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  1. #76
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    Anyone intending ride this loop in the next few weeks?

    The recommended time window is shortly upon us (late June to late July per the ACA website) so I'm considering making the drive over from Seattle and riding the loop in the next few weeks. Curious if others are planning similar timelines.

    Also curious if any locals can confirm the full loop is snow-free and/or cleared of downfall (on singletrack sections).

  2. #77
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    my freinds and I are starting in Ketchum on 7/18. pm me if you want to talk
    Harry

  3. #78
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    The willow creek trail as a singletrack option still has about 8-10 down trees and patches of snow as of Saturday. Other than the down trees the trail was in great shape and a blast. I just did the trail as an out and back. I think all the trees should be cut out by July 4th by the dirt bikers.
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  4. #79
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    Some of our friends are out at the moment, they did run into some closed roads but that was to motorized. If you are on Facebook - go to Southwest Idaho Bike Camping - group page and you can see Dylan's posts

  5. #80
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    My wife and I are headed out for a week long trip starting next Monday. Planning to do a loop using the northern part of the main route with the Lowman cutoff. Hope to see some folks out there.
    Surly Pugsley, Salsa El Mariachi, Salsa Vaya

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  6. #81
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    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
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  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    GPS data is here:
    Awesome, thanks Casey! Just in the nick of time.

    Nice timing . . . I just got my maps in the mail this morning. Can't wait to go hit the trail.

    Looks like lots of potential for singletrack diversions during the ride (stashing bags and grabbing a quick, liberating baggage-free loop ride). The obvious one to me was to hit the Fisher Creek / Williams Creek loop. Any other suggestions in this regard? Obviously IMBA and mtbproject.com can lead the way, but first-person suggestions are always welcome.

  8. #83
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    If you can make the logistics work, Little Boulder Creek Trail is a must.
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
    http://greenecasey.blogspot.com

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    If you can make the logistics work, Little Boulder Creek Trail is a must.
    Thanks! How do I best connect to it, over Castle Divide? Loop back via Germain Creek?

    Also, any idea how rideable is the ~ 2 mile section of Williams/104 that lies north of the Fisher/332 trail junction, and south of Warm Springs trail (point R on the singletrack narrative)?? I'm considering a lollipop loop from point R. I rode Fisher/Williams many years ago, and liked it, but did it as a loop, so didn't ride the section I'm inquiring about.
    EDIT: answered my own question . . . per mtbproject this is called Pig Trail and it rides both ways no problem. So the lollipop should be straightforward.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    The willow creek trail as a singletrack option still has about 8-10 down trees and patches of snow as of Saturday. Other than the down trees the trail was in great shape and a blast. I just did the trail as an out and back. I think all the trees should be cut out by July 4th by the dirt bikers.
    The snow patches were presumably around Decker Creek Summit?

    That's some of the highest elevation on the whole loop, so if that was passable recently, I'm guessing/hoping that the even higher passes midway on the White Cloud option should be passable in 2 weeks when I expect to be riding them?

    Now that I've got the maps in my hands, I'm getting a terrible case of pre-trip excitement.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by InertiaMan View Post
    Thanks! How do I best connect to it, over Castle Divide? Loop back via Germain Creek?
    Castle Divide or you could go over Gladiator and down the east fork and then do a big boulder to little boulder loop.

    Germania Creek is steep near the East Fork and there is a fair amount of loose rocks near the east fork. The trail only gets better and is really good above where Chamberlain creek comes in.
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  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by InertiaMan View Post
    The snow patches were presumably around Decker Creek Summit?

    That's some of the highest elevation on the whole loop, so if that was passable recently, I'm guessing/hoping that the even higher passes midway on the White Cloud option should be passable in 2 weeks when I expect to be riding them?

    Now that I've got the maps in my hands, I'm getting a terrible case of pre-trip excitement.
    The higher passes will certainly be passable in 2 weeks. There might be some small snow banks to climb over. I will be in the area July 12/13 for a loop from Featherville to Smiley Creek Lodge and back.
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  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    I will be in the area July 12/13 for a loop from Featherville to Smiley Creek Lodge and back.
    Are you heading through Ross Fork Basin?
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
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  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    The higher passes will certainly be passable in 2 weeks. There might be some small snow banks to climb over. I will be in the area July 12/13 for a loop from Featherville to Smiley Creek Lodge and back.
    I'll be trying to ride/push that section too. We're riding the whole loop CC starting in Idaho City on the 18th and will be riding the Ross Fork basin to Alturas Lake to cut the total mileage a little shorter.

