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Welcome to my journal


I enjoyed being on a multimonth bicycle trip that began from my doorstep in Sacramento, California and ended up ending east of Glacier National Park in Montana. Now that I am back in Sacramento from the bicycle trip, I have use of a computer to type up my feelings and observations that I had over the summer. This is also an opportunity to work on my creative writing and language skills. I invite you to give feedback and comments. 

The bicycle trip travel log begins on October 16, 2010 in the segment titled: "Where do I go from here ?" http://rkmlai.livejournal.com/286865.html and if you click "Next Entry" (above the entry title) goes from there to the latest segment which is posted at the top of this main page, this introduction being forward dated to explain the mechanics of this online journal. Or you can read from the latest entry typed up to the beginning of the trip. Which ever suits you. Thank you for reading about my trip.

I have a zine !


I am super happy. "With Intention: a zine about a person with narcolepsy" got made in time to be at the Narcolepsy Network Conference 2012 in Cleveland. I took the train across the country from Sacramento to Cleveland and had loads of fun traveling and presenting my zine. Not that the zine was a highlight of the conference but it was a highlight for me. Please feel encouraged to order a copy from etsy supporting small publishing while creating awareness of narcolepsy.

I feel excited about the zine as there is but one book about narcolepsy from a personal perspective, and this is the first zine about narcolepsy from a personal perspective.

I want to write a perzine (personal zine) about narcolepsy. I am titling it "With Intention: a zine about a person with narcolepsy" since I am writing it with intention.

Life is still busy. L-M and I moved now to North Oak Park in Sacramento from Downtown Sacramento. We now have some planting space and we have been planting edibles at the new location as well as gardening and watering at the Community Garden allotment. During the time before moving in we visited the Reno–Sparks area and then the Santa Maria area. We set aside time to visit Downtown Portland to be at the 12th Annual Portland Zine Symposium where I was introduced to a perzine "Chronic" about sleep deprivation and depression. While in Portland, we heard a reading by Kate Bornstein that I found exciting and interesting, especially as Kate was in the Sea Org. I then had the continuing spark of an inspiration, based on the interview in "functionally ill 13" that I did, to create a zine. There are many people who want to write a book about narcolepsy but there is so far only one book about a personal experience of narcolepsy, which is titled "Narcolepsy: A Funny Disorder That's No Laughing Matter" by Marguerite Jones Utley.

We also went to the 11th Annual San Francisco Zine Fest. I had fun visiting two zine events, as well as the joy of making things possible.

L-M found out about and was excited to go on another anti-nuclear peacewalk and so we joined Susan Crane on her peacewalk "Walk for Nuclear Disarmament: FLockheed to Lock-Up".

In as far as gardening we have planted a bunch of basil, eggplants, loofa, a potato, and transplanted New Zealand spinach, Malabar spinach, then planted a seedless grape vine, and laid out a vast array of garlic and seeds which have germinated.

Back to the bike trip:

As we left Kooskia, we continued bicycling in Idaho County along Idaho Route 12 past where Chief Looking Glass of the Nez Perce nation had an encampment in 1877 before his area was being attacked which then provoked the Nez Perce retreat according to the highway historical marker information sign we passed.

As we left the land of Nez Perce reservation, we continued peddled along the Middle Fork Clearwater River banks, it was very clear very cold very deep very clear we passed the town of Syringa where I stopped to have some hot chocolate.

Beautiful.

We then continued to the town of Lowell where we were then on the banks of the Lochsa river. There was a campground here that boasted a lodge where many famous people had slept including a few presidents of the United States. While at this campground, we met two bicyclists who were bicycling to fund-raise for toys for children of soldiers.

By now I was really very sleepy by each of the days. After we left this area there was signage that there were "No services" for the next 50 miles.

I was noticing things that I clearly could tell where not real yet were still very disturbing to see and yet needed to expend energy to ignore. An example of one of the things I kept seeing was in the bottom of the clear waters of the Clearwater River and now the Lochsa River where I saw images of bodies under rocks. I am sure the signage about Nez Pierce Indians forced relocation didn't help. There is a reason why people who are sleep deprived hallucinate having images of dreams invading their waking reality. Nonetheless it was still a lot of energy to expand to forcibly ignore what I figured could not really be true. Such with a symptom of excessive daytime sleepiness and hypnagogic hallucinations in this very lonely space.

We continued biking along the deep canyon valley and the banks of the Lochsa River within the Northern Rockies 15i ecoregion on the north left of us and the Idaho Batholith 16c ecoregion to the south right of us.

