T – My bloody mat fully deflated last night. Grr. Still I managed a fairly good sleep and will try to find the leak and patch it up. The morning was bright and clear again with just a hint of a chill in the air. Just how I like it!
I wanted to change out our much worn out sprockets and Chantelles almost see through tyre this morning. So while everyone was still snoozing I set about laying our girls in the dewy grassy and stripping them of their rear wheels.
Mabel had quite a large amount of dried clay stuck up inside her wheel arch from our foray down the sticky road the other afternoon so I set about chipping it out with a tyre lever and an axe. That stuff was set in there like friggin’ concrete!
Once I had cleaned that out I tried to remove the rear sprocket from their housing. Man those suckers were on tight. I couldn’t shift the nuts to save my life.
In the end like a true adventurer, I gave up and wandered over to the fire with a cup of tea.
I managed to convince one of the guys it would be a great idea if he could help me get the nuts off. He had a nice long breaker bar and after struggling to hang onto the sprocket while turning the nut we ended up tying the sprocket to his motorcycle carry rack on the back of his motorhome.
That did the trick! In no time at all we had the old ones off and the new ones bolted on. Guess who’s was hardest to change out. Bloody Mabels. Little witch.
By the time I had fitted the new sprockets and changed Chantelles tyre over it was almost time to head out for the days ride. Q had planned an awesome looking ride into the bottom of the canyon where it would be much hotter and we could all have a swim. We shall see about that!
We snaked along in a long line up the road a little before turning off onto a gravel track that headed eastwards towards the Idaho border. The track wound through some trees gently sloping down and we skipped and bounced over rocks and ruts.
Then we burst out of the trees and the whole canyon was laid out bare in front of us and way way below us. Wow! We were just gobsmacked! The aridness of the place was so damn beautiful!
C – I can not describe the beauty of the ride down to the Snake River. It was simply breathtaking! My new tyre, which is really a motocross tyre did not make for very nice riding on the bitumen and I still found it quite difficult on the steep gravel descent to the river. Todd rode behind me for a while, laughing at Rosie’s rear end snaking from side to side!! He assured me this tyre would come into its own on the climb out!!!
T – The track continued on ever downwards becoming steeper and steeper. So steep in some points that just touching Mabels rear brake pedal would guarantee a locked rear wheel and a death defying sideways slither towards one of the edges that seemingly dropped away into nothing! It was a great test of slow speed skills and our resistance to vertigo induced dizziness! It was great! Eventually we hit the bottom and came to a stop at the waters edge.
I was quite warm, in a very very nice way, and was keen on having a swim. Something we hadn’t really had a chance to do yet as it’s been a little chilly so far.
I stripped down to my undies and, after Bill called out to tell me it was lovely in, I tentatively stuck my big toe in. Instantly my manhood retreated up into my stomach and my nipples shot out in terror. It was freezing! Bloody hell. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted Bill in telling me it was warm. He is a Canadian and those freaks like to do a swim called a Polar Bear swim. They find a frozen lake, cut a hole in it, strip down and have a swim! Nutters!
I slowly waded in and had my very own polar bear ‘dip’ before racing for the safety of the shore line.
C – It was so lovely down at the river I definitely had to dive in! I found a hidey hole in the blackberries bushes, put on swim suit and was then discouraged by the look on Todds face, standing waist deep. But I am brave and ventured right in! The water was freezing – like the southern ocean in winter but I did manage to get under and have a kind of wash in the fresh water. It was absolutely beautiful despite the cold.
T – After a bite to eat we sat around and chatted and ate wild Blackberries before cranking the bikes into life and heading back up the road we had come down.
The ride up was so much easier that the one down and in no time at all we had reached the top! We were a little worried that our Lifans may overheat on the way up. The CT’s over here all had the nice little hi/lo range gear box and we did not. But Mabel and Rosie seemed happy to cruise all the way up in 2nd gear at about 30 km/hr without missing a beat.
C – The climb out was absolutely easier and with some momentum, my new rear tyre did indeed redeem itself. Rosie decided it was time to shoot ahead of Mabel and throw lots all sorts of debris and rocks at Todd on the climb out!!!
T – From there we waited until a few more guys had joined us before meandering back to camp.
What a great ride! What a great day! We felt very happy to have been able to come and invade the groups get together and knew we would miss it when we leave tomorrow.
Back at camp we sat around the fire as the chill set in. We chatted and laughed and watched as deer wandered past and the resident Bald Eagle fish for his dinner in the nearby pond. I could get used to this and am feeling a little reluctant about moving on. But onwards we must go. We need to be in LA in 6 weeks when Chantelles mum and dad come to visit. Plus I am sure they are going to bring me a bottle of much missed Bundaberg rum…Right guys???
Tomorrow we shall pack up and head back to Halfway to do some laundry and hopefully come Monday morning we should be able to pick up our package from Canada!