    Like this: Idaho Hot Spings MTB Route - Ross Fork Basin Shortcut - Camas, ID

    Do you you (or anyone else) know if that goes through? It appears to, at least from a careful google earth flyover.

    Thanks!

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    Are you heading through Ross Fork Basin?
    We are considering it. If we do we will ride up the east fork of skeleton creek and then drop into Ross Fork Basin.

    We may also just go up and over on paradise creek and then emma creek and descend west fork of big smokey.

    I am waiting to hear which trails got cleared before making a final decision.
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  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabrielamadeus View Post
    I'll be trying to ride/push that section too. We're riding the whole loop CC starting in Idaho City on the 18th and will be riding the Ross Fork basin to Alturas Lake to cut the total mileage a little shorter.

    Like this: Idaho Hot Spings MTB Route - Ross Fork Basin Shortcut - Camas, ID

    Do you you (or anyone else) know if that goes through? It appears to, at least from a careful google earth flyover.

    Thanks!
    Ross Fork Basin is generally in good shape and connects. Parts of the trail burned about 2 years ago. Lots of options in that area. There is also Vienna and Emma Creeks.
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  17. #92
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    If you want a good topo on the trails in the Smokey Mountains stop by Moto 1 in Boise. They have maps from a guy named Bill Dart, who puts difficulty and trail condition on his maps.

    If the trail crews go through the smokey's I will post up the info.
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  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    Ross Fork Basin is generally in good shape and connects. Parts of the trail burned about 2 years ago. Lots of options in that area. There is also Vienna and Emma Creeks.
    Cheers, thanks for the beta!

  19. #94
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    Not sure where I even got this track from, but does anyone have any beta on this singletrack shortcut between Idaho City and the N Fork of the Boise R?

    Idaho City to Arrowrock reservoir - A bike ride in Idaho City, ID

  20. #95
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    This is a very doable route from Idaho City to Arrowrock. The dirt road is in excellent shape and is of moderate grades. Looks like you are going to descend Haga Creek which is a good trail, but does have some serious exposure starting about halfway down. There are also a lot of steep switchbacks all of which are rideable depending on your ability level. Another option is go down cottonwood creek, but this will dump you on further west.

    If you want more beta you can always catch me in Boise on your way out. I can give you the low down on most trails in southern idaho.

    Quote Originally Posted by gabrielamadeus View Post
    Not sure where I even got this track from, but does anyone have any beta on this singletrack shortcut between Idaho City and the N Fork of the Boise R?

    Idaho City to Arrowrock reservoir - A bike ride in Idaho City, ID
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  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    Castle Divide or you could go over Gladiator and down the east fork and then do a big boulder to little boulder loop.

    Germania Creek is steep near the East Fork and there is a fair amount of loose rocks near the east fork. The trail only gets better and is really good above where Chamberlain creek comes in.
    Thanks smilycook.

  22. #97
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    Nice find Gabriel, that Haga Creek "short cut" sounds interesting. Perhaps Casey planned the main route moving further west here to help provide the spur to Boise, and to keep the main route off trail. And its too short to justify full "singletrack option" treatment on the maps. But for those of us not connecting to Boise, and planning to ride singletrack, is this short-cut a preferable option? It saves ~23 miles (7 vs. 30) and adds singletrack . . . that sounds good to me.

    Smilycook, if you were doing this, what would you do?

    Casey, any reasons not to consider this option?
    (you must be rolling your eyes, seeing how barely anyone has ridden your loop yet, and we're already tweaking it! )

  23. #98
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    I think Casey just had some hard decisions since there is just endless variations of this route. His singletrack options just scratch the surface of the possibilities since there are so many ways to go on amazing trails. I don't have my maps in front of me, but will look at them tonight and offer some suggestions. The key to enjoying any of these singletrack sections is to keep your bike as light as possible.

    How much singletrack do you want? There are many options along the way.

    If it was me I would go down Cottonwood or Hungarian Ridge over Haga Creek. Cottonwood is along the route while Hungarian would require going further east of the main route.

    I am riding Big Smokey Creek this weekend and would consider that another amazing detour, just depends on how crazy you want to get and how much time you have.

    My suggestion is to PM me when you are headed through town and I can go over the maps with you. If you go off route you will also need a Sawtooth, Boise, and Payette National Forest maps set.
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  24. #99
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    Thanks for all the beta. Unfortunately I doubt we'll have time to stop in Boise before the trip. Thus the Haga and Ross Basin shortcuts. We'll be on a more relaxed schedule past stanley though and hope to add in more stuff up there. I grabbed the McCall and Sawtooth/WC Adventure trail maps, if we have time where's the best place to grab FS maps in Boise?