There was not very many services along this river which I was thanked for it to the river was beautiful and undisturbed for many areas. I am saddened to think that the mega-loads going across this highway now for pipe works going from the closest river port of Lewiston toward the Alberta tar sands. I am sadden because, let alone it being the Tar Sands (a false solution), despite their claims of no accidents, oil companies have accidents and spill oil. There a already have been two along this route.

We camped at this area where there was claimed to be a Weir hot spring. It was dark by the time we found the trailhead to the hot spring. We found it in the morning and had a fun time. The water level is regulated using aluminum cans and pipes in this otherwise natural hot spring.

When we returned back to the campsite I found a mouse had made its way into one of our bags during the night. As we packed up the campsite I've saw a hunter going past who was in camouflage paint with a compound bow and arrow. I am certain this was a reality though it would seem much like a dream.

We then passed the salt licks and found the information kiosk telling of the adventure detailed in the book "In the heart of the Bitter-Root Mountains : the story of "The Carlin Hunting Party," September-December, 1893" locating the salt licks here where George Colgate is buried then passed the DeVoto Memorial Cedar Grove named for Bernard DeVoto seen here in a beautiful 360° panorama.

Here we were in the Bitterroot Range nearing Lochsa Lodge.

We passed from Idaho into Montana at the top of this divide, after much biking we were glad to be at the top, 5,233 feet, at Lolo Pass where there is a ranger station devoted to the history of this pass.

Zines and Blogs


Life is still moving. 

I read this post Broken Dreams from a friend Marcia and I liked it. 

I am interviewed in a friend's zine "functionally ill 13" where L-M interviews a number of friends. 
Cover of "functionlly ill" 13 
I assisted in making the cover, as you can see by the trilobite. 

L-M also participated in the Nevada Desert Experience's Sacred Peace Walk 2012 and then created a zine about it "Demonstrators on the Roadway 25 mph
Cover of "Demonstrators on Roadway 25 mph" 

Life continues to move. Right now in the Spring of 2012 I am still journaling about the bicycle trip that happened in Summer of 2010. I set as a goal to spend some of this Spring of 2012 getting the journal up to 2012. Maybe I will make it.

I spent some of the Fall of 2011 in the Mojave desert near Las Vegas, Nevada, to support Nevada Desert Experience, be at the Narcolepsy Network 2011 Conference that was being held in the Stratosphere Hotel, and to catch up on my writing. However instead of getting the writing goal accomplished, doing work for my geography classes and other life things took up the time.

I was glad that during the high points of the Occupy Movement, that I was "occupying" land that had been gifted back to the Western Shoshone, and with their permission, that I was contributing doing maintenance and capital improvements to the area I was occupying. I helped in the building of a pit greenhouse to grow local food, painted the residence (as much as I could), collected firewood from onsite trees killed by mistletoe, to name a few of the things I did. I also helped support, in some small aspects, to the Occupy Las Vegas and Occupy LV Movements as a medic in a number of events, offering the Goddess Tent, which was used at protests in the desert, and was an army TEMPER tent to OLV's Area 99, and starting their wikipedia article.

This month I am visiting a friend in a state north of Nevada. While I was sledding in the powdery snow today, I recalled that one of the coping mechanisms that I seem to have developed while on the Summer 2010 bicycle trip was that of pouring ice cold water onto my forearms. While it seemed at the time by observation like I was washing my hands, I later found out from hearing some information from some of the narcolepsy groups, that there was a body temperature differential effect that help support staying awake and that seemed way more real in my experience that I was pouring icy water on my arms to waken up while I was bicycle riding. I was puzzled during the Summer of 2010, of why I was seeking out ice cold water from gas stations fountain drink dispensers, putting it in my metal Klean Kanteen, and instead of drinking it to cool down (but I never really got hot) that I was pouring it on my forearms but not in a way to clean my hands. That action that I was actively doing, that seemed to have no specific reason that I could see. I noted as well at the time, that it really was not normal to do a self supported bicycle trip, where most bicyclists were weighing their gear in grams, at least from the bicyclist blogs I read in the spring of 2010, carrying a metal Klean Kanteen, then using the water often on my forearms. Yet I was resistant to send the container back to Sacramento by postal mail at the many opportunities that I had. The metal container definitely kept the water colder, longer.

I have attempted to share what I saw around me on the bicycle trip using both descriptive words, links, and in some cases descriptive texts like the EPA ecoregions to convey what I saw, felt, learned, and experienced from the scenery and environment surrounding me. I have had the experience that sometimes others do not understand what I am writing, that it is confusing. I am hoping that being more specific and descriptive will lead to clarity and enjoyment.

