Bike USA: June 16-25, 2000 – Nampa, Boise, Bruneau Sand Dunes, Glenn’s Ferry, Buhl, Twin Falls, Shoshone, Craters of the Moon, Arco, Idaho Falls, Alpine, Jackson (written by Max)


We are in Jackson Hole, Wyoming now and time is definitely ticking. We have the option to keep going today and rush through Yellowstone which we hear is quite bike unfriendly, or stay with a family which would stress our tight schedule.

Anyway, we met another NBG rider who left from Santa Cruz on June 4th. Alex rode through Nevada and has been doing crazy 100 plus mile days and nights. Man, compared to a bunch of other riders, we’ve been taking it quite easy. We met a guy in Idaho Falls (the only tourer in all of Idaho) who has been living on the road for a while and doesn’t carry any money. Also, check out for other stories. Especially read Stav’s. He’s totally crazy. Biking at night, pulling a dog, eating only fast food, and suffering from serious headwinds. He’s the MAN – read: fool.

So Alex got his laptop stolen from this hostel here. bunch of savages in this town. Other than that Jackson has been pretty cool. I watched a rodeo last night on the way to Albertson’s. Everyone here oggles at my recumbent. I pretty much laugh at their Ford F250’s. We might watch Titan AE tonight.

I almost took a spill yesterday in some muddy road construction. Saved by quick reflexes and dashing good looks. We’ve been plagued with flats in the past few days. I actually shredded a rear tire too. Strong cross winds and tailwinds were with us for a while in Idaho. I thought it was great fun. I love extreme weather. Almost got sucked into the underbelly of a semitruck and nearly road into a river, but hey, it’s all fun and games until I die, right?

Bruneau Sand Dunes
Bruneau Sand Dunes
Movie of Max rolling down a hill

So in summary, after staying at the extremely hospitible Jensen’s residence in Nampa we stayed in the Robb Hanson party house in Boise. After some great Chinese food, he gave us a tour of Boise. We saw the potato mack daddy’s house on top of the hill. Then off to Bruneau Sand Dunes via the hellish I-84. The dunes were cool, especially the observatory program. It reminded me of the long Friday nights at the Cornell Observatory.

Movie of our teepee

The next day was really hot and we chanced a frontage road that ended at a ferry dock at the Snake River. That sucked, so we turned back and chanced yet another frontage road (84 is not fun) which ended in gravel. After this ten mile detour we decided to take 84. I felt super sleepy and bloated after lunch (another college reminder) and we only ended up at Glenn’s Ferry. Just our luck there was one teepee still available! We are Indian, we have teepee. (that’s a quote from Cannibal the Musical, and is not meant to be a racial slur) dang that was one nice teepee.

Then to Buhl. Bo thought it would thunderstorm but nothing happened. His shoulders were all blistery and pussy from the sunburns. yay! Then to Shoshone via Twin Falls and after a disappointing Wok and Grill Mongolian BBQ. [Mark’s note: the waterfalls sucked, too, because they divert the water in the summer months for agriculture; try mid Spring instead if you plan on seeing the falls.] More specifically, a bed and breakfast in Shoshone because no motels were still in business. There was a guy living in a shack with a motel sign in front of it. [Mark’s note: the B and B we stayed at was also home to two foreign exchange students who were summer interning at a cheese factory; how someone in a foreign country finds a cheese factory in the middle of Idaho to work at, I have no idea.] We sure are living the good life. oh, this was the day when I almost died crossing the Windy Bridge of Death and we had to struggle across the Gusty Plains of Certain Peril.

Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon. Cool beans. Caves. My flashlight died so I explored by the light of my Sony Mavica. Once again it has saved my life. A mouse ran across my arm during the night. There were big signs throughout the campgrounds warning against feeding the rodents because they carried a respiratory disease. The stars were worth the risk of early pulmonary cancer though.

Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon
More Craters of the Moon
Kite Setup
Kite flying
Flying a kite at Craters of the Moon

Then to Arco. We played minigolf and ate at Grandpa’s BBQ. Not as good as San Francisco’s Brother’s in Law, but ok nevertheless.

Mark’s note: Unfortunately, we didn’t visit the first nuclear reactor after we left Arco… If you want to learn more about it, you can ask my friend Chris who gives tours there sometimes.

70 miles of desert nothing to Idaho Falls. Almost became like Clint Eastwood in the beginning to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly when our water ran out at mile 40 or so. A minivan family blessed us with four bottles in the nick of time.

Warning outside of Idaho Falls?

Take that you vultures! You won’t be eating my eyeballs today! In Idaho Falls we met Dean Miller, a fellow Cornellian. He fed us yummy pesto and let us stay in his basement. His dog Solo was very friendly too. Thanks Dean! Dean told us of his mountain bike friend who on races drinks cheap salad dressing because they provide high calories with just enough hydration, and eats Little Debbie Cakes because they have the most calories per cent. That too is Manly – read: hella stupid. We also met Johan, the biker with no money.

bad photo
good photo
Palisades Dam, bad photo vs. good photo

Camped at Alpine, just before the Idaho Wyoming border. The very last day in Idaho was actually pleasant biking. The proximity to the Snake River let us cool off anytime and the surrounding mountains were gorgeous. Lots of mosquitos though. Lots of mosquitos. Did I say lots of mosquitos yet? Well there are lots. of mosquitos that is.

into Jackson

now we are in Jackson. so it goes.

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