We slept great in the Heyburn State Park campground. Every day we expect to wake up early and start our ride early, and every day we sleep longer than expected. We both slept light and woke up several times. Each time we could listen to the lake birds, enjoy the peaceful surroundings, and eventually go back to sleep. It wasn’t the best way to sleep, but we both rested.
In the morning we started the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene. We backtracked on it to Plummer where the trail actually begins, bought some snacks, and headed east on the trail. The trail is outstanding. It is well maintained and has a beautiful view of the lake. At one point we crossed the lake on the Chatcolet Bridge, a bridge that is over a half mile long that was built for the rail industry and now is only for non-motorized travel. The trail is amazing. We only rode it to Harrison, but will finish it next week — probably twice. Here is some more information on it: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_the_Coeur_d%27Alenes
At Harrison we left the trail and got on highway 97. There were constant up and down sections, which wore us out. We were sweating our brains out as we rode uphill in the hot sun and enjoyed the always too short downhill respites.
Although it was very beautiful, it didn’t have much of a shoulder, and so we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone on bikes. Luckily for us it didn’t get busy until the last hour of our ride which coincided with people getting off work.
We booked the last campsite available in a simple campground near the northeast corner of Lake Coeur d’Alene. It is a bit crowded and not so peaceful, but we were able to go on an inlet of the lake using their canoes, which was really peaceful. It has great showers and a small pool (full of campers) which Pete used but Natalie didn’t. We were extra thirsty. Prior to riding in we chugged two Powerades and upon arrival at the campsite we proceeded to drink 7 cans of LaCroix (flavored seltzer water) between the two of us. The cold flavored water was easier to drink than the warm water in our water bottles. Economics forced us to stop, or we would have downed several more. Maybe after drinking from our water bottles all day we just needed something different.
There are a lot of people having a blast here with their friends and family, so many campfires, and competing music from their various devices. Not the same peaceful feeling as our previous night, but we are grateful for the campsite, and it’s a happy feeling to see people enjoying being outdoors with each other.
Our campsite neighbors are a nice young family from Oregon, and they insisted on giving us a bag of Trader Joe’s salad, which we devoured prior to eating our camp food. We do miss fresh food on these trips, so we were very grateful. We had stopped around 3:00 and eaten a small but good meal at a little roadside cafe, but we were ready to eat a full meal again by the time we got to our campsite and got set up.
We rode 55 miles and gained about 2500 feet. Miles on the road feel so much longer than miles ridden on dedicated bike trails. I think it’s because on a bike trail you get to just focus on the beauty around you, and when on the road a large part of your mental energy is needed to stay safe. We are happy that so much of the rest of our ride can happen on trails.
At this point in our journey we’ve ridden a little over 300 miles. We should hit about 375 by the end of the week. We are ready for a day of rest in Spokane on Sunday.
Here is a link to photos from the day.