I hope that it is been helpful in lending clarity to you reading this.

As we pedaled through Grangeville, Idaho, we picked up some groceries, visited the post office, stopped to get temporary checks from my bank, than left pedaling through the Camas Prairie and the rolling areas of Idaho County via the Harpster Grade.

As we crested the Harpster Grade at the north of Blacktail Ridge and down the Grade into the Lower Clearwater Canyons (15j) of the Northern Rockies ecoregion to Harpster Junction on to the edges of the South Fork of the Clearwater River we then came upon Harpster Riverside RV Park and camped there.

Camping on the grassy lawn next to the wide flowing Clearwater River was fun. We then continued proceeding north on Highway 13 to the town of Harpster then into the Nez Perce Reservation and into the town of Stites where we tried to find a coffee shop and internet.

While in Riggins we contemplated where to end the trip. Montreal seemed beyond reach now, and Flathead Lake seemed a better end point than a city, even if it was Missoula where most of the Adventure Cycling routes intersect. There was however no Amtrak service to Missoula, and we tried to get better internet to either find a bicycleable route to Flathead Lake; 2) see if there really was an Amtrak Station in Missoula, but just hard to find; 2a) see if even there was a Station, would it take on baggage at the potential stop (cause not all Amtrak Stations will accept baggage, like a disassembled bicycle, onto the train; 3) see where there was an Amtrak Station in Montana that had a full service train stop and purchase tickets ahead of time so as to not encounter the steep price increase that occurred two weeks before train travel departure.

As we bicycled through the Nez Perce Reservation and through North Central Idaho in general, we encountered many roadside historical markers and frequent signage telling of this slice of the historical edge of transition to being occupied. There was more signage telling about the Nez Perce War and the Flight of the Nez Perce, than about the Nez Perce people.

In Stites we looked for internet but the coffee shop, indicated on the AdventureCycling map was closed. There were signs of a place serving breakfast so we followed the directions leading to a trailer serving food and a yard sale here. No internet but the people interaction was good, the food was good.

We bicycled into the town of Kooskia and stopped at a chinese food restaurant to get a meal and used the smart phone to get internet. We stopped at a health food store to get groceries as there was no services for many miles after this last stop of commerce. We also finally got bear spray since it made more sense to get it where bears probably would be rather than buy it and pack it for the multiple miles we had traveled where bears probably were not. We then pedaled out of Koosia and up Route 12.

It was difficult to communicate while on most roads as bicycling side-by-side was difficult while staying within a bicycle lane. Here was no different, Route 12 was narrow but we were heading into the Nez Perce National Forest and the Clearwater National Forest in the Lochsa Selway Clearwater Canyons (16c) of the Idaho Batholith ecoregion which was beautiful.

As we journeyed further north along the Salmon River on Route 95, we passed a monument here to a Wilson A. Fosskett, MD and then paused at the Slate Creek Ranger Station of the Nez Perce National Forest. Then, as leaving, S and I got separated by distance of the road. By the time I got to the next turn off, I thought maybe she had had a flat tire and so pedaled back. The hilly Route 95 crossed the Salmon River a few times and curved following the river elsewhere. One of the people we had met at the campsite at Riggins gave a friendly wave to us in passing as I found S. We got to the turn off of White Bird, Idaho but due to tire thinness deviated from the AdventureCycling route and went quickly into town following the highway. We proceeded up the hill to a café and a garage. At the garage, S was able to find a store that would deliver a bicycle tire to us here in White Bird. I liked the Hoots Café and Garage, finding them helpful. Meanwhile I asked a ranger (who was standing there offering assistance as exiting the cafe) a question I had been pondering while cycling; why does a cow not cross a painted cattle guard ? I believe I also asked a question about the differences and advantages between the round bales of straw and the rectangular blocks of straw as I had seen by now a lot of bales and was curious what the advantages were. Seemed like a good time to ask, what with a ranger here. We then preceded down into the town. The AdventureCycling map said that we could camp in the city park of White Bird but when we got to the park, it was full of yellow jackets coming out of their underground nests. We decided to stay in a motel room.

