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The vacation I thought we had planned

We returned the bikes and thus safely capped off our amazing 195 mile bike expedition through Idaho.

The journey started with a picture next to this car in Idaho Mountain Touring, so it was fitting to get a final picture here, this time relaxing in lounge chairs with a fishing pole and picnic basket. Oh well, maybe next time…

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This ain’t no muffin ride

After climbing Galena Pass, this muffin was absolutely incredible. The climb was approx 5 miles and 3500 vertical feet, and offered some of the most sweeping and spectacular views I have encountered on a bike. Certainly the most rewarding summit of this trip. The best part was the 25 mile, 2200 foot descent from here down to Ketchum.

Safely in ketchum

Amazing journey. Details later tonight

breakfast at Stanley Baking Company

65 miles and 1 climb (too steep to even worry about) lay ahead of us. So we are starting with one of the best breakfast spots in the West! This alone was worth the ride

super speedy update

quick update while we have cell service…

We’re starting day 3, and gearing up for the last 60 miles–which should be relatively (see below) ok, after we crest a near 3,000 ft climb halfway through.

The first day was a 85 mile trek–to make up for lost time from flight delays, and also a nice, casual way for her to get used to long rides. It involved an epic (and I don’t use this word lightly) two-peak climb–that took nearly 3 1/2 hours to summit. It’s a challenging grade, but doable–it just wears on your legs and spirits; and becomes nearly as mentally challenging as physical. Why do it? There’s a reason you see a view from 6 or 7 thousand feet up and feel entirely small–(even PK feels small!)…how you arrive there is personal I suppose; a car would do just fine. But when you get to zoom down a switch-back filled mountain for 45 minutes (yes, it takes that long to get down); suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a fool’s errand.

Yesterday was a mere 50 miles–20 of which were another 2k summit. I felt a little better when Philip said: “This is by far the longer sustained climb I’ve ever done. Not the steepest, but the longest”. Phew! Someone else was suffering too. More details on the climbs, the roads, the fact that there wasn’t a house in sight for 50 miles (or anywhere to get water)…later.

The whole trip has been on highway 21–from Boise to Stanley thus far. As we climbed around mile 17 yesterday; there was a moment of delirium, because each turn around the jagged, spring-filled mountainside only gave way to another huge hill… Says Philip: “Highway 21 is like our relationship.” Katie: “All uphill?” Philip: “It just keeps on going…it won’t end!”

Truth be told, highway 21 ends today, and at the dead-end we turn South on 75; the trick is, when you climb it just seems never-ending, impossible, and like you’re not going anywhere. I imagine life, and relationships, feel that way too. But when you stop for a second and turn around, you look down and see that in the meantime, you’ve climbed a mountain. Highway 75 cannot possibly be as “epic” but it’s not an end, either–simply another journey.

Relaxing down at the watering hole

There are natural hot springs all over the place in Idaho. We have found that it is an amazing way to finish each day – soak in the hot water, then jump into the frigid river to ice the legs, and back into the hot springs.

Trout were swimming by, occasional visitors would drop in and swap stories of their travels, and life moved very slowly. Last night, we lost track of time and spent almost two hours here.

Tough way to finish a day. But this was definitely earned!!!

A little taste of home

We are typically biking 30+ miles before finding any signs of human activity, and when we do happen upon one, its like a time warp back 150 years into the Wild West. This was our lodging on night 2, and it also serves as an RV park, a general store, the gas station, a post office, a restaurant, camp grounds, and community center. For us, it was truly an oasis, as we barely made it before they closed up for the night.

The cabins were actually quite homey and they fed us well that night and gave us a great breakfast to start off Day 3, which started with a 20 mile, 2900 vertical foot climb.

Onward and upward


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