RideEatCamp

Ponderosa Campground to McCall

Idaho Hot Springs

Today is the day the Idaho Posse disbanded. It was a glorious one day as a posse, despite the lack of gun fights and hangings. Jay and Harry headed north to check out the Secesh singletrack option of the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route while Carrie and I headed to McCall on the main route via the Lick Creek Summit. Vicki was also planning to head to McCall but got a later start than us.

The climb up Lick Creek Summit from Ponderosa Campground was about 10 miles and 2800 feet of elevation gain. It was a steady grade that allowed one to get in a nice rhythm and to just churn the pedals. As we neared the summit, the temperature dropped to what felt like 40 degrees. Heavy clouds hung above the closest peaks, threatening rain at any moment. It’s unusual to add layers during a climb, but in this case I was encouraged to slide on my long sleeve top.

Carrie heads up to Lick Creek Summit with the storm clouds looming.
Carrie heads up to Lick Creek Summit with the storm clouds looming.
A pine tree makes a valiant effort to live atop a granite boulder on the way up to Lick Creek Summit.
A pine tree makes a valiant effort to live atop a granite boulder on the way up to Lick Creek Summit.

Once we reached the peak we started to add more layers for the descent. As we were doing so, a man from Boise popped out of his car to chat. At 80 years old, he told us to keep doing the things we want to do in life while we’re still able. This is common advice from those in their golden years, advice we aim to follow as best as we can.

The descent from the summit was really more a series of rollers, more climbing than I was hoping for. As we got to lower elevations the sun came out and we were able to shed all those extra layers again.

We arrived in McCall in short order, impressed by all the sharrows and bicycle route signage throughout town. Our first order of business was to find accommodations. We landed at the Scandia Inn and we’re glad we did. The family who runs the place were very friendly, the rates were decent, and the room was quaint. We then did some laundry and ate way too much food at the nearby pizza joint Growlers, which had a good salad bar. We were craving some roughage after the slim pickings at the North Shore Lodge.

During dinner we pored over the Adventure Cycling map to determine our next moves. If we continued down the trail we would end up in Boise with a few days to spare before our flight, so we decided to take a rest day in McCall. We booked another night at the Scandia Inn and then proceeded to decide what we’d do the next day. The Internet came to the rescue, suggesting a rafting trip. Apparently the Salmon River is excellent for rafting. We booked a spot for an all day adventure and our work was done.