IUA Hiking & Biking Adventure

Canada to Mexico thru Idaho, Utah, Arizona

Bicycling Trip #1

63 days, 2,000 miles, Jun-Aug, 2003

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Day 2 2003-06-13 page 2 of 59

We had an excellent night's sleep, even though we both woke up several times to shift around. I woke up to find I had pushed my foam pad completely out from under me. We listened to a train go by, and could see that the sky was clouded over. When we broke camp the tarp was covered with dew and condensation, and the quilt was damp.

We set off at 5:50 am, walked 50 yards down to the paved road, and resumed our journey south. Before long it started to rain. We broke out our umbrellas and walked beneath them wearing shell jackets and pants. Jenny wore her insulated hat, and I wore my skull cap, we both wore mittens. For the first two hours the wind was calm, then as we were walking a long, straight section of road, the wind pick up and made the morning feel much colder. We had to hike pointing our brollies to windward.

We stopped at a beautiful creek to fill our water bottles. The road had very little traffic, and most people seemed friendly and waved. Houses were common all along the way, but not excessive. Three hours into our morning we found shelter under a beautiful spruce, located up from the road a ways.

Sitting at the base of a tree,
to stay dry

The ground was completely dry around the base of the tree, so we sat there admiring the view and enjoying a breakfast of granola, oranges, peanuts and raisins. The road we were following went down the narrow Moyie River valley with towering hills on both sides. The forest was magnificent. Dozens of different kinds of trees: fir, pine, cedar, spruce, larch, birch, aspen, cottonwood, alder, maple, vine maple... Everything was profuse, vibrant and glistening with rain drops.

The rain was just finishing so we set off again, and soon had put our brollies away, although the road remained sloppy with mud. We caught up to a doe and fawn; we had been following their tracks. The doe took a very long look at us, then bounded away, leaving the fawn to trot along behind her, but still staying on the road. This gave us a good opportunity to study their tracks.

A bridge over the Moyie River

The road paralleled the Moyie River, crossed it a few times on bridges. The river was gushing, maybe 25 yards wide. At one point, an old school bus passed us by carrying a load of inflatable rafts on its roof.

Lunch break

Midday we stopped for a lunch break. Our legs and feet were starting to complain a little bit. Our feet were pruned from the rain, so we dried them, massaged them, and put on clean, dry socks, which helped a lot.

About 3 miles short of highway 2, we were walking past a ranch area, somewhat run down, yard full of manure and junk. A cat came out to visit us, much like a dog, wagging its tail. We thought this was odd; very friendly, wanting to play. It walked along with us. We kept expecting it to turn around and go home, but it followed us for 1.5 miles by which time we were doing everything we could think of to get the cat to un-adopt us. For the last half mile it followed us 50 to 100 feet behind us, meowing loudly and forlornly. It was a very nice looking cat. We figured someone had brought it up here and abandoned it. It acted like it was looking for a new owner. Finally it stopped following us, and we hoped it returned to where it came from.

The day became quite warm. We hiked in single shirts and sweated a bit. Water was becoming something of a problem. Finally we came to a gorgeous creek in Section 34. The creek passed through a culvert under the road. The forest was thick on the uphill side, but we found a faint trail leading to the creek and a beautiful little glen in the cedars. We filled our bottles, then washed our feet and socks. A couple ladies walked by on the road, talking while exercising. They did not notice us.

Soon we reached the highway and walked across it to a gas station and store. The people were friendly. We ordered veggie sandwiches and enjoyed another rest.

We followed the road to Moyie Springs rather than the highway. A couple blocks from the post office we found a wallet with $10, driver's license, credit card, etc. We took it in to the postmaster and asked if he knew who it belonged to. The driver's license showed a Moyie Springs PO box. He called the post office in Bonner's Ferry and they said the fellow had a box there. So we left the wallet and all its contents with the postmaster. He said he would see to it that the fellow received it.

The road led through a beautiful area with good views of the mountains, large open fields, quite a few houses all along the way, and a huge lumber mill. Our feet were complaining in earnest. We wanted to follow the pipeline marked on the map, as this would be quite a good shortcut. But the way was blocked by private lands, so we had to follow the road. Half a mile from the highway we hauled off into a fenced, wooded lot, hidden from view. We stopped hiking at 4:30 pm. Now it is raining lightly again, 6 pm, with lightning and thunder in the nearby mountains.

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