Thursday, August 2, 2007

Day 8: Lowman to Stanley, ID

Idaho! Have you ever been someplace so beautiful and open and spectacular that you have to call out at the top of your lungs to celebrate the moment? If you have, then you know the absolute joy we felt as we descended into the lush valley that borders Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. If you haven’t – check out the wild lands of Idaho.

While less mileage than most of the ride, today’s nearly 3,000 ft of climbing kept us challenged and encouraged us to work together as a team. After nearly a week on the road, hybrid.pedal is now more than ever becoming a team event. We are learning to work together in a pace line, are “pulling” each other when energy starts wane and (our stronger riders) are literally helping “push” other group members up the hills. Working as a team vs. riding as individuals is making each mile on our bikes that much more fun.

After soaking in the views and nearly floating (if you ignore the headwinds) along the edge of the Sawtooths, we stopped in Stanley for lunch at a great little bakery off the main road. If you are in Stanley this bakery is a must eat! From lunch we headed out of town to Red Fish Lake, a place with water so clear you can see your toes on the lake bottom when you are shoulder deep in water and warm enough you can soothe your tired muscles in the lake for hours. Add to that the peaks of the Sawtooths as a backdrop and you end up with something pretty darn close to heaven.

But the decadence doesn’t end there. For dinner we dined at the Red Fish Lodge. Imagine a bunch of cyclists walking onto the set of Dirty Dancing…. That was us.

Quote of the day: “I had a moment of melancholy as we descended into the valley, or maybe it was a moment of zen. How do you tell the difference between melancholy and zen?”

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