One of the last things I did as a registered nurse for Lost Valley Educational Center, because people were getting stung by yellowjackets, at least one sting per day, spread across many of the interns, was go out with a shovel, the ducttaped beekeeping suit, a spray bottle with a soapy solution, and plastic bags, and go and dig out the underground nests of yellowjackets. A yellowjacket nest is about the size of a basketball and filled with the larva of the yellow jackets. They defend their nest pretty well. I now know, after having dug up many nests, that if you place a glass bowl over the opening of the nest, covering the edges of the glass with dirt but leaving sunlight able to get in, that the yellow jackets will not attempt to make a secondary exit but will die within the ground. This is much preferred to some of the many other methods I heard about including using boiling water, flaming fuel, and explosives.

While in White Bird we had a meal at the Silver Dollar Bar that had many postcards from many bicycle riders that had passed through. We also heard about the history of White Bird, about Chief White Bird and what we would be bicycling to next. After the tire was delivered in the morning and S changed her tire, we proceeded up White Bird grade. This route, the "Old White Bird Grade" had many switchbacks and apparently in going this route we made 37 complete 360° circles, an average of 950° per mile, while climbing 2,900feet in 14miles. This route was preferable to us to the newer rerouted highway Route 95 that just went straight up. We passed by the gravesite here of some soldier that had died on the White Bird battlefield at the beginning of the Nez Perce War. Click here for a historical image of the monument grave marker and click here for a view that was behind us. The Summit was at 4,429 feet. Then we rode down into the Camas Prairie and Grangerville camping at an RV Park called Bearsden, cause I was tired. We almost stayed with a random person who was offering his home to us after hearing we had bicycled, but then he paused as he considered then reconsidered and said he had like nine kids and it would be too crowded.

At the RV Park, I learned more about the different types of RVs like "Fifth Wheels", had a growing compassion toward the drivers of RVs were not 'careless' of bicyclists but maybe were over insulated from the surroundings because of their loud diesel engines, saw beautiful g-d rays as dusk approached, and enjoyed the life that Idaho County had.

When we were bicycling south of Pollock we were on the edges of the Wallowas/Seven Devils Mountains of the Blue Mountains ecoregion to our west and the Southern Forested Mountains of the Idaho Batholith ecoregion to our left. As we approached Riggins we transitioned and were on the edge of the Canyons and Dissected Uplands (11g) of the Blue Mountain ecoregion and the Southern Forested Mountains of the Idaho Batholith ecoregion till we got to Riggins when we entered the Hot Dry Canyons of the Idaho Batholith ecoregion (on our east) interfacing with the uplands.

Leaving toward White Bird we were now between the ecoregion of the Canyons and Dissected Uplands and transitioning into the South Clearwater Forested Mountains (16i) of the Idaho Batholith ecoregion to our east.

Generally we were bicycling through forested chipsealed interstate routes between towns.

As we left White Bird we were now on the edge of the Nez Perce Prairie (10j) of the Columbia Plateau ecoregion to the our north, and the continuing South Clearwater Forested Mountains (16i) of the Idaho Batholith ecoregion to the southeast.

We left Grangerville on Idaho State Highway 13 known as Harpster Grade now heading more eastward toward the Lower Clearwater Canyons (15j) of the Northern Rockies ecoregion with the South Clearwater Forested Mountains (16i) of the Idaho Batholith ecoregion to our southeast.

However described, it was beautiful.

The road out of Council, on U. S. Route 95 went from being a very straight small road northward giving way to being a very curvy road heading up into the hills northeastward. We went briefly through the Payette National Forest in the "Canyons and Dissected Highlands" of the Blue Mountains ecoregion, past a restaurant stop at Pine Ridge (where I saw an advertising display for a huckleberry picker, "What's a huckleberry ?" I wondered, in a foreshadowing kinda way), past the Tamarack saw mill and passed into the valley.

We stopped briefly in New Meadows where I dropped off an advertisement sign on a closed bicycle shop pointing toward the new bicycle repair shop in Cambridge the "Books and Bikes". Knowing where there were bicycle shops was a useful item to know about, and I had offered to put signage on this closed shop site referring to the new shop rather than have him drive out here just to put up a sign.

