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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 71: Lowell to Riggins - Join the parade

Saturday July 26, 1986, 100 miles (161 km) - Total so far: 3,702 miles (5,958 km)

I got up and hit the campground restaurant for breakfast. I ate in a hurry and then got packed up to get on the road ahead of the trucks. The weather was very nice, sunny and warm, 85 degrees. I breezed along on good conditions up to Kooskia. When I arrived in Kooskia a parade was in progress and I was in the tail end of it.

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Idaho scenery

The Kooskia days is a summer time festival/carnival just like the Pickerel Tournament at home. I ended up being in the parade with my bike. The road was closed for the parade but someone directing traffic asked me if I wanted to be in the parade. I did some housekeeping on my bike and put up my American flag I was carrying from Flag Day and was directed into the procession. The director sent word to the announcer that I rode all the way from Virginia, and it was announced as I brought up the rear. Everyone was cheering and clapping as I rode by, it was pretty neat to be part of their summer celebration. (I wish I had pictures of me in the parade)

After the parade I took some time in town to relax and eat some lunch. Many people came up to me and asked the usual 20 questions. I enjoyed talking to someone for a change, so I joked around and had a good time with everyone. Someone bought me some lunch, good old' fashioned carnival food. It seems like this was the first time I talked to anybody in weeks, but in reality it's only been couple of days. I was warned of the killer climb to the west.

The climb out of Kooskia was just a warm up for Whitebird Hill. The climb up Whitebird was a long, hard killer that burned my legs to the maximum. I've still not walked any hills and I'm not planning to start. The payoff to the climb was an awesome 7% downhill for 9 miles. I flew down the backside like I had wings, using some of the aerodynamics I learned from the crazy Texans, Steve and Stew. Once I got to Whitebird things didn't look very interesting so I went on the Riggins making the day 100 miles.

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Whitebird Hill

[Author's Note:] - It sure would have been helpful to have an elevation chart of the route back then, not just the un-readable isobars on the maps. Does the current ACA Trans America maps have elevation charts? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?


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