Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 49: Riding the storm out

Day #49) July 31, 2011. Burley, ID to Bliss, ID: 81 miles in 5:17 hrs.

Ok, so yesterday evening went into a Subway to buy a sub for dinner and a sub for the morning breakfast. So I do the order: 1 meatball marinara and 1 seafood sensation. So the gal makes the seafood first, and I noticed that the pan was almost out, and she scooped out the remainder and then went to the back. Now I though she was going to come back with another pan of the seafood and finish my sub. But she returned with no pan, and then just smoothed out the stuff that was already on the sub. And so she proceeded to ask me what veggies I wanted on the sub. So I said: “Is that all of the seafood you’re going to put on it,” because I’ve been eating this stuff for three trips now, and I know EXACTLY what four scoops looks like on a sandwich. Well, she says, “I put four scoops on, and that’s what we’re supposed to put on it.” Then I replied, “look, you ran out of seafood in the pan there, you went back and checked for more, there wasn’t more and you’re now trying to pawn this off on me when it most definitely is not the right amount.” And let me tell ya, what she had put on that sub was about half of what you normally get. Then I said, “this is total bullshit. You don’t have more in the back and I’m NOT paying for this. Forget it! You can toss that and make me something else.” So she went into the back to check with a manager or something and then returned and asked me what I wanted instead, then she had a different waitress make the two subs for me.

Man, I was like shaking I was so pissed off. I’m dumb but not stupid, and don’t try to tell me that two scoops are four scoops. And like the amazing thing was that when she’d spread the seafood salad across the footlong it didn’t even cover the bread on the inside. It was just so ludicrous to have this young chickie trying to tell me that I wasn’t seeing what I was seeing. So the other waitress made me a different sub and then the nutball chick rang me up, kind of with this pissed off attitude. That’s when I told her that she could have been honest with me and have just told me that there wasn’t enough to make a footlong sandwich, not to try to con me into believing that I was getting what I should.

Enough said. So up at 4 am with plenty of time to spare. I wasn’t planning on getting on the road until 6:30 am, so I had time to wander over to the lobby and grab two cups of coffee, relax, try to watch the local forecast (nothing in ID in the way of early Sunday morning news), eat breakfast, pack, and get my kit on. Tell you what, it’s a piece of cake now to get a footlong down the gullet at 5 am now compared to a month ago. I’m dialed into “high volume” eating in the am now! Got out into the morning with a vest on due to the 61-degree temps and got the ride going. Rode back into the center of town and got on Rt 30 W, and wow, looking up at the sky, I seemed to have storm clouds totally surrounding me. It looked just horrible to the south, and to the north – lightning! Was kind of an unsettling sight to see some much storm activity around. And judging by the forecast from last night, today was supposed to be 30% chance of rain today, mainly in the afternoon hours. So much for that forecast because it was raining and storming all the hell over the place. At least I had a nice little tailwind out of the SE.

Have to say that today was some of the most boring scenery I’ve experienced in the trip. I mean it was just flat and false flat the whole time amidst vast fields of potato, corn and wheat. There were mts off to the south and way, way off to the north. Sorry to say that even KS and Eastern CO was more interesting. But what was really catching my eye was the lightning to the north and the massive black sheets of rain to the south. Seemed as though I was riding down this ally-way between two big storm cells. It definitely gave me a real sense of urgency in my intensity level to at least get to Twin Falls, about 40 miles away. So I pretty much rode at a rather hard pace to stay rain free. Goal was to get to Twin Falls and reaccess the weather as to whether I could go further or not. Kept a pretty good pace going, past these windmill farms, and farms, and farms and farms. Just nothing but farms. I never realized that ID was big into farming. I guess the potato thing is just off the charts out here.