We considered whether to get a motel room because it was looking like it was going to rain. Consulting the map was not very illuminating. There was a phone number to a hot springs camping spot but the person who answered the phone seemed uncomfortable but accepted our reservation. We headed north on Route 95, stopping briefly at the kiosk for the 45th parallel, and arrived at Zims Hot Springs. The person behind the counter seemed uncomfortable, but accepted our money for the tent space and for use of the hot springs. When I tried to use what seemed like a community kitchen he was definitely upset. He related the story of how he thought we were going to tell all of our biking friends of the amenities available at Zim's. He verbalized a bit of fear. I identified that I heard his concern, that it was not my intent to "take advantage" of him nor spread a word about what great amenities were available to be used here. Indeed I asked about the rates and then he gave to me, what seemed to him to a justifiable reasoning for his deal to us, as well as explaining he was sympathetic to bicyclists but did not want to be taken advantage of. He wanted his private area kept private from the common areas. I heard that request. I heard he thought he was giving us a much lower price for camping than what his rate schedule outlined. I felt that what could have become ugly for us (lack of camping area) turned into a more pleasant evening by listening to what his concern was, how that had contributed to his fear and storybuilding about us, unconnected with the reality of us.

It was a constructed hot spring which was a cement lined pool and I had a good time. We cooked using firewood stumps as a windbreak and camped out under the fogginess in a grassy plain.

We left in the morning still on Route 95 now following the Little Salmon River northwestward. We were heading along the western edge of the West Salmon River Mountains. In the town of Pinehurst I recalled asking what was the little chirping insects: "Locusts", and was the river always so green: "Yeah, in the summer".

We bicycled past this signage:

at Rainbow Bend and kept going, wary and cautious of religious signage.

We were now into Idaho County. When we got to the area of Pollock the AdventureCycling map indicated the road off of Route 95 and so we took it, gladly leaving the chipsealed road. Here was a very peaceful road area devoid of automobiles with Route 95 across the river and valley as we were going northwestward trying to get eastward. When we were redirected back onto Route 95 we were looking at a few potential off road camping spots along the roadside, but apparently things had gone awry for someone at some time and they were signed prohibiting camping.

We got further northward going into the town of Riggins. As we bicycled through town looking for where we could camp, there were little historical signs I want to go back and visit but did not think I would until S got sick and so we stayed in Riggins for a day or two. We stayed near a stony beach on the Salmon River. The historical signage told of the history of Riggins, who founded the place and who was displaced.

We met these folks who were moving to Oregon from the east. They were moving their stuff by bicycle, having sold or given most else away.

More groceries, a little more ice cream, and still struggles of what to get rid of with my packing in the morning was still taking too long for what I had as an ideal. Idaho County had nice people in it and I was having fun, but still really frustrated with the amount of time it took to do stuff like taking down the tent and packing. As we left Riggins along the Salmon River we passed into the Pacific Time zone as we were going northward on Route 95 in Idaho County.
We stopped briefly at the Fiddle Creek Fruit Stand where I caught up with S then progressed toward Lucile. This signage spot where the Salmon River is flowing through ancient Lava flows here was beautiful and was a geography learning observation of different weathering patterns that allowed erosion to take place here slower than in a rainier place.

Back to the Summer Bicycle trip 2010
Here are some pictures of Sahalie Falls and the route leaving Oregon: Pictures of Sahalie Falls and the route leaving OregonCollapse )

Many things have happened since being in the city of Council, Idaho, last year on my Summer 2010 bicycle trip and the current moment.

Some of which includes looking for more support structures for myself regarding my increasing symptom severity of narcolepsy and also being outside the box of the diagnosis.

Since getting back to Sacramento, California in September of 2010, I sought more face-to-face groups for people with narcolepsy. Not finding any, I turned to online groups finding, surprisingly to me, many on facebook. For privacy some are 'Closed' and more are 'Secret' and hidden. Given that these are the stories of self-selected persons on the internet, I nonetheless hear many similarities and differences to my experiences. And why should they not be real, since I am real, on facebook, and have a blog.

I also did other in real world stuff, but just keeping with the narcolepsy related stuff here, I found many of the 'problems' that in the past I had struggled with, which I had been and had been attributed to other causes, were more directly explained as corelated symptoms of narcolepsy. I heard many in the facebook groups talking about and sharing experiences that were very similar to mine, including finding my day-to-day experiences dreamlike cause my waking and dreaming world were having a fuzzy boundary (hypnagogia and hypnopompic state) and I often found myself doing things I had intended to not be doing (automatic behaviors) all related to prolonged sleep deprivation due to chronic lack of restorative sleep.

I am writing this post today cause one of the persons I met at the Narcolepsy Network Conference 2011 that I went to at the Stratosphere Hotel (an architectural landmark that I had been wanting to go to since here) is Julie Flygare and she writes today here: "The F Word" http://remrunner.blogspot.com/2011/12/f-word.html and linked to here: "The Pause-and-Nod" http://remrunner.blogspot.com/2010/12/pause-and-nod.html about her evolved tactics in explaining what narcolepsy is, in casual conversation. I appreciated hearing her experiences and ideas. In the past, if I chose to share my 'diagnosis' with others, I often found I struggled with the response received from others, namely that many (way more than I would have thought, giving the people I interact with) responded with humor, ill timed humor, and sometimes relating. Then the conversation would shift to another topic, and I would be sad but glad to see that moment pass.

