Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies

I made these cookies last night. I like to use the time that Adam isn't living with me to make things he doesn't like. He has never liked double chocolate cookies. I really like them so I was glad to have some. The recipe says that it makes 54 cookies and I knew I would never eat that many before they went bad so I made a few sheets full and froze the rest of the dough for later.

Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies

1 1/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peanut butter chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz. pkg.)


1. Heat oven to 350°.

2. In large mixer bowl; cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

4. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually blend into creamed mixture. Stir in peanut butter or chocolate chips.

5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes. (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.).

6. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet onto wire rack. Cool completely.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Recipes from Quilt Country

I checked out this book back in GA and fell in love with the Amish recipes and have been after a copy of my own since then. I've kept an eye on it on amazon and the cheapest I've seen it at is $15.00 and that was for a copy with water damage. I was at the thrift store today and I decided to walk down the book aisle. I have tried not to buy any books since moving here and seeing how many books I actually own. I was in the cookbook section, ready to walk on by when I looked up and it was on display. I grabbed it and flipped through it. It was in prefect shape and it was only $9.99. I know I have way too many cookbooks but I just can't help myself!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Meatloaf & Peanut Butter Pie

Well for some reason, I can no longer add pictures to my blogs. I hope that the ability comes back for me at some point but I will have to live without that for now. Bummer.

This is what I made while the Mendozas were here. The meatloaf is one of our favorites and we have it fairly often. I've never made it with the currant jelly but I have used blackberry jelly and I liked it. We don't usually have any jelly on it though.

Vegetable Stuffed Turkey Loaf

1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumb
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup chopped broccoli
2/3 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons currant jelly, melted

1. In a medium mixing bowl combine egg, bread crumbs, onion, milk, thyme rosemary, garlic salt, and pepper. Add turkey; mix well. On waxed paper pat turkey mixture into a 12x8-inch rectangle; set aside.

2. For vegetable stuffing, in a saucepn cook broccoli, carrots, and sweet pepper, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes or till crisp-tender. Drain well. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

3. Spread vegetable stuffing over turkey mixture to within 1 inch of sides. Beginning at a short end, roll turkey tightly using waxed paper to lift mixture. Peel waxed paper away as you roll. Place in a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or till no longer pink (meat thermometer registers 180 degrees). Transfer to a serving platter; brush with melted jelly.

This pie is a recipe I found in a magazine ad. I don't usually like cream pies but I really like this one! This was the pie I was making when I burned my fingers while making homemade hot fudge.I liked it better with the homemade hot fudge but the store bought stuff is good too.

Decadent Peanut Butter Pie

1 prepared chocolate cookie pie crust
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
12 oz container of non dairy whipped topping, divided (I use homemade whipped cream)
1 11.75 oz. jar hot fudge, divided
1/2 cup sugar
drizzle: 2 tbs. hot fudge and 2 tbs. creamy peanut butter

In a medium bowl, beat together peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar. Gently fold in 3 cups whipped topping. Spoon mixture into pie shell. Using a spatula, smooth mixture to edges of pie.

Reserving 2 tbs. of hot fudge, place remaining hot fudge into microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Microwave for i minute, stir. Spread hot fudge over pie to cover peanut butter layer.

Refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, spread the remaining whipped topping over the hot fudge layer, careful not to mix the two layers.

