Short But Productive

Rexburg, ID to Idaho Falls, ID

To say that last night was a nice one would be an understatement. The skies were clear when I went to bed and it was warm enough that I left the door of the tent fly open … well, for most of the night. At some point during the night I woke and thought I heard a few drop starting to fall. I opted to close the fly and go back to sleep. When I woke again when the sun rose, the tent was completely dry making me think I may have been dreaming about the drops.

On the agenda for the day was a short ride. A VERY short ride. I received a Warm Showers reply late last night confirming that I had a host for tonight. The host was Ken from Idaho Falls. In terms of distance, Idaho Falls was only about 50 km away. Typically I wouldn’t plan such a short day but if all goes well I’m still a day ahead of schedule for arriving in Salt Lake City by August 12th so I figure one more short day would be needed.

I was packed and ready to go around 8:30 AM. Even though I didn’t have far to go, I’d noticed that the winds tend to pick up later in the day so I figured a somewhat early start was in my best interest. Plus, there were still a few requisite photos to take as I left the campground and the gravel road to contend with before I was finally fully on the move by 9:00 AM.

Eric and Co.

At that point I had stopped at an intersection not far from the road to the campground when someone in a white pickup asked where I was headed. And that’s how I met Eric. And company (i.e., five of his friends/colleagues) also in the truck. Turns out Eric and his friends want to do a cross country trip when they finish school in a couple of semesters. Of course, I fully endorsed their plan (for whatever that’s worth!). Anyway, we chatted for a bit, I gave him one of my Mark’s Midlife Crisis cards, and even thought enough to get a photo of the crew before we parted ways. I truly hope they get to do their trip … and that they have a great time.

Beyond that early morning encounter, there isn’t a whole lot to report from today’s ride … did I mention it was a short one? Well, not only was it short in distance but it ended up being short in time as well. Once again both the terrain and weather were working in my favour and my average speed was close to 28.5 km/h during the open road part of the journey. Granted it was a short journey of less than 50 km but still uncharacteristically efficient. As usual, that average dropped significantly as I started to meander my way through the city.

Despite arriving in Idaho Falls before 11:00 AM, I still had a long day ahead of me. Yes, I had a host for the evening but he wasn’t going to be home until 6:00 PM so I had some time to fill. Not surprisingly, I found ways to fill it.

Definitely one of the better welcome signs I’ve seen on this trip

My first stop was at Walmart where stocked up on a few provisions that were running low. It seems I also stocked up on some things that weren’t running low and found myself struggling to find a place to put some of my new found stash. It took a bit of unpacking and repacking but eventually I found a home for everything. Yes, I may have eaten a few things on the spot to make room. It’s a tough job but somebody had to do it.

From there I made my was over to the Idaho Falls Public Library. A pretty nice library if I do say so myself. And I do. Google was actually having some sort of event there and I was tempted to see if the Google Maps lady was there … I mean, I’d like to have a word or two with her! Of course, I didn’t crash their event and instead found a quiet place to work, write, and plan. It’s remarkable how much time those things can take.

Before I knew it, it was late afternoon and I needed to start thinking about making my way to Ken’s place. However, I still had a bit of time and with a Wendy’s not too far away it seemed reasonable to fill that remaining time with a Frosty. And even though it was a short riding day I went for a large one. Why not? (Yes, that’s rhetorical.)

I eventually made my way to Ken’s place and in the process stayed ahead of another late day invasion of dark clouds. This part of the country certainly likes its afternoon storms.

Ken was a great guy and between bikes, touring, video and film production, drones, and more, we had plenty to talk about. He told me of the merits of Brooks saddles, dynamo hubs, and Rohloff internal gear mechanisms. I told him about the merits of my DJI Mavic Pro drone and even took said drone up for a demo flight so he could see it in action (between Brooks, DJI, and Rohloff, I think we deserve some potential sales commissions!). Oh, and we also went out to dinner where he introduced me to the Costa Vida franchise. Short review: Their smothered burritos are pretty darn big and more than a little tasty.

View from above Ken’s place

When we got back to the house we chatted a bit more and focused on my route for the coming days. He was able to give me more than a few tips of what to expect and what roads to take and NOT take (sorry Google lady). He also mentioned “Saturday Cycles”, a bike shop in Salt Lake City that tends to focus more on cycle touring and commuters. I was actually planning on stopping at a bike shop somewhere in Salt Lake City so Saturday Cycles is officially on the itinerary (vague itinerary though it may be).

Hard to believe that Salt Lake City is less than 400 km away. Hopefully there will be tailwinds for at least some of it.

Today’s totals:
Distance: 57.23 km
Ride time: 2:13:56
Average speed: 25.64 km/h
Maximum speed: 46.07 km/h

Comments are Closed

© 2019: Mark's Midlife Crisis