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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 10 - The Power of the Wind




The wind kept us happy today!


From the minute we rose from the deep Boise valley we were treated to the most marvelous tailwind...








You can ask any biker...

not Hills...

not Sun...

not Cold...








Our best friend and our best enemy is the wind...

And it all depends on the direction!











This morning we have a lovely coast along the Boise Greenway...







through parks...







along the glowing golden hills...





...glimpses of the river to our right....





Every now and then we have to pause to decide which way....




But for the most part it was a smooth and easy ride through the valley...






Up and over the bridge gives us a wonderful view...






...of the river that gives greenery and life to this town...



Then up a hill onto the interstate....




....and we're in the desert with a kicking tail wind giving us legs...






Stop for Food and Fuel...

And by the time I'm done explaining our journey to the local drivers....

Everyone has taken off ahead of me....







That's okay...

I love biking alone with my thoughts...

and the quiet...



I once read that a man tried to find where in America a person could enjoy pure silence - no cars, no airplanes, no crowds of people....

and there was only one square mile in the middle of Yellowstone Park.

But this desert is close to that dream...






When I stopped for a sip of water all I could hear was the gentle chirps of the birds from the nearby sagebrush.




Even my helpful wind is silent with no trees to rustle...



The people out here must be lonely...




They have a quirky sense of humor with their road names...




...and the decorations on their grain bins...





Charlie Brown must be popular out here...



But it's not always a friendly feeling...




...frequent No Trespassing signs and miles of barbed wire...





I remember Shane and the conflicts of the past

fence off the land?

 or leave it free range?




Here - the barbed wire wins...



I get a quick glimpse of some quails...





Reminds me of the year I gave TJ baby quails for his birthday...

He wanted an IPOD.



The quails run from me half-heartedly...





But when they hear the hawk overhead they dive for cover.



One more red-tail donation for my Flight!









The roadside is riddled with dens - someone has been digging holes here...

It's probably a common trait for desert animals - when there's no shade and the temperatures top 100, you go to the ground to escape the sun...

The holes remind me of gopher tortoises in Florida...

Is it too far west still for prairie dogs?






I see a killdeer with an injured wing...

I laugh at her ruse...





When I walk closer to her nest she easily takes flight...



squawking at me to keep my distance....






The plants are a sea of the gray-green sage-brush...

With brighter green where there is a hint of water below...







I'm surprised to find my old friend, yarrow.











These feathery leaves can treat poison ivy and nettles....

...a handy bit of nature lore.



And there are some thorny plants out here...

That also seems to be a common desert trait...

From cactuses to the towering Joshua trees...





 ...the desert plants have their own barbed wire and warning signs....









By now, I'm missing some of the attractions of civilization...




I have seven miles to go...

and my bladder is ready for the next stop...







So I put away the camera and kick into gear....

With that tail wind it doesn't take long to get me to the next service station.



Whew!

There's a welcome sight!






All the comforts of home!







I get a moment of popular culture...





and a treat -

not quite a Steussy-Williams chocolate chop cookie, but pretty darned good.







Then off into the small town of Mountain Home....



The neighborhoods remind me of New Castle back in Indiana...






Even Mason with his lemonade stand...

Poor guy... he just set up in time for the last biker - me.







It looks like a friendly town...






Gardens around their fire hydrants...










and a welcoming Best Western for us wanderers who are biking across America....





Thank you, Mason!



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