Place 2 tbs. hot fudge in a small baggie and knead for a few seconds. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle over pie. Do the same with 2 tbs. peanut butter going in the opposite direction of the hot fudge.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Adam's farewell party

Adam's friends, Mike and his wife Jeanine and Paul and his girlfriend Misty threw Adam a ging away party last night. There were about 10 people at the dinner. Mike and Jeanine made kebabs (some without onions for Adam), Andrea, another one of their friends, made some kind of Asian noodles, Paul and Misty made brownies and I brought fruit salad. We ate dinner and shortly afterward, people started arriving to play poker. I told Adam I would stay to play the first round until I got kicked out, thinking it wouldn't be very long. I think we started playing around 7:30 - 8:00. We drew cards and we ended up on different tables so we didn't really get to spend any time together. There were 15 people at the beginning. We took a break at 9:30 for an hour to go watch Misty and Paul play a game of soccer they had scheduled. It was pretty fun to watch. They lost though pretty badly and Paul was pretty upset so he wasn't in a good mood for the rest of the night (at least while I was there). I finally got kicked out at 11:30. I took fifth place and I think Adam took sixth...might have been seventh. At that point, I went home while Adam stayed to play the second round. Poor dogs were starving when I got there. I really hadn't planned on being gone that long!

This morning, we cleaned out his work van, packed his suitcase, had lunch together and then he left to Utah. Mike will drive Adam to the airport in the morning. We brought Maria's bike back from GA and I put it and one of my bikes on top of the car before he left. Something happened though and when Adam got into the Utah Valley, he noticed that one of the bikes was now parallell to the ground. Somehow, the clamps on both bikes had worked their way loose even though I tightened them and locked them. It is really confusing to me! At least neither of them fell off the car.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I lost my crown

Yesterday, after lunch, Adam and I went to the storage shed and bought some boxes so he could ship some work stuff to someone in Utah. While there, I found a brochure for a pace called Camp Bow Wow. It's a doggy day care that sounded really cool. I wanted to see it so Adam said he would take me there to see it. There was a little bowl of candy on the counter of the storage shed. They had bit-o-honey and I haven't had that in a long time o I took one. I popped it in my mouth and almost instantly, I noticed an off taste I kept it in my mouth for a few seconds before it got to be so nasty that I couldn't stand it. I spit it out into the wrapper. Something seemed odd about it so I looked closer. One of the crowns I had had put in last year came out with the candy. It's been almost 24 hours and I still taste like I'm sitting in the dentist's chair...disgusting! So I'm going to have to make an appointment to have it put back on.

We drove over to Camp Bow Wow and one of the "camp counslers" gave us a tour. There are three areas for the different sized dogs so the little ones don't get bullied by the big ones. Each size group has their own indoor play area attached to an outdoor play area. So the dogs get to play with other dogs which is such a great idea!!! Then, at feeding times, they take the dogs to their various "cabins" (what they call the kennels). The dogs stay in there for 1 1/2 hours after eating so they digest their food before playing again which lowers the chance of a dog getting bloat. The kennels are actually good sized. The ones for large dogs can actually house 2-3 dogs. Since the dogs are in play areas with other dogs and are handled by people multiple times a day, the dogs have to have a behavioral evaluation before being allowed to go to day Jasmine would be my only dog that would stand a chance of being able to go there... not that I was really planning on taking my dogs there. I just wanted to see it. I think that that is the coolest setup. I think they have something like that at the humane societies should have. The dogs would be so much happier during their stays there. Something like that, with a large training room would be a great business, I think.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why don't I decorate?

I've been watching a lot of DIY Network lately and getting all kinds of ideas on how to do house projects and to decorate. I went to a few stores on the way to my dog class today and yesterday and I remembered why I never really did any decorating. I can't afford the things I like and I don't like the things I find at the thrift stores. So, oh well, maybe I'll have better luck with the projects.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Visit with the Mendoza's

The Mendoza's came to visit and I had a good time while they were here. Unfortunately, I had to work but we were able to spend the evenings and Saturday together. On Wednesday night, after my class, we met at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. We came back to the house and stayed up too late for pretty much everyone.