No more I say !

"SAY IT LOUD: I'm a Person with Narcolepsy and I'm Proud!"

I am writing about my 'epic' summer bicycle trip cause I want to have many faces to this disorder. I do not want narcolepsy to be about staying home and safe but about living a multifaceed experience. I want my child to have resources to turn to for information and knowledge about narcolepsy that I did not have, such that they are a benefit. For this I go public with how narcolepsy has altered and shaped my life.

There are days that I cannot get out of bed. There are behaviors that I do that I find emotionally triggering (to myself and that others have found challenging). The 'better healthcare' I found in the Fall of 2010, responded back to me today saying that I "fell through the cracks" when I have called them repeatedly about better options to my worsening symptoms that are certainly harshing my reality, as they were on my summer bicycle trip. That is part of my life currently.

Then there is this too:


CouchSurfing event


The view down


The view up


Gum Moon event and a Video of the event (seems like a dead link but here is the youtube video of the event http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izxfMN7pk3o and a youtube video of the history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWRt2a8QTEw )


on a Metarotiscapes tarot card


Outside the Nevada Test Site


Outside Creech Air Force Base to ground the drones (from here: veggievoyagers.blogspot.com)


The view down


Caretaking Sekhmet (and dogs) at Temple of Sekhmet

Thanks offered to Julie Flygare, Alexandra, and Chris for the links. Gratitude to Kelley as well as Shanna for "N. R. G. (Narcolepsy Resource Group)", and Jessica for "PWN". And thank you, dear reader, for reading this LiveJournal.

And the SkyJump off the Stratosphere Tower was fun !

but the real title is: "Lone Pine, the ice cream truck, Annie's Cafe in Richland, Cliff Crego, Idaho !, how a symptom of narcolepsy (automatic behaviors) expressed itself, potatoes, and the Council Music Festival"

Here is a website that has an 'Elevation Chart' that includes portions of where we were bicycling. The chart includes Santiam Pass, Ochoco Pass (elevation 4720), Keyes Creek Pass (elevation 4369) to Rock Creek Junction. Dixie Pass (elevation 5277) then Austin Junction then Tipton Pass and Sumpter Pass then Baker City. Thank you very much for taking the interest to read of my Summer 2010 bicycle trip.

In Baker City we picked up groceries, did laundry, spent time in a city park, and finally we were able to pick up the replacement part for the broken bike chain. I recalled that as we passed Mason dam, the dam at Phillips Lake, that there was evidence and signage of beavers repopulating this area. I was happy hearing, seeing the signage, and reading that factoid here.

We then peddled northeastward out on Route 86 up the hill toward the Oregon Trail monument.

As we left Baker Valley and headed on Route 86, the beginning of The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, from the "Blue Mountain Basin" into the "Continental Zone Foothills" of the Blue Mountain ecoregion we passed a small monument at the Baker Valley Rest Area kiosk to the Lone Pine, the last tree cut down in the valley apparently by accident or by greed. As we passed the area called Flagstaff Hill we saw a historical marker that displayed wagon wheel trail ruts (pictures of the wagon wheel ruts and the lack of lone pine can be seen here) of the portion of the famed Oregon Trail headed toward the Grande Ronde Valley, then we passed the trailhead leading upto the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. The dry hills here contrasted sharply with the Valley Foothills of the Willamette Valley I had experientially more associated with "Oregon" and with the forest we had been in just days before. Here the land was very dry and rolling hills. Continuing eastward on Route 86, we got to this area (click here) where there apparently had been a huge land slide that had blocked off Route 86, and the connected dependent communities, for sometime in late fall of 1984. The historical signage marker (image from flickr.com) was emphasizing the geology of the area and how that contributed to the "Hole in the Wall" landslide.

As we proceeded eastward over the hills and dry areas, I thought I had began to hallucinate as I was seeing an ice cream truck in the far distance. It was true I was hot, getting tired, and sleepy, and my vision was getting blurrier I noticed. Nonetheless as we passed over Kirby Creek then Eagle Creek I did see a Schwan's ice cream truck pulling into the town and I tried to keep up. We got to the town of Richland, a small little town in eastern Oregon and began to look for a camping spot. The Transamerica map from AdventureCycling said that there was free camping in a city park, but the instructions on who to check in with about camping here in this town was kind of vague. Luckily for us S was seen by a shopkeeper who was really nice and waved to us to come in as her store, a cafe, was closing for the night.

