it was a novel experience. The restaurant, The Celler, was very nice to us, and offered some really interesting items on the menu. Since Max could not be in the restaurant, then set up an outside table for us on the lawn beneath the trees, which made for a very nice dining setting. I anchored Max to my chair leg and he was pretty good. Much like a little kid who gets too tired and begins to "ping". I fed him ice cubes for a while, and then the server brought him some steak marinaded in balsamic vinegar and oil, and it was all chopped finely. Max ate well. He is now asleep at my feet while I'm typing this in the Candlewood office.
What started out as an easy, relatively slow day developed into a very full day. The conversation with Melody about Habitat stuff was very interesting, and on the way to the Candlewood, she showed me other buildings they are considering as they outgrow their ReStore location. Plus I got to see Snake River Landing and the massive sculpture in the roundabout. If you are this way any time soon, be sure to see both. Also, the Snake River is at a very high level, and is pretty spectacular when you realize how much lower it normally is.
Tomorrow we are off to Pocatello to work with the affiliate there. I plan to start about 7:30 AM since it is a full 50 mile day. According to the map and my limited experience with US 91, it should be mostly level and slightly downhill, but I'm learning to not be so sure.
Idaho Falls Habitat for Humanity Web Site:
"Reason to Ride for Idaho
He's off on another adventure to benefit Habitat for Humanity. This time he will be biking from Bear Lake all across Idaho over the next month South to North. Who is he you ask? May we present, Mr. Jim Duffield a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
Visit the following link for his story: www.goskagit.com/home/article/recreation_mount_vernon_cyclist_has_a_reason_to_ride/.
Look for him riding in from Swan Valley with Max his companion and mascot dachshund on Monday, June 29th about 2 p.m. If you would like to ride in with Mr. Duffield showing your support of Habitat for Humanity, give him a ring on his cell phone at 360-420-6079."