On Thursday, after they came back to eat lunch, I finished work and went with them to Walmart. After that, we drove seperately to the park. I brought the dogs. Alex walked Bear, Elisa walked Jasmine and I walked Jack while Sabrina stayed with Valerie at the playground. The dogs got plenty of exercise and were tired for the rest of the day. Alex and Elisa kept the dogs until Bear jumped on Alex after he did something Bear got defensive about...don't know what it was. So, I switched dogs with him and put Bear in a time out. When Sabrina finished playing, we went back to the house and played Sneaks. We took a break to make dinner. We had vegetable stuffed meatloaf, mashed potatoes and homemade bread. After finishing sneaks (those Mendozas are very sneaky!) we played Walk the Dogs. For dessert, we had Decadent Peanut Butter Pie. I showed the kids the owl pellet I had found. They didn;t want to touch it but they all stood around, watching me pluck the bones out. We found a tiny pelvis with 1 vertebrae attached, a foot, or hand, completely attached (that was the coolest thing!) and a bunch of little bones, a bunch of vertebrates and a bunch of broken flatish bones. There were some bones I couldn't figure out what they were and a part of a jaw.

On Friday, they spent the day out again while I worked. After they came back for lunch, we went to the Snake River Gorge. We went out to the area where I camped and climbed the rocks trying to get a picture of a gopher (that's what I've concluded after a little research on the internet). Valerie climbed highest but it got away. We made the drive back to the main parking lot so everyone could use the restroom. We walked across the dam. The water was spewing out of the dam. The wind was blowing so hard that everyone's ahir was flying wildly. After that, we drove back on the road and walked on a short nature trail to the canyon overlook. Elisa and Sabrina lagged behind collecting small rocks along the way. We ate dinner at Idaho Pizza Company then went to the arcade type place. Sabrina and I boarded a roller coaster simulator. IT went upside down and turned in all different directions. She had a great time, laughing and holding her hands up in the air. After we got off, Elisa and Alex were going to ride it but Elisa decided she didn't want to so Sabrina rode with Alex. Valerie had bought a card with $50 on it and we spent a lot of time trying to play enough games to empty the card. After playing for a couple of hours, we went to Cheesecake Factory for dessert. After returning home, it was stright to bed because it was so late.

On Saturday, poor Alex was not feeling too hot but he was a good sport. We went to Celebration Park after breakfast with lunch in the cooler. Celebraton Park was supposed to have quite a few rocks with indian petroglyphs. But we were only able to find one. Elisa spotted it. Alex had to stop and rest now and then. Most of us wore our coats but it got so hot! We ended up back at the house for lunch. We ate on the back deck. Adam called as we were finishing up and asked if people wanted to meet him at the frozen yogurt shop to say goodbye. So we went there. The cash register locked up while we were there so Adam got to fix it so we could be on our way. We all said goodbye to each other after finishing our yogurts.

Thanks for coming guys!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Snake River canyon camp trip (pictures in backward order)

After I realized that this was the last weekend that Adam would be here and no one would be visiting, I knew that it was the weekend for Jasmine and I to make our break into touring world together. This is what I’ve been riding with her for. I debated about going to Arrowrock again but it has been raining and I figured the road (dirt) would be mud and that wouldn’t be any fun. The other place I really wanted to ride to was the Snake River gorge. It’s about 30 miles from the house and I was planning on going the entire distance by bike but decided that in order to have energy for the next day, I’d better drive to Kuna and bike from there making it a 22 mile trip, one way.

It took an hour to load everything from the car onto the bike and trailer. I didn’t want to overload the bike of the bike. Jasmine likes to see where we’re going so I figured out how to use the trailer as cargo space. I had to cut little holes in the canvas around the bars. I slipped velcro through the holes and stripped up my tent and my sleeping bag. Then, I threaded a utility strap around the exposed portion of bar and hung my pillow in between the two. Jasmine still had enough room to get in and out and to lay down. Perfect. As always, her Camelback travels in the floor of the trailer too.

