Clear Water Station to Near Crouch

Idaho Hot Springs

The Idaho Posse arose to a rather frigid morning. Harry made a fire that we huddled around while eating breakfast and breaking camp. We then moseyed on down a quiet residential road before hitting the dirt. Our climb du jour was steeper than we expected, but the road condition was decent and it hadn’t gotten too hot yet, so I at least enjoyed the effort.

Vicki spins up the big climb of the day with a view of the valley we left that morning.
Vicki spins up the big climb of the day with a view of the valley we left that morning.

At the junction of Middle Fork Road we ate lunch in the shade by the river. Jay whipped out a Subway sandwich that I eyed with envy. Normally Subway doesn’t do it for me, but normally Iโ€™m not cycling all day, every day. I ate my crackers with peanut butter and honey wishing I’d been sinking my teeth into some soft, doughy bread.

It was noon by this point and the temperature was climbing quickly. We rode up to Boiling Hot Springs Campground and parked in the shade to assess the rest of the ride. Jay wanted to stick around the area and explore the hot springs. Harry and Vicki wanted to catch some friends up the road and Carrie and I just wanted to stay out of the heat. Looking at the Adventure Cycling map, we noticed a dirt road at turn J that provided a potential shortcut, skipping two rather challenging climbs that no one in their right mind would want to tackle in the middle of the day.

We decided to ask some people at the campground if our proposed shortcut was in fact a viable option. A friendly dad from Boise assured us that our shortcut would work, so the Idaho Posse minus Jay reversed course and headed for the shortcut, which worked splendidly. After reconnecting with the main route, Carrie and I decided to camp at Trail Creek Campground, leaving Harry and Vicki to push on to Crouch. Again the Idaho Posse officially disbanded.

Carrie and I made camp at Trail Creek and then immediately deposited ourselves in a shady spot in the river. The cool river water felt so good. We probably sat in the river for a good hour before getting the courage to brave the heat again.

When we got back to our campsite, the sun was punishing. We later found out that it got over 100 degrees that day. Instead of suffering any further, we decided to pack up and head downhill to Crouch in search of a shadier primitive campground. We found a nice spot quickly. The younger trees nearby had lower branches to protect us from the sun. Plus, our spot was almost in the river, so we could feel its cooling effect.

That night we slept on top of our bags until the wee hours of the morning, a reminder that the closer you get to Boise the hotter it gets. We agreed to leave early the next morning to beat the heat so we could climb our way over to Idaho City before in relative comfort.