So I made it into Twin Falls and by then it was sprinkling and I was about 2.5 hrs into the ride. Now the big decision: stay with Rt 30 which is further to Bliss, ID than the interstate 84, or take I-84 and just try to ride like hell to beat the storm, which was nipping at my arse by that time. Earlier in my blogging I’d written about being able to ride on the interstate in UT, but you can only do that when there is zero opps. for riding on a parallel road system. But here in ID, the interstate is totally legal for a cyclist. Anyway, I took a look to the east and you could just see these massive sheets, like long drapes of rain coming my way. TO THE INTERSTATE! So I rode about 5 miles to the north and jumped on the I. Kind of makes me want to rename this trip: American Interstate!

And I just put it down, doing like 20-22 mph riding for my dry life, with the rain spritzing and drizzling. Even on the false flats I could maintain 17-18 mph. So I did this for about an hour, just pedaling for all it was worth. And I got ahead of the front, and finally got in some decent weather down the highway. You know the cool thing, was when the highway patrol went by….and just kept going! No stop, no hassles. Plan was to do a long section of freeway tomorrow, from like Bliss to Boise, because there is really nothing that parallels on the way to Boise. But looks like I started that a bit early by getting on today. Well, I was making some real time there, and then there was road construction, and it was an 8-mile section where traffic was rerouted onto just on lane, the eastbound lane, where it was just one lane each side. And in the westbound lane, well, that was brand new asphalt that hadn’t been bermed or painted yet. So rather than get on a thin, 2-foot strip of berm on the two-way eastbound lane, I just stayed on the new pavement and had that all to myself. Kind of wondered if the highway patrol would see it as I did, and be darned if two went by….and not a problem. Bingo!

By the time I hit the sign “Bliss 7 miles” I was just cooked. My legs were totally toast. My average at that time was the highest I’ve had on the trip – with the yak of course – at 15.4 mph! I’d paid the price for gunning it so hard. So when I was running and gunning I was getting a bit greedy and thinking that maybe I could get to Glenns Ferry or maybe even Boise with a monster day. But with 7 miles to go I kind of was running on fumes. So I decided to at least stop in Bliss for a massive fountain coke and something to eat. If I felt better I’d go the next 19 miles to Glenns Ferry – but a big NO to Boise. Rode to a little gas station/store called, get this…Stinker! Yes, stinker. Come on now, calling a store Stinker, with this little skunk logo under the text? I thought that so funny – maybe I was punch drunk.

So I went in Stinker and grabbed a 44 oz fountain coke and a pre-made ham sub. Then looked at the map. Looked at the map more, ate more, looked at the map, and it was like – I’m done, just don’t have it in me to put another 1.5 hrs in the saddle. Hell, the last 7 miles I’d dropped down to like 14 mph. I mean that was it. Just couldn’t imagine another 19 feeling that dead – especially my butt. Damn it’s just raw meat at this point. Ok, so Bliss, ID, population 275. This is another of the myriad of small towns on this trip. They do have: two motels, two gas stations, one cafĂ© and that’s it. It’s a blip on the freeway. Got a motel from this really nice guy who owns a mom and pop place, and he gave me a deal on the room cuz I was riding across the country. Got internet, sat. TV, AC, huge room. Great deal at 44 bucks. The guy even told me he’d throw my sink-washed kit in their dryer when he saw me hanging cloths way out in the back on this fence. Told me the wind would likely blow them in the field.

I asked about food, and he told me about this gas station a block away that has this little grill connected to it. Said the food was great. So I gave it a try, and it’s just crazy good. Their burger was fabulous. I have to admit that I was really leery about gas station diners, but this place was so atypical to what you’d expect. Also did this small salad bar for 2 bucks extra. Came back and have been working for the remainder of the afternoon. I’ll definitely be going back to the gas station for my supper in an hour. Then relax my aching legs and butt in the bed vegging on the Food Channel’s “Next network star.” Wow, what a life I’m living!

Would love to make Boise tomorrow, but that entails an 87 mile day. We’ll see how the weather responds to this plan. Could be a long, hard day if the weather sucks.

That’s it, late……….Pete

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