I made a horizontal flag and a vertical flag. The horizontal flag was held onto the moveable brace bar toward the back. The metal cap slid on the end after threading it through the 2 zip ties was enough to keep it from slipping out. Cars really gave us a wide berth with that in place! The other kept finding its way through a hole in the canvas and dragging on the ground. Unfortunately, the last time it fell through the hole, it was dragging on the shock cord so I didn’t hear a thing until the shock cord was eaten away by the gravel and the plastic piece was making noise. I took that one off and stowed it in the trailer. I’ll have to fix it now and fix the hole too so it can’t fall through again. It was not fun holding the bike up and leaning back to try to grab the flag at the very back of the trailer.

After taking so long to load up, I had to go to the bathroom and decided a quick lunch break was needed before heading off onto a road with no services or even running water. I filled the 10 L Dromedary while waiting for the food. Well, not entirely full…maybe about 8 L. We found some shade and ate our mini corn dogs and taco.

Jasmine was ready to go but the heat soon slowed her down. She wasn’t happy at all about being put into the trailer but I wanted to get there before the sun went down.

From the turn off to this road to about 5 miles to the end, there really isn’t much too see. There are some farms (it’s too early for much to be growing so it was mostly dirt) and some mounds of volcanic rock scattered about. But then, it starts to open up to glimpses of the canyon.

I pulled her out of the trailer a few times and let her walk for a bit but grew tired of walking with the bike after about 15 minutes and would put her back. She really didn’t want to go into the trailer but the mid 60’s is just too much heat for her. I’m not sure if cutting her fur anymore will help or not. So, each time I tried to load her up, she would lay on the road like a sack of potatoes.

16 miles from the starting point, I came upon my first bathroom. Just an out-house type deal. But it was clean and it actually didn’t smell bad. I thought about taking Jasmine down the trail to see the overlook of where we were headed. I’ve never been down that trail. But, instead, I threw on my tights and long sleeved jersey and headed out again. I let Jasmine stay out of the trailer this time. We stopped on the side of the road and shared a pb&j sandwich and some beef jerky. Finally, about a mile from the downhill slope, Jasmine started running. It had sufficiently cooled off for her.

We explored the top of the ledge before heading down into the canyon. Jasmine had to take one last ride down into the canyon. It’s about a mile and a half of a seriously steep hill. It’s mostly straight but there are some wiggles and a hairpin turn toward the bottom. I was doubting my brakes ability to stop all the weight of me, Jasmine, her trailer, the bike and all that was on it so I feathered the brakes and even stopped 3 times to let the brakes cool…just in case. My brake pads are getting pretty worn now and I had this vision of my brakes giving out on me. Not a pretty picture.

The bathroom at the bottom had running water. I didn’t remember that part. So my 10 extra pounds of water I was carrying was unnecessary but that’s ok. Nancy Vogel (Nancy and her family are biking from Alaska to Argentina) is from Boise and has told me that you can camp down here if you follow the dirt road. So I set off that way.

I came upon some giant boulders and parked my bike. Jasmine and I went in to see if there were any good tent spots. I was having trouble finding one but Jasmine ran over to an area and sat down. It was perfect. It was behind a giant boulder so it was blocked from view and it was very flat. I dragged the train around the boulders into our home for the night. As I looked around closer, I saw all kinds of scat…coyote, I figured. I don’t know if that’s what it was though. I tried to find somewhere else but it was everywhere so I stayed with our spot.

I set up the tent & rain fly just as the rain drops started falling. I was pretty sad. There was only a 10% chance for rain last night. But the cloud drifted away and we stayed dry for the rest of the night.

After setting everything up in the tent, we went a little distance away and ate our dinner. I had 6 matches with me and the try as I might; the wind blew them all out before I was able to light my stove. So now I was short dinner and breakfast. And that meant that hot chocolate was out. I was really looking forward to warm myself up with some come morning. So I ate beef jerky, a granola bar, some trail mix, 2 rolls and dried apricots for dinner. Jasmine got some beef jerky and granola but ignored her food. I figured it was because it was a bit early for her. I shoved all my food in a dry bag and put it on top of a rock. Nancy said that’s what they did in bear country and never had any problems so I felt pretty confident about doing that.

