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Wednesