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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 11 - Mountain Home to Twin Falls - The Power of Food





Food powers us all...



We bikers know those muscles only work when you give them plenty of food...

Not enough food and you "hit the wall"...




I know. I've been there...

So we bikers eat a lot...

...like every two hours.





Breakfast...

Snack...

Lunch...

Snack...

and so on...





I once heard an ultra-marathon runner speak...





(They do runs for 24 hours straight...they are crazy!)







He says at the end what hurts most are his jaw muscles...

from eating so much.






So we start in Mountain Home with a big breakfast at AJs....



It's a long day ahead - 97 miles - so we start before daybreak....




As we cruise out, the sun starts to peek over the horizon...


We bike along desert that now grows our food...




...water from the Snake River fills the air....




Within a dozen miles I'm hungry again...




but to my dismay, the cafe is closed....


I'll have to soldier on to the next stop....





Luckily Al slows down for me and helps pass the miles...




The scenery is beautiful...

Brother Nic asks me why the desert looks so green...




One reason is that we bike along the river valleys...




Long ago the rivers found the easiest route through the mountains...

and that's the way of the bikers...










And there's an incredible amount of irrigation....

Sprinklers in every field....

Is there enough water for everyone?

I've read there will be wars over fresh water...

We pause at a market and find donuts...

Not quite Jack's from home, but biking almost century today, I deserve a donut...





...and I introduce the century donut tradition to Andrew from England.





Al and I enjoy biking together.

We pass the time with twenty questions...

The state nickname of Idaho?

a short word - starts with F or G....

Is it in the landscape?

Is it man-made?




She tries some ridiculous answers like The Fox State or the God State...

before she finally realizes Idaho is the Gem State...




and the state bird is the mountain bluebird...




We would guess it's the red-tailed hawk because we see seven of them today, doubling our total!




Finally we reach our oasis, the Ox-Bow cafe...





Parking is free...

among the roses...



And the food?




Excellent!

Breakfast for our friends and pie a al mode for Al and me.




Bikers are always happy when they're eating!



We haven't seen a newspaper in days -

but I see Al is making headlines...






We have a lovely post-snack bike ride along the Snake River...

where dinosaurs...




... and fossils may be found.







For food - a nice SAG stop in the Hagerman Park.






It's a nice chance to talk with Ian - a retired policeman from Scotland.



He's a strong biker, but has trouble with the hills.




We head back out past the award winning Hagerman library.



It's a long way between towns now - getting hot and needing more fuel...

We've only eaten four times today.






Luckily there is a cafe in just the right spot...

It's a little run-down, but they've got water...




...and a charming cook - Jeannine.






She won their local weight loss contest -

She lost 90 pounds and gained $6,000!






She still has her treadmill set up in the corner of her store...

She has learned the need to balance intake and output...

As have we....

and we have a lot of output!






It's a long, hot ride to the next town...




We bike past mile after mile of factory farms...

Cows massed at the feeding troughs...

In the blistering sun...

No shade...


Al and I cringe to see animals like this...


Packed in so closely they use antibiotics by the pound...

It can't be healthy.

And of course, eating so much...


there will be lots of manure...

Al and I pledge to stick with grass fed beef and milk as much as possible...

for the sake of the cows...

But I'm starting to swoon from the heat...

I need salt.


So I wave Al on up ahead while I rest in the shade of a cow farm building...

watching the milk fill huge trucks...

eating my last few crackers and drinking water....






As I force myself back out on the road I am dazed by the sun...

When these huge trucks pass going the other way -




the surge of hot air almost knocks me off my wheels...




I find myself swerving to visit the irrigation spray...





Men out in the sun repair the giant watering spouts.







Finally my blurred vision sees Subway ahead.



Gratefully I sit in their a/c to enjoy my intake of salty food and drink...






In moments I see other weary bikers stumble in the door.





Ellen, Ian and Phillip join me for a bit of refreshment before the last stretch of road.





Al texts me - she's just a mile down the road.

She's found a lemonade stand with the best home-made chocolate chip cookies.

I hurry up the road...




....and meet Isaac, AJ and Dallin...

They are saving up for a Wii.






Their sister made the sign.




We turn the corner and see golfers...

I think of husband, Tom, playing golf and snap a quick picture.

The golfer in green runs up to the road...

Is he mad it me?

No. He's a long-distance biker too and wants to know our route.



Just down the road Al and I pause at a scenic overlook.

Incredible!



It's like God has taken a scalpel and incised the land...




The Snake River Gorge...

Most famous for when Evil Knievel, the daredevil motorcyclist tried to jump the gorge on a rocket powered cycle...

...and failed.

Injured, but not killed, he lived into his 60s and died of lung disease.




Another two miles and we cross the gorge on a huge bridge.

Al manages to spot three people base jumping off of the bridge...















She is flabbergasted!


We arrive at the hotel, quick shower and dinner...





What is this? The 6th meal of the day?

We bikers thrive on food and sleep...



and we dream...

...of more food.



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