Syringa, Idaho to Grangeville, Idaho
Day 70. Norm says the weather promises to be ten degrees cooler, which means low 90s today. Still Bill and I left about 6:45AM if only to beat the heat on the climb up to the plateau. At last night's map meeting the notes from prior groups mentioned 12 to 16 degree grades.
First stop is Kooskia which, inexplicably - is pronounced Kooskie. I bought some gatorade and spotted my first Sasquatch of the Pacific Northwest.
Along Highway 13
Bad picture but Bill and I have seen some great wildlife. This morning we spotted a white bird of prey - Bill doesn't know what kind but it was not, he assures, an osprey. It had a fish clutched in it's talons and was dodging a smaller sparrow that was attacking it.
Then we saw an Osprey nest built on a platform placed on top of a utility pole.
Then we missed our turn off in Stites, and kept going along Highway 13 which leads to Grangeville anyway. While biking along we heard this plaintive mewing cry coming from the river. A baby raccoon was in the middle of the river, carried downstream, furiously paddling but upstream. We could see Mom Racoon along the shore, making her way along, stopping on her hind legs, scoping out the situation until she went into the river and swam out in the middle to rescue her young and bring him/her back to shore.
The climb up the plateau was long, and hot even at 10AM but not terribly steep. Bill and I stopped for some shade and ill found some wild cherries growing so picked the ones we could reach. Tasty.
I then stopped every now and then for water, but otherwise it was doable. Once on the plateau, after four or five miles of climbing, it too was uphill so I wasn't making great time, but lovely fields of wheat.
I got into Grangeville about 12:30 and saw Bill in the city park. There was a little festival, a blues band was playing. Bill was talking to a couple that, amazing coincidence, he had met while he was a Park Ranger in Alaska doing outreach to the remote residents there.
Lunch today at the Hilltop Cafe. It's a small but incredibly bustling place. Outstanding milkshakes, with full plump blueberries floating around, served in a massive glass stein.
We camp tonight, again, at the Bear Den RV Resort. There's good wifi and I have service so I can call my family.