    I'm Gabe (503-381-4456), send me your number and I'll get in touch if we squeeze out some extra time on the way out there! PS: my friend & really rad dude Ryan King just moved to Boise. He's a solid rider and bike builder if you ever need an adventure buddy.

  25. #100
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    Smile Tim's ride of the Main Loop and a bit of Singletrack.

    Completed main Loop last Tuesday and returned to the UK today.

    I was riding a rigid Salsa Fargo with panniers.

    my track is here - https://share.delorme.com/timfield

    Will be publsihed extended story on crazyguyonabike.com in due course with photos.

    My maps are with my baggage which missed a connection so some names my be wrong.

    This is how my trip panned out

    DAY 1 Monday 23rd June.

    Left my Warm showers hosts in Boise about 8.00 and followed Boise Greenbelt cycle route up to Sandy Point rec areas where I joined Boise Spur route.

    Reached Neinmiyer camp-site - warm spring pool under water - about 18:00

    Day 2 Tuesday

    Cycled up to Atlanta and got their about lunchtime. Had cheeseburger and apple pie at the Beaver lodge bar. Both very good particularly the apple pie. Went to hot spring and camped at riverside camp-site. Bar lady at Beaver lodge is also forrest services camp-site person and has good info on which hot spring and which camp-site to use.

    * Atlanta well worth a visit *

    Day 3 Wednesday.

    Started Willowcreek singletrack about 8.00. climb up past mine is steep but ridable apart from soft area where mine is working on road. Mine guys told me that I would be doing a lot of pushing later.....

    Singletrack section starts well a lot ridable for me but had to get off for looser and /or steper bits.

    A lot of trees down and not trivial to get bike over.

    But the top section was epic, lots of steep snow patches, I had to kick steps with my feet and carry bike and panniers separately.

    Reached Decker Creek summit about 18:00.

    Trail down was covered with snow so took me about an hour and a half to get down to ridable section.

    Reached Willow creek camp ground about 23.45 by Petzl headtorch light. Trail got more ridable for me the futher I got down.

    * Too early in season to make this section anything but an epic due to combination of snow and downed trees from lack of tyre marks in snow think I was first across this year *

    Day 4 Thursday

    Only go going about 9:00 because of late finish.

    original plan had been to back track to Featherville to get some more food. But due to late start decided not to but instead stop and cook some pasta at lunchtime.

    Was tired from the previous day so found climb to Dollarhide summit hard compounded by altitude. Was going so slowly on final mile and stopping so much that ended up getting off and pushing bike at a steady 3 mph.

    Descent need attention because road was in poor condition.

    Reached Ketchum about 21:00 tired and hungry and went straight to supermarket for Bagels, cookies, orange juice and a yoghurt, which al tasted great.

    Chatted to a guy who suggested Lift tower lodge Motel

    Room was about $99 and was fine.


    Day 5 Friday

    In morning went to Laundrette and to supermarket to get more food.

    Laundrette is attached to Grumpies bar on route in to town. Opens about 9:00. Bar can give change for machines.

    There are 2 in town both upmarket and expensive.

    Started to rain about 11:00 so sat on porch until rain stopped about 13:00. Just out of town started raining heavily again so took shelter.

    Stopped at Sawtooth Park visitor centrer and got Harrison & Galena trail map and black wide mountain bike trail guide.

    Got board of the Harrison Trail a bit before Galena Lodge so joined main highway for a a few miles.

    Convinced my self that something was wrong with bike front end so adjusted headset tension, and cleaned dirt from behind front axel bearing dust covers to get rid of squeak.

    I was sceptical that I was in the right place when starting the old tol road trail section, but it is exactly as described in the route narrative.

    Camped wild on trail on 'old toll road' section.

    *** Old toll road section is not to be missed ******

    Day 6 Saturday

    Day started cold but with no rain (and it was not to rain again during trip)

    When old toll road trail reached the highway I decided to complete climb on the highway, not much traffic at that time and description indicated trail was rough.

    Met some roadies on summit and put on warm gloves for descent down old toll road trail.

    Excellent descent.

    Followed trail through to Stanley, a great days riding, but getting hot towards end of day.

    Signs indicated redfish lake camper grounds were full, but fanced a shower and bed so took a room at Mountain Village Motel at Stanley. ( I asked about camping at their RV park but they do not do that. Room was about $90

    So liked Stanley that I decided to stay a 2nd night

    So on Sunday cycled out with out my luggage up to Redfish lake.

