An ache in my tooth woke me up. The day before I had hitch hiked into Wallace, Idaho to see a dentist who told me my wisdom tooth was abscessed. He had prescribed me strong antibiotics and hydrocodone.
They made me feel completely awful. It was a bad combo of nausea, lethargy, and soreness. This particular morning I felt really bad, and I faced the option that I might not be able to finish the trip. I was so close, but so far. It was difficult to eat and sleep, let alone ride. I limped through my morning routine, slowly eating oatmeal and skipping coffee so it wouldn’t upset my stomach.
We had a super great set-up in Wallace though- the day before Elmer and his wife had set us up in their spare house, so we had a few comforts, which were greatly appreciated.
After breakfast and a quick word of goodbye to Elmer, we were off. There is a great trail system that spans from Wallace to Plummer, Idaho. It’s called the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s, and it’s 70 something miles of paved trails. Our first miles of the day were downhill on this trail, so at least the riding wasn’t difficult to start with. We cruised down the trail, enjoying a brisk morning and beautiful scenery.
We stopped in Cataldo for lunch, which is right off i90. We ate hummus, avocado, and bagels for lunch, which is one of my favorite lunches. I barely touched it. I ate two or three bites and then fell asleep in the grass as GO and Jesse ate. I felt completely awful. I slept on my back in the grass as the world spun and I felt like throwing up. It was one of my lowest lows of the trip, and when I woke up, I faced the facts and told them I couldn’t finish the days ride. We tried to find a ride. I attempted to hitch hike. (which is difficult with a fully loaded bike) We had no luck, it looked like I’d have to attempt to finish and make it Couer d’Alene. We hopped on i90 and started the last leg of our ride. As I pedaled, I started to feel better. I got into a rhythm and distracted myself with music.
The kicker of the day was Fourth of July mountain pass, which was a sizable mountain pass that we had to go up and over in order to reach Couer d’Alene. We killed the pass. As I climbed, I felt better and better, just focusing on my cadence and reaching the summit. I reached the top of the pass first and waited a few minutes as Jesse and GO caught up. We flew down the other side, screaming down the steep and weaving mountain road. It was a great reward after a long climb. After coasting out the climb, we rode towards the lake trail, which is another beautiful trail that runs along Lake Couer d’Alene. Right before we hit the trail, we met a car that was parked on the shoulder of i90. A woman got out and told us she recognized us from the news, and wanted to stop to tell us she loved what we are doing and to give us some fruit. It was a nice treat, we love meeting new people who are stoked on our cause.
The trail was terrific. Smooth pavement and small climbs and descents aided us in riding fast. We got into Couer d’Alene right as the sun was setting. We didn’t have a place to stay, so as soon as we arrived we started calling around. After a few phone calls, we landed a Warm Showers host who instantly said yes. We were only a mile away, and we pedaled there. We were met by Jenny and Dave as we arrived. They were going swimming, and we jumped into the car to go with them. We drove a few blocks to the beach on the lake and took a sunset swim and got to know them a bit better.
After swimming, we went back to Jenny’s house and I cooked up some pasta for us. After a few bowls of pasta, I took my medication and slept very well, thankful that the next day was a rest day.
Next: Coeur d’Alene Rest Day