By 9, we were in bed. Jasmine had a down throw over her and I was in my sleeping bag. This was my first time using my thermarest but not my bag. Jasmine seemed comfortable enough, snoring almost as soon as the lights were out but I was having trouble getting comfortable. My hip was touching the ground. I had blown air into it after letting it rise. Did I do something wrong? I have to go to REI and ask why their floor model was so much more comfortable. (Thanks Mom, Dad & Sheri. I used my $25 dollar gift card from my birthday to buy this. I have faith that it will work out.)

Finally, after 30 minutes, I drifted off to sleep too. At 11, I woke up to a sound. It was some sort of animal making a really loud noise by the tent. I wasn’t worried about it. It sounded like it might have been a ground squirrel. But it was so loud that I had trouble ignoring it. At 1:39, I woke up to a gust of wind pushing in the walls of the tent. I couldn’t tell if the sounds were the rain fly and tent brushing against each other or an army of ground squirrel surrounding the tent, trying to get in. It was then that I began to worry about my food bag. I thought for sure it would have blown away in the wind storm that passed through for the remainder of the night. At one point, it sounded like the footfalls of something large passing by the tent. I looked at Jasmine, she didn’t seemed bothered. I stayed as quiet as possible to listen. I never heard it again so I’ve concluded that it was just the rain fly hitting the dead grass. I hadn’t staked it down. Off to sleep again to be startled awake by the angry, terrifyingly close call of a pack of coyote not too far from the tent. Jasmine didn’t bark but she shot bolt upright in a hurry. I couldn’t see them but they sounded like they were between us and the canyon wall. Just a few hundred feet separated that and our tent. Of course, they might have been on the other side of the river. The canyon walls echo like crazy. The 4-wheelers people were driving sounded like a piece of sheet metal being smacked together as it echoed across the canyon. A few minutes later, I was comforted by the call of the coyotes again. This time, they were much further away. But my mind was fully awake now and I did not fall back asleep until 6. I slept for 5-6 hours but was in bed for 10. So it’s official. I’m a wimp when it comes to sleeping outdoors. It wouldn’t stop me from camping by myself again but I will be just as scared next time. Maybe it IS time to look into the concealed weapon's permit after all.

Finally, morning arrived. It was just starting to lighten up outside when I woke up at 6:30. I threw back my sleeping bag and pulled my shoes on. I had to go pretty bad. Jasmine had told me in the middle of the night that she had to go but I told her there was no way I was going out there until I could see. She came out with me but when I ran back to the tent to grab something, she went back in and didn’t come back out. She laid in my sleeping bag. I covered her with her down throw and she snuggled in so that only one eye was visible. I took off the rain fly and dried it off as best I could. Then I started packing everything else up…except my bed, and Jasmine’s.
I grabbed the food bag and water and called for Jasmine to come eat breakfast. She popped out of the tent and ran to catch up to me. I took her to the spot we had eaten dinner at the night before. We ate more of the same from last night, minus the rolls. Again, she didn’t touch her food unless she accidentally picked a piece up with the human food I was throwing in there. I went back to that spot because I had seen an owl pellet sitting on the rock next to us and wanted to grab it. My nieces and nephew will be visiting next week and I wanted to show it to them. When I was in elementary, our science class dissected some and I thought it was the coolest thing. I still do. It’s just a ball of these tiny little bones. I put it in an empty baggy and headed back to camp.

Jasmine tried to sneak back into my bag but I had to put everything away so instead of laying on her own bedding, she found a spot on the cold ground to lay on. I finally got the tent empty and she tried sneaking in again but made a bee line for the bike when I pulled the poles out.