    At visitor centre there looked at a mountain biking guide book and learnt about a MTB trail around the lake and decided to do it. A nice technical trail just right for my rigid Salsa Fargo. Climbs out rigid on one side of lake then descents to far end (where I had a dip in the lake) and then climbs by switchbacks up the ridge on the other side. Trail just touches boundary of wilderness area. It was great and back at Redfish lodge a band was playing on the grass, so I sat in the shade and listened to them for a couple of hours. Then back to Stanley for a shower and Pizza. Did not have time to sort out a dip in the motel's private hot spring.

    * Supermarket at Mouintain Village is very well stocked and reasonably priced *

    Day 8 Monday

    As I was leaving met a group of 4 guys rising the main loop accompanied by 2 of their wives driving their gear in a 4X4. They were having to get a wheel fixed, but exchanged plans for the day and said we might all meet at Bear Valley campground.

    Ride was very good, good dirt roads with no significant traffic. At lunchtime met the 4 guys who had got wheel fixed and then had taken highway to make up time, but where then waiting for their wives to arrive with lunch. So beat them to Bear valley camp-ground. Camp-ground was almost full as lot of native tribe people camping. It was good to chat with the seniors of the tribe and them to show their spear fishing techniques.

    The river was good to swim in (away from where people were fishing.

    The 4 guys rolled in about a hour later than me and then Mike who was doing the main loop in the opposite direction arrived.

    The 4 guys group kindly invited me and Mike to a very goof meal of chicken and rice. It was good to sit around the fire after the meal and chat about our shared lover of the outdoors and rest of our lives.

    Day 9 Tuesday

    Got going well before the 4 guys and had a good day with a few climbs and descents, reached Warm Lake in early afternoon. The final descent was on tarmac and great fun, like being on a alpine descent. Pleased oh how well I count corner on the 2.1 Smart Sam tyres.

    Was warm so after a cold drink and ice cream from lodge retreated to the shade of the picnic ground 'no car' campsite (just past lodge).

    About 6:00 went for a wonderful swim from the rocks below camp-site.
    Lake was nice temperature (but not warm)

    Had good meal from Lodge and chatted with a group of young cycle tourist doing their own Idaho loop with more tarmac and less dirt.

    ** Store at lodge only has non perisahable supplies - tins, pasta etc.****

    Day 10 Wednesday

    said goodbye to the 4 guys as they were taking the highway to Cascade due to lack of time.

    Descended down Salmon river, on tarmac, (though with some climbs ) lots of fisherman. Had a dip in 16 mile hot spring. (look for it soon after 15 mile post - I did not look until I got to 16 and had to go back)

    Then back on dirt road and started climbing again. Here I had my only flat tire of the trip, which I quickly patched. Did not find anything in tyre, so guess it was a sharp road chip.

    Stopped at Ponderoser Pines campground at 13:30. It was very hot even in the shade. It was too quiet after being with people for the last few nights as no one else was camping. My small radio could not get a signal at all. Very pleased when it got cool enough again to cook and read.

    ***camp has water pump***

    Day 11 Thursday

    Continued up Lick Creek Climb and got to summit 11ish to decided to ride the last bit of Sech single track section in the opposite direction to the guide and then take the highway to McCall.

    The initial climb up to Duck Lake was very good, rideable with out downed trees blocking the trail, so it looked good for the descent down the other side. I had told my self that if I found a problem with this bit I would turn around. The descent started well, but then I came to lots of downed trees which were high above the trail, it was hard to get bike over them even after removing panniers. A 2nd person would have made it so much easier. It was joy to hear trail bikers (on motorbikes) coming the other way which meant no more trees across the trail.

    Very good to get down to the lake and filter some more water and take highway to McCall. The idea of taking a Motel room was in my mind as a struggles with the trees but getting to McCall I realised that being ththe 4th July holiday weekend everywhere would be full. So camped at RV park and campaground beyond airport.

    I expecteded a noisy night and I was right so did nor hurry to bed until past midnight.

    *** two very goof supermarkets in McCall, good value with good selection. one near airport sells campstove 'european' butane /propane mix light weight cartridges and dried backpacking meals at resonable prices ***

    Guy invited me to stay for 4th July party in the afternoon but I wanted to get on and avoid another noisy night.

    Day 12 Friday 4th July.

    Route leaves town for the dirt roads of the Long Valley past the finish farmsteads.

