Day 13: New Meadows, ID to Riggins, ID (34 miles)

The ride from New Meadows to Riggins was the easiest to date. There were some headwinds and there were some narrow parts of the road, but for the most part, the roads were fine and the route gorgeous. And it was about as close to flat/downhill as is possible in a natural environment. Had it not been for the wind, perhaps we could have coasted most of the way!

We have been getting later and later starts as the temperatures drop in the morning. We still start with all the clothing: long finger gloves, hats under helmets, arm warmers/jackets, and on this ride, toe warmers for me, thanks to Marilyn! As the day goes on the layers come off and we have been arriving at our daily destination in bike shorts and short sleeve jerseys. We left latest of all from New Meadows because the ride was so short. After a leisurely breakfast, we rode and got to Riggins in time for lunch.

Many of us ate at Kate’s. It had been recommended to my little group by a person pumping gas at the station down the street from our motel. She said it was a little pricey, but the best food in town. Not only was it good food, the owner, Kate, is great and kept us all entertained. I am not sure the first-day waitress was so happy to see all of us stream in and out all afternoon, but I trust she learned a lot!

For me, as a vegan, food has been a bit of a challenge in these small towns, but not at Kate’s. Despite the full name of her restaurant, Kate’s Cattleman, she told us is a vegetarian, which amuses some of her customers. While there was nothing on her menu that would seem to be vegan, she made a wonderful black bean burger with her own garden tomatoes, fresh lettuce, sautéed mushrooms and onions. The bread was beautiful and there were sweet potato fries. I will be back for it again today, though this time I am going to add her specialty vegan pesto. Kate’s is a retirement venture for her and she is open to other options, having done this for 10 years now. She is just waiting to see what may come next. But for now she is having fun. She told me about panning dirt from the river to bring to her garden beds because the soil is not good here in town. She has been building her beds for 10 years and she is happiest out there. That said, she arrives at the restaurant at 1:30 am to back and get ready for the day. She puts the coffee on at 5 and opens the doors. She happily sings to the Beatles music that seem to be on all the time there.

Today is a rest day, so I am getting caught up on work and am enjoying doing little else. I did my laundry yesterday afternoon after lunch. Tomorrow is not too long a day in terms of miles, but despite my best efforts to not look ahead, I know it also has a 12-mile climb that includes switchbacks, so I think I may appreciate all the rest I can take today! I am guessing my average miles/hour will not be fast so the day may be longer than the miles would suggest it “should” be. The room here at the Riggins Motel is perfectly comfortable for this type of easy day and I am enjoying going from inside, to outside on the porch, to the coffee shop across the street and eventually I will find myself back at Kate’s before she closes at 3 pm for another delicious black bean burger!

If you want to “relive” my ride, copy link: