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Day 11
If it was any hotter, we'd fry eggs

ROUTE: Mt Home to Twin Falls ID DISTANCE:  98 Miles WINDS: Light tailwinds most of the day
WEATHER: Sunny and hot TERRAIN:  A couple mesa climbs but mostly rolling TOTAL CLIMBING: 3745 Feet

 DAILY REPORT:  OK...I'll not bore you with another "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" paragraph, but suffice it to say IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!  NA NA NA NA NA!!!!  Well, that description applies to rain and winds but not temperatures.  It was in the lower 60s when we left but it got into the mid 90s before the final riders got to the motel.  Actually, in this part of the country it feels pretty good until mid afternoon.  Even though it was in the upper 80s and lower 90s by noon, the air felt comfortable as you were moving...when we stopped for something we could tell it was warming up.  Having said that, all bets were off after about 2:00 in the afternoon as it got really toasty during the final miles.

It was sure nice to get in so early yesterday.  Everyone was feeling pretty good at the start today, and it turned out to be a relatively easy day out in the Idaho countryside aside from the late hot temperatures.  I spent the morning riding with Karen and pulling sweep duty until about 1:45.  From there I got to ride in...got to feel the brunt of the heat.  By the time I got to the motel, I was ready to pack it in. 

Karen and I took lots of photos while loafing around waiting on riders...took over 100 on one camera alone.  Everywhere I looked I saw another "better" shot than I'd just taken. To say the scenery is beautiful out here is a huge understatement.  I would have taken more had I not had to chase down the group on a couple occasions after having my own flat or fixing someone else's.

Every time I come through this area I'm in awe of how fertile it is.  I always try to envision how it must have been riding across this country in a wagon pulled by a team of oxen before irrigation made the countryside green.  It must have been an awesome task walking behind a dusty wagon and trying to avoid the natives, trying to stay alive, and trying to keep the livestock from wandering off.  If you've never seen this area, the climate is really dry--only 9 inches of rain a year--and if you don't irrigate the soil, the only thing that will grow is sagebrush.  Idaho's motto is, "Just Add Water" and this area is a true testament to what you can do with a little water.  Along the Snake River plain you'll find some of the most fertile agricultural areas anywhere, but only a few feet from where they apply the water, you'll find only dust and sage.  The contrast is remarkable...it's either green or brown.  Then imagine walking over 20 miles of parched desert only to find your way blocked by a deep canyon with perpendicular walls on both sides and the water you so desperately need at the bottom.  We rode through such an area today.  Some beautiful canyons have taken over 3 million years to develop (below left), and they'll still be here long after we are gone. 

This area is also well known for its dairy farming.  Twin Falls was settled 98 years ago by a man named Ira Perine.  He came here from Pennsylvania to take up mining.  After a bit, he found it to be too difficult, so he bought some dairy cows.  About that same time, a group of people moved into the area and set up a tent motel along the area near Shoshone Falls.  So, according to the info provided to us by the chamber of commerce, Twin Falls was settled by a dairy farmer and a bunch of tourists...and it's still like that today.

The final mile into town is really beautiful as we cross a gorge on the Perrine Memorial Bridge.  Every time we get here we see bridge jumpers and today one of them offered Cindy a chute and a free jump.  My stock in Cindy's good judgment just went up as she politely declined.  The views from the bridge are beautiful and I'm not sure how far it is to the bottom, but as they say in Alabama, "It's a fur piece."

Well, it's about time to go to dinner.  Even with the long day, I was able to get the page done before rap and dinner.  Maybe I can go to bed early for a change.  Tomorrow's a really short day, only 38 miles, so everyone should be able to have a riding rest day.  I hope so, we've got some long days coming up.  Hope you have a great evening...see you again tomorrow.  M.

DID I REALLY SAY THAT?:

Very popular out here.

DID I REALLY DO THAT?:

I stopped to help Topper and Lois fix a rear flat.  When Lois handed me the new tube, it was found to be the wrong size.  She has 650 wheels and the new tube was a 24".  Topper said he had another one and handed me a new tube.  When I tried to put it in, I found it was a 700...hmmm, I see a pattern  here.  Finally, they were able to find a proper tube to get her back on the road.  Now if I hadn't come along, no one would have known this little incident.

DID I REALLY SEE THAT?

Jan was showing everyone how she could do a double back jack knife flip off the back of the luggage truck...we estimated she needed about 6 more feet of altitude to complete her last flip...should have worn a helmet I imagine.

Hard to ride without pedals...I guess that's why this farmer took them off so no one would just ride off with his mailbox.

He's so cute.  Mike, can we keep him?  Barb said she had enough room in the luggage truck.

At a little store we stopped at, Baxter the dog took the lunch payments and deposited it into the register.  The proprietor said it saved salary for another waitress...Wonder if he expected a tip? 

After breaking his wheel yesterday, Big Mike may have found a suitable replacement...right now he's wondering if we have tires that will fit these.

Nice formation Karen.

At rap, I sometimes tell the riders they will "waller" around an area...this is where I must be talking about.

Sometimes you just get a good one.

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