    I reached the historic town of Rosebery about 12:00, it was very hot and the Museum did not open until latter, so headed off route to town of Donnely for a cool drink and a ice cream, then down to Lake Cascade for some shade and a rest. Found a good shady spot in the picnic shelter by the boat launch. The Latino group having a picnic party their offered me food and cool water and I read and had a swim. When it was cooler at 4.00 I got back on my bike and headed back to Rosebery. On the way a guy out in front of his house with his family and friends who I had chatted with earlier waived me down to stop and meet his friends - and he got me to have a go at badminton - which i failed to master - last time I tried was about 35 years ago. he ivited me to camp in his garden but I had not gone far that day son continued.

    The museum town at Rosebery was very good - the town 'died' when the railway missed town by a mile and a new down was build by teh railway.

    Abut 5:00 I got going again and camped wild on Gold Fork river. Lower down it is private land but higher up land is public and there are lots of camping spots by the river.

    Day 13 Saturday 5th July

    Day started with climb to Eagle Nest where single Track section starts.

    At first I did not spot start of trail even though it was right in front of my eyes. So ended up deciding I was in wrong place and continuing on main route. Realised I had been in correct place and went back.

    The route description says trail starts with a short climb. At first I could ride it but then I got too tired and the trail too steep and so I ended up pushing. Took about 1 hour to get to top of trail, but trail free of trees across trail ;-).

    Descent was great, but hard of body on rigid bike, so when I go to road crossing I choose to follow dirt road the rest of the way particularly as the single track had another section of climb. Perhaps I should have missed the top section and ridden the lower section?

    ** watch out for the cool water spring on the main route after joining warm lake road ***

    I got to cascade about 14:00 and had a rest in the shade in the park for a hours or so.

    **** Cascade has a good supermarket and a 'Family Dollar' store which is very good value - I was able to replace broken sunglasses for $8.00 - I also go fig roles and dried fruit ***

    I continued past Cascade lake to Clear Creek Station RV park

    Good value at $7.00 for camping with showers.

    They had a very good blues/rock band playing for a 5th July party. The band played from 6:00 to 10:00 so no problem with late noise. A very good evening.

    **** have very small small store selling basic stuff ****

    Day 15 Sunday 6th July.

    Climbed up and over to Boiling Point Campground where I stopped for a long lunchbreak spent in the shade sitting on a tree root with my feet in the river.

    Then another climb over to Silver Creek plunge pool camp ground.

    The hot springs feed a swimming pool ($8.00 admission after 8:00 $10.00 all day) this pool was very welcome as it relieved something in my arm that I had hurt somehow on the descent. I am glad I did not stop at the 1st campground after the descent.

    Day 16 Monday 7th July

    Climbed over to Crouch and arrived at midday , very hot buy hung out in air conditioned seating area at supermarket for a few hours reading.

    **** supermarket has good selection and is good value ****

    Then moved on to Library which is on way out of town, coold with good internet connection - Wi-fi and computers.

    Left library about 5:00. Reached Placeville at five past seven just as shop had closed, and soda can vending machine outside was out of order.

    ***** Placeville shiop looked like it had good selection of food even though it is a general store *****

    Reached Idaho City about 21.00 and took room in Idaho City Lodge Hotel $65.00 a night mid week.

    ****Owner of Lodge can sort out car parking whilst on route.****

    **** 2 small supermarkets in town - one open to 22:00 ***

    Cooked on stove in car park as all earing paces closd by time I had showered.

    Day 17 Tuesday 8th July

    Hanged out in Holel until Museum opened at 11:00, then extended lunch at 'Donnas place' and then hang out at library.

    Got going when it was cooler at 16:00.

    3000 feet of climbing.

    reached highpoint at dusk, and then climbed futher to lookoout.

    amazing sunset - red sky.

    met shepherd with flock of sheep.

    very scenic ride along ridge before dececending to cottonwood creek.

    Ride to complete route at Cottonwood campsite completed by moonlight (almost full moon) and petzl headtorch.

    *** Cottonwood campsite is unsigned and on opprosite side of creek from dirtroad. ***

    Day 18 Wednesday 9th June.

    Main loop now completed.

    Followed Boise spur along Arrowrock resevoir to Sandypoint rec area where I swam in the lake - nice temperature of water, then followe dBosie Green Belt cycle path back to Boise (rather that ACA route to airport)

    Any questions happy top answer.

    Big thanks to Casey, Adventure Cycling, everyone I met, and my hosts in Boise from warmshowers.org.

    Tim

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