I topped off all the water bottles with the water from the dromedary. There was maybe one bottle of waters worth left in it but I dumped it out so that I wouldn’t have to lug anything extra up the nightmarish hill. The day before, Jasmine and I both drank about 1 ½ bottles of water each. Not nearly enough but I figured that her water bottle and the 2 liters in her camelback would be enough for her and the 4 bottles I had for me would be enough. Well, the hill took us an hour and a half of torturous walking/pulling to get that bike up the hill. Jasmine had it easy, she only had to pull herself up…I had the weight of all the other stuff too. It was nice and shady though. The sun couldn’t reach us that close to the wall.

After finally making it to the top, we had our second breakfast. I realized how short on food we were. And water was running pretty low too. I was sucking water down during that climb! So when Adam texted and asked if we wanted a ride back to the car, I debated. But in the end, I didn’t want to bonk on the side of the road with Jasmine with me. It wasn’t a risk I wanted to take.

Back on the road, I wasn’t quite ready to go fast so I let Jasmine keep walking even though she had just climbed that hill too and she showed no signs of wanting to load up. To my surprise, she started running. And she only stopped running when I made her pull over for water several times.

We made it back to the scenic overlook area. Since I wasn’t going to be able to bike the whole distance back, I decided that I would walk to the overlook and see what I had missed before. It was past the spot I had camped in so I couldn’t see it from above. I enjoyed myself and so did Jasmine. She was hunting ground squirrel and lizards. She didn’t catch any though...just put on a chase or two. I took apart the trailer and unloaded the bike to be ready for when Adam came.
A nice couple pulled up on a motorcycle and talked to me for a few minutes while I waited for Adam. I thought maybe Jasmine wouldn’t get in since she was having so much fun running but she jumped in and laid right down. We loaded the things quickly and headed for home. Not 2 minutes into the ride, Jasmine was fast asleep.

I may not have biked back the second day but I think it was a good trip. I learned a couple things I need to work on before I do another camping trip. I need to figure out how to make my sleeping pad more comfortable, figure out how to light a stove in the wind & figure out a way to make my left arm comfortable while being in a confined space (for whatever reason, I can’t sleep with my left arm in any position other than straight out across the tent without it hurting and it was too cold to do that this trip). And besides, I had a really good time (the night and hill notwithstanding)!

Jasmine was good company and she made me feel better at night when she stayed calm while I was freaking out. I will definitely do more trips with her when I am able (which won't be until fall at the earliest).

Jas running to the scenic overlook.

Scenic overlook

1 1/2 hours of this!

I had great views the whole time I climbed out of the canyon.

Great view of my reflector plate I made. I think it works. :o)

View from my tent.

Jasmine's claim.

Jasmine climbed into my sleeping bag and rested while I tore down camp.

Coming toward the canyon.

Just wanted you all to see my loaded rig. It's heavy!!

We made it.

Jas peering over the edge. Swan Falls Dam in the background.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tick removal

Over the 7 years we have had the dogs, we have had to remove ticks maybe 10 times. And most of those were while we were stranded in Kentucky on the move out to Wanship. It was always hard and the head usually came off the body and we would have to dig it out. The dogs did not enjoy the process at all. Just after moving here, I saw a tick remover for $5 at REI so I bought it in case we ever needed it again. Since I plan on having dogs the rest of my life, it is quite likely that we would need it.

Jack came in a few mornings ago with a tick on his eyelid. I pulled out the tick remover, the Pro Tick Remedy. It took me a few tries to get the right angle on the tick and Jack wasn't very happy with the whole thing since I was pulling on his eye lid. But the tick relesed its hold and I made sure the head was still attached to the body. Then I flushed it down the toilet. It took much less time to get it off than it ever has before and I was able to do it by myself.

So, I really recommend this item if you ever need to remove a tick...or just to carry in your bag if you do any hiking or camping.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hell's Canyon and the Bruneau area

After a few weeks of not being able to bike for various reasons, I needed to get back on my bike. I gained five pounds from March 27 to yesterday. So, I decided I needed to get back out on my bike and go far.

