Dust bowl.

Day 60 De Borgia MT. | End: Heyburn State Park ID. | Mileage 3554.2

The wind sweeps through the tall pines above, breaking before it could reach us and add wind-chill to my already cold evening. The sound reminds me of a kind of synth melody with the pulses rattling the leaves, adding to the full night orchestra. Off the lake comes the cold air and forces me into my sleeping bag for the night.
We woke up this morning to Gary and his crazy dog working about in the yard. No bear encounter last night as we slept, a bummer, not even a cool story to tell. After a cup of coffee we set off for the pass and the state border. Only stopping for supplies and another flat repair, we made good time and tackled the pass with ease. Snapping photos and drinking a coke to the occasion, I was happy we crossed into the Pacific Time zone. Notches on the belt and with that the confidence of reaching Alaska. The climb was fair; a typical strain to drag these bikes up an incline, but the decent was great. Even with a heavy head wind, the slope kept us at a consistent 30+ mph, making the ride that much more exciting and the act of taking photos a bit fun.
Making it into Mullan, the first town in Idaho off the pass, my first though was food. We sat down for some food at a local cafe and for once felt like we were living the high life. I ordered a huge tuna melt and potato salad that was to die for. Belly full and time ticking away back to the interstate we went. Cruising down the road, Dirk and I pass what looked like a bike trail. Eyes lighting up and metaphoric tails wagging, we took a look at the GPS map only to find out the path extends all the way to Washington. We hit the trail with smiles and a promising day ahead is us, but nothing would prepare us for what we would encounter.
Wind, a phenomenon that has plagued us since day one inside Key West, was back and angry. As we moved throughout the canyon-like terrain, we luckily rode within the shelter of the trees. Not until we were exposed to the open fields and waterways did we feel the full power of the storm though.
Looking into the sky, a haze of dust hung in the air before us. The roads where cut short and out of sight 80% of the time. The mountains all around were gone, missing and masked behind a gloomy day of thick dust thousands of feet into the air. We laughed at the thought of our post-apocalyptic ride through Idaho. Passing the time by taking photos and seeing how much dust collects on our bikes and clothes, we fought through the day. Such beautiful sights throughout the ride though. Stopping to take a rubbish picture of a moose and the landscape around us, I laugh that the weather has cursed me so.
Rolling into a small town before the state park, we stuffed our faces and jump back on the bikes before nightfall. Navigating the trails without the protection of my sunglasses, hordes of gnats covered my face. Squinting just hard enough to keep them from getting into my eyes, yet open enough to see what is in front of me, we continued toward camp. Making it just as it was too dark to see, we set up camp and prepared for the night.


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