Annie's Cafe.

We got a brief bite to eat, and some ice cream, as we set our tent in the city park. The next morning we packed up, letting the tent air out as were heading into possible bears in Idaho, went to the Cafe for breakfast and more ice cream for me. We were pedaling out of town on the way up the big hill when we noticed the steering linkage was breaking so we returned back to town to the hardware store for more hose clamps cause that was what was available. I recall with a certain amount of energy that I had noticed the shiny mark in the metal of the steering armature (similar to this image), which I said was a crack in the metal while at the Bike Friday shop in Eugene, Oregon, but the mechanic there said it was only a scratch. While in the hardware store we came across one of the people we've met in the cafe at breakfast. He offered then made time and welded the little pieces of the steering linkage. By then the day was too late to get out of town. The next day we peddled out of town going up the hill when, halfway up the hill, there was a sudden snap sound and then we found that the bicycle seat frame had broken. We returned back to town and went to a shop and got that welded. All of which took way longer than me to write this and I write slow considering this is November 2011 of the year after the bike trip that I am writing this journal entry. I am deeply indebted to the people of Richland who not only were kind to us travelers but also welded things. And Schwan's has some good ice cream for Eastern Oregon.

While in Richland we met Cliff Crego who showed us his beautiful photographs and pictures poems as well as sharing he would be bicycling to Glacier Park where he said he would be in just a little bit. He was pedaling with a trailer.

Route 86 travels northeastward to the town of Halfway where we camped next to a big red barn which was more preferable than the RV park. All of these towns that I have been encountering, I was really liking. They seem to be peaceful and small-town though I really don't know what goes on there. To me as a tourist they seem really nice. As we continued through eastern Oregon we were getting closer to Hells Canyon and the Oxbow Reservoir. This became the next part of the journey because Oxbow Reservoir actually touches Richland but there is no road there so we had to go all the way out of our way visiting all these nice little towns and pedaling all over the dry dry rolling hills to get back to where we wanted to go. We bicycled past the branching Forest Service road 39 that lead to the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and continued on Route 86, skirting the wilderness, no matter how hard we tried to be within a forest. We passed to the south, the town of Oxbow and the ghost town of Copperfield and finally could see Idaho, across the waters of Oxbow Reservoir, created by the Snake River being blocked by the Oxbow Dam. We were in the land owned by the Idaho Power Company still in Oregon, but now heading southwest on the Oregon side of the reservoir's banks. Thirteen miles upstream, we then crossed Brownlee Dam and thus crossed into Idaho ! A new state for me. "State to State ! , State to State !" like the biker yelled to us outside of Weed, California. I was really happy. Here we went from Baker County, Oregon into Adams County Idaho.

Now we were on Idaho State Highway 71. As we spent our first night camping in Idaho, in a campground near the dam, I noticed that the valleys here were deep and at the end of the day, it would seem the growing season shorter since there would be less sunlight available during each day.

By now, one of the symptoms of narcolepsy that I struggle with, that I now know to be automatic behaviors attributed to chronic deep restorative sleep depravation, was becoming more noticeably pronounced. To compensate, at the time, I was arising early in the morning, to begin packing, but was then leaving the site so late that we had worked out a plan that S would wake up and do her packing, then leave instead of waiting for me to finish my packing. We would then meetup on the road along the way. It was not a great plan or process but more a compensation to my moving slower in packing, S growing frustration to my taking longer and longer to pack, then her contributions to doing other stuff that had me unpacking stuff so she could look at the map or create a meal. I felt frustrated and could not seem to pack faster. I noticed along the way I was beginning to adopt a tactic of unpacking as little as possible in setting up camp in the evening, such that I would not need to packup stuff and more stuff in the mornings. I was feeling desperate to be done with "packing" and be on our way in the morning. It was also not matching my intention to "use" the stuff I brought, or else the unused stuff was just taking up real estate space in my panniers. But what to postal mail away ? I noticed I began to sleep in my clothes, let alone cause I was warmer in the morning if I was already dressed, but that did not make sense to postal mail away the sleeping bag. There was food that I was not using, but would use, but only if I was willing to expend the energy to unpack the food item then spend the energy and time to repack the remains. I noticed I was getting frustrated and sad. As I bicycled in the beautiful Idaho riverside along the reservoir created by Brownlee Dam damming the Snake River, I thought about how this summer bicycle trip was intended for me to be a way to have less energy about physical possessions and 'stuff' and how that path for me felt blocked, as blocked as this river. I could counter with that I had, and have, less stuff than most people, but that rationalized thought was not resolving in less attachment but in psychological pain, that I was noticing as a thought, yet still entangled amongst. I then realized that as the mornings wore on that the entanglements were much more pronounced when I was more tired than less tired. It made sense that accepting the reality of what was and then acting from intention required cognitive distancing that required cognitive energy I was chronically not having.