On Saturday, I went to Hell's Canyon. (the deepest gorge in North America) The road I wanted to ride on is 23 miles long. I was thinking I could do the 46 miles (out and back) given enough time. I didn't leave the house until 11 and ran two errands before heading out of town. About an hour from the parking lot, I started getting really dizzy. Not a fun feeling.

I got to the parking lot at 2:30. I knew I would be pushing it. I have become the slowest biker there is. I loaded my panniers with rain gear and cold weather gear. The sky was blue and clear though so I ditched the rain gear in the car and took the food, water and cold weather gear in the panniers.

After 10-15 pedal strokes, I entered Idaho. I had parked in Oregon. So Oregon is now the second state I've biked in that I haven't lived in.

I really enjoyed myself. The wind blew hard and the hills just kept coming. When I realized I wasn't going to make it to the end of the road (I'm sad about that) I picked a spot I would make it to before turning around. To get to that spot meant a LOOOOONG and painful climb. I managed to get it done. I took time at the top to enjoy the view while eating some food.

The further I got in, the more beautiful it became! I wish I had had time to see the rest of the canyon. There weren't many trees so the wind just howled right on through quickly. The snow melt trickled down the mountainsides in cascades that were so loud, every time I heard one, I was expecting something much larger. There was almost no traffic so I felt safe despite constantly being dizzy and losing my balance as a result.

I had good speed coming back until I came upon some cows. There were about 10 of them walking down the road right toward me. I did a quick u-turn, hid my bike and climbed up the tallest rock I could find. I can't tell you the fear a cow puts in my soul!!! I was going to wait until they passed but they pulled off into a pit. I couldn't see the anymore. I waited 20 minutes then I heard a car coming. I pulled into the road and biked beside the truck past the group of cows. I thought I was safe but a few minutes down the road, I spotted another cow. This one was alone and really trotting along at a good pace. I stayed behind it and it kept turning around and looking at me. I picked up a 5 pound rock and put it on my handlebar bag in case I needed to use it. It turned around and started walking toward me and snorted a couple of times so I screamed and flailed my arms and it took off running. I watched it get a good distance then took off. Unfortunately, the cows released all this adrenaline into my blood stream and I couldn't really get going again. I biked slowly on the flats and had to walk up the hills.

I finally made it to the car just after 8. I biked 33.71 miles. I made it home around 11:30. I was so tired!!! If I didn't live so far away, I would go back but 3 hours is a long way to drive and I don't like driving much.

The next day, I drove down to Bruneau. I wanted to see the sand dunes, the reservoir and the canyon overlook. I was thinking I would bike a bit in each place but drive to each one.

The overlook turned out to be on a gravel road and I didn't feel like biking on gravel so I just got out of the car and walked the fence line. It's a beautiful place. For being so far out of the way, it was busier than I thought it would be. I spent about 20 minutes there before heading back to the main highway.

I parked the car in a grove of trees and took off for the dunes. None of my pics of the largest part of the dune came out good so I added some older pics with it in it. This dune is the largest single standing dune in the world. I rode into the park. They didn’t charge me anything since my bike had no motor. I rode out to the end of the road and ate my lunch, lounged in the sand and got back to work.

*** The 3 pics below are from a previous trip to the dunes.***

largest dune

side of largest dune and lake

small side dune

The wind was blowing really hard but I took the brunt of the wind on the way in so going back to the car was much quicker than coming in. I took a quick jaunt to the bridge over the reservoir and saw enough to suit me. The ride from the dunes to the car was very pleasant with a tail wind doing a lot of the work. I had more energy but decided not to over do it. I ended the ride at 13 miles.

Just after getting back from GA, I rode 24 miles and my knees were killing me! I was worried about a long ride and riding two days in a row but my worried were in vain since my knees never hurt once despite the killer hills and strong headwinds. I definitely didn’t feel as strong today as I did on Saturday starting off but 12 miles is an average length ride for me and I felt I had more energy at the end than I did even a couple of months ago so all is looking well.
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