Heyburn to Wallace

There are few things more peaceful than camping near a lake with birds quietly singing in the early morning while rain lightly falls. That was our Wednesday morning. The temperature dropped considerably, which was nice because I was starting to complain about hauling our larger warm sleeping bags in our panniers instead of our ultralight ones that pack down into the size of a Nalgene water bottle. I even had to zip my bag up last night — a first for the trip.

Heyburn State Park is wonderful. I’m sure it will be a bit different on Friday night with Page and Vance because so many more campers will be here, but it is one of the gems we’ve discovered on this trip.

An observation: our lives are so busy and schedule-driven it is hard to mentally adjust when both are removed. Last evening as Natalie read her book I had nothing to do and found it hard to just sit and stare at the fire. I kept thinking I needed to be doing something. Having tons of bandwidth allows me to fill these gaps at home with wasting time watching YouTube, which for some reason my brain processes differently than watching a fire spark or cranes swim by on the lake by our tent. I think I need to learn to live my normal days a little more like I’m forced to live on my vacation days. I need to stare at the fire.

We left the campground about 9:30 AM. We kept thinking it would rain on us so we were prepared for it, but the rain didn’t come. It was nicely overcast for the majority of today’s ride.

The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is awesome. The trail is paved the whole way and is railroad grade, so even though we were riding uphill all day, it was hardly noticeable. The pilings used to create the original railroad bed were contaminated mine pilings (the contamination wasn’t understood at the time), and when they decided to try to rectify the problem the most efficient way to do it was to seal them in with asphalt. The result was a beautiful trail.

It is extra peaceful to be able to ride without having to pay attention to (worry about) cars. The 60 miles seemed to fly by. We could have kept riding when we arrived in Wallace. We are excited to do this same trail again with Page and Vance on Saturday.

We ate a big meal at City Limits Restaurant in Wallace. We weren’t particularly healthy in our selection of food. This sometimes happens when we’ve ridden all day. But it sure tasted good.

We bought supplies at a grocery store. Thankfully we were stuffed so we were modest in our purchasing. We rode back to the hotel and I gave the hot tub a try. This is saying something, as I am a champion soaker, but I couldn’t stick it out. There were enough chlorine fumes to make my eyes water and make it difficult to breathe. I called my soak short and retreated to our room. The hotel has a redeeming grace: you can park your bikes inside in a conference room. We are happy the bike isn’t outside as it is supposed to rain again in the early morning.

We are so excited to have Page and Vance join us tomorrow. This is the first time someone has been crazy enough to join us. We hope this isn’t the last. We will be redoing some of our favorite sections with them, including the Route of the Hiawatha and the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.

Here are a few photos from today.

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