Canyon Run 2007 – Day 2

Today was relatively short in terms of mileage – about 260 for the day – but we lost an hour due to the change in time zones. We’re now on Mountain Time.

We left Dayton at about 9:15. The weather was cool and very windy, but the sun was out. As we wound east through more dramatic rolling hills, the wind would occasionally gust strongly enough to force us to lean over sharply to compensate. I thought it was fun. Willo however did not, especially when a particularly strong gust caught her magnetic tank bag and flipped it off her gas tank and into the road (at about 70 mph), taking her iPod with it and jerking her earphones out. I was riding ahead and when I noticed she wasn’t in my mirror I pulled over and waited, figuring she was adjusting something. After about 10 minutes “something bad happened” started to outweigh “nothing bad happened” and I rode back to check. Of course she had it all together by then so we passed each other, and I turned around again and caught up. The top of the tank bag got pretty scratched up and the earphone wires are living on borrowed time but the iPod survived. We will be on the lookout for a new set of earphones.

In Idaho we took the longer, more scenic Highway 12 along the Clearwater River to our usual lunch stop at Grangeville. The hills on either side of the river climb at almost exactly 45 degrees, and are covered with rich green grass spotted with trees and rock outcroppings. Add a few elves and leprechauns and you have a textbook fairyland. Right before Grangeville is an absolutely fantastic tight twisty ascent – about three miles of 20-mph-rated curves that we ended up doing about 45 through, with a lush valley off to the left. We were both grinning when we stopped for lunch.

Following lunch we climbed over White Bird Summit and then descended to the Salmon River – 8 miles of sweeping 7-8% grade:

Descending from White Bird Summit

Descending from White Bird Summit

At the bottom, the Salmon river repeats the fairyland vibe of the Clearwater, though on a smaller scale:

Salmon River

Salmon River

Another 70 or so miles brought us to tonight’s stay in McCall, Idaho. McCall is a ski town serving the Brundage ski area, and is situated on Payette Lake in central Idaho. Apparently May is the shoulder season here, and Sunday night is the “shoulder” night, as everything was closed. We finally got a kind referral to a good restaurant – Babblefish – at the Mile High Marina on the lake. Despite the fact that they tend to shut down in the spring and fall, we often try to stay in ski towns when on the road. They usually have nicer, cleaner accommodations and better dining options, and room rates can be heavily discounted during slow times.

Here is Payette Lake on another trip through the area:

Payette Lake

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