Route 71 continued along the east side of Brownlee Reservoir and then the road turned and went up a valley into the hills. I got to Gateway, a cafe and store where S was and had been resting at, then I had some hashbrowns, and then we were on our way. Along the uphill roadside we came across some roadside plum trees, where S wanted to stop and rest in the shade. I kinda worried that the plants might be herbicide sprayed, but while in the delicious shade of the plum trees, some Idaho State Fish and Game personnel stopped by to encourage us to eat of the fresh fruit. After resting a bit, than more bicycling up the valley hillside, I found and stopped by the headquarters of the Cecil Andrus Wildlife Management Area Department and the same personnel that passed us along the roadside gave me some ice water and apples that were organic by default. Thanks !

We crested the pass and the tiny, tiny bits of the Payette National Forest and went downhill into some really dry grassy areas, then we got to Washington County and we got to the city of Cambridge. The AdventureCycling map said that people could camp in the park under the water tower. That was pretty easy to find. One of the people at the Idaho State Fish and Game Department had told me his mom sold delicious hot cinnamon rolls at the farmers' market that would be happening in the park under the water tower in the morning. We set up the tent and then went out to dinner. Y often had said she wanted us to have an Idaho potato when we got to Idaho. I heard her spirit of adventure and tried to order an Idaho potato in Mrs. G Ranch House restaurant. Apparently most of the potatoes in Idaho are from Oregon. It's hard to find in Idaho potato in Idaho because Idaho potatoes apparently sell for more abroad because of the name "Idaho Potato" and so all the potatoes grown here are shipped to other states and countries. I had some meat cause it was "free-range" and "local" and again had a Schwan's ice cream milkshakes, flavored huckleberry. Apparently Schwan's has the market on delivery of frozen food to small communities like this and that is why I kept seeing Schwan's ice cream truck traveling where we were now. In the morning we saw the small farmers' market and peddled off. We found a small bicycle store Books and Bikes (that was not yet on our bicycling tour map) and they did a small minor tuneup on the bike and then we headed down U. S. Route 95 across the Little Wiser River. We kept pedaling eastward on and on, now in the edge of the "Continental Zone Foothills" of the Blue Mountains ecoregion and the "Semiarid Foothills" of the Snake River Plain ecoregion, had lunch here at Lakey's Cafe cause it was there, then pedaled on. I turned and stopped briefly at the Alpine Store in this spot of Alpine. I went into the store, because of the advertisement of "free range" beef jerky. Delicious.

By the time I caught up with S, at the top of the big hill and the historic site of the Mesa Orchards with a historical marker, we were back in Adams County. We then pedaled down toward the city of Council. I remember there is an off road bike trail the Weiser Bicycle Trail here but as we were on road bikes, more or less, we didn't take that opportunity to be away from automobile traffic. We got to the town of Counsel and there was a music festival, the Council Mountain Music Festival going on August 21st and 22nd (of 2010), so we stayed there. The owner from the Alpine Store that I stopped at, was here with a food booth and was really friendly and welcoming, which I enjoyed a lot. Many people took a friendly interest in us, having bicycled from California. The music was really nice to listen to here and I appreciated that we were staying and hearing music because we had bypassed the High Sierra Music Festival when we were back in Quincy, California in June, near the beginning of our bicycle adventure. A prior year S and I had gone to the Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival for S's birthday celebration but this year, cause of the bicycle trip and other logistics, bypassed the High Sierra Music Festival despite it being her birthday. This music festival is much smaller but the music was good. I appreciated the fingerstyle guitarwork of Buddy Tetreault. The stage was a converted trailer home. It was being held in a Veterans Memorial Peace Park that had a M60A3 tank AAD SN 1783A. That evening we pedaled back to the park in the middle of the town because that's where the city park was and where the designated camping was for people on the AdventureCycling bicycling trail. The next day we pedaled back past the Veterans Memorial Peace Park, when the Sunday music part of the festival was taking place.

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