Thursday, 12 August 2010

Day 84 Riggins to Cottonwood

Wednesday 11th August
Daily mileage 57miles Average Speed 11mph Ride Time 5hr13min
Total Mileage 3418

Today was very eventful. We started early being on the road at 7.30am having had chocolate milk and a cereal bar for breakfast. The scenery continued to be beautiful with hills that were thousands of feet high all around us. The clouds were particularly low in the valley creating a cool atmosphere. We followed the salmon river all the way to White Bird, some 28 miles later, before we had our first stop. By crossing the salmon river we had just crossed into our last time zone from Mountain to Pacific, some 8 hours behind the UK, and realised it was still very early.
As we sat out on the café balcony you could not help but notice the massive hill we had to climb. Mist and fog prevented us from seeing the summit but surprisingly we were feeling up for a challenge. 2 coffees and 6 chocolate cookies later we left and began the ascent. Kris estimated it would take us at least 2 hours to get to the top as we had approx 3000ft to climb which is the equivalent of cycling over mount Snowdon in sunny Wales!

We plodded for a good 2000ft before we stopped and took a break. The mist had cleared and we could finally see where we were going. Kris was thoroughly enjoying the climb and switched into autopilot. He was feeling strong and wanted to push himself but he would glance behind and see me still plodding along way back and he would stop to take photos and film in order to let me catch up.
This hill climbs through the valley where the Nez Perce War happened where the US Army attempted unsuccessfully to get the Native Indians to retreat to the Indian Reserve. You can also see the old highway snaking up the hill to the right of us as we rode the new highway on the left. Eventually we made it to the top and were excited to experience the downhill the other side but unfortunately after a 2 hour ascent we only experienced a 10 minute descent towards Grangeville.

With no particular interest in Grangeville we took a detour towards Cottonwood, Idaho that was 3 miles shorter after refilling water bottles from the hose in a garden belonging to a kind lady. As far as we are concerned Cottonwood is known for one thing and that was the giant beagle B&B. This first came to our attention from a documentary by Dave Gorman titled “Unchained America”. The concept was to travel the length and breath of USA without feeding corporate America which we watched before we came out here. From the moment we stepped onto the premises, Dennis and Frances made us feel so welcome and they had Sprocket a golden retriever of all breeds!
It was so humbling to hear how Dennis was fortunate to get a break that lead to an order of 10,000 wooden dogs after appearing on QVC, the shopping channel. It took 18 months to complete the order and from that money he invested in building this Beagle B&B that we are sleeping in the belly of tonight! They are very kind people that have yet again shown us great hospitality and we cannot thank you both enough for inviting us to stay and it was our pleasure to stay here and have met you. There was an awesome sunset from the balcony where we munched on our dinner. The sky was so magical and full of colour that it appeared as though it was on fire. 


  1. Sleeping in the belly of a Beagle! Only in America. You guys are doing such amazing things everyday! Every hour! Every mans' vacation vicariously. love from Florida, Gator Football starts soon!

  2. hahaha...i know the above comment is from helen...florida gators gives it away...luvs ya miss helen...
    arf, arf....woof, woof...beagle lingo for keep the faith kris n alison :o)