This is going to be a short post since it was not a particularly eventful ride.
To earn my completionist badge, I was determined to ride the last part of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes heading east. This part of the trail ends in the town of Mullan Idaho after an 15 mile 1000ft ascent. To make sure that I didn’t miss any of this climb, I started my ride from the town of Kellog Idaho at the bottom of the climb. It had rained the night before on that part of the trail, and as I drove the 50 miles to Kellog I did get a few drops on my windshield. Never the less, I was not going to be deterred, and was willing to ride in the rain if necessary to complete the goal.
The trail was initially very similar to what I had encountered the previous day. Kellog is about 50 miles from Plummer on the trail, so I was starting the ride about 25 miles farther up the trail from where I had turned back yesterday. Unlike the western part of the trail where the trail follows the due of lakes and rivers, the eastern part of the trail mostly follows interstate 90. This is no nearly as nice of an experience since the vehicles traveling the interstate can be heard from the trail. One of the best parts of the western part of the trail was the feeling of being in nature. Often yesterday the only sounds I heard were from the water, local fauna, and my on bicycle. Today I mostly heard cars.
The ride was fine, and the trail well maintained. There are essentially two parts to the climb, the almost 1% grade from Kellog to Wallace ID, then a 2-3% grade from Wallace to the end of the trail in Mullan. Wallace is a nice historic town, and they were having a blues festival this weekend, so I was able to stop for a short break and listen to some live music. Mullan conversely seemed a dreary place. The only motels that I saw were rather run down and it appeared to not be a town I would want to stay in overnight (not because of any danger, but because of the complete lack of life ).
After I hit the Mullan trailhead, I turned back and began the ride back to my car in Kellog. The ride down was extremely easy. Heck, the ride up was extremely easy. The only trouble all day was due to riding 5 days straight, and general fatigue. As I was packing my car to leave Kellog, I met a gentleman who was visiting the servicemen Monument there. He told me that his name was on the wall, along with his father and brother. The monument is dedicated to all of the men and women from the area who have served in the US Armed Forces.
I arrived at my car and drove back to Couer d’Alene. As I approached CDA, the rain began coming down in earnest. I was thankful that it had held off all week. It stopped shortly when I got to the hotel, but hit me again while I was packing my bike into the travel bag and into the trunk for tomorrows return trip. It was a nice rain though, big warm drops of water. I had forgotten what that felt like since we don’tseem to get that sort of rain in San Diego.
I capped the day off with some pulled pork from a local BBQ place.
I want to congratulate and thank anyone who is still reading these posts after 5 days. I head back to San Diego tomorrow morning, and since I don’t write much when there isn’t anything that I want to write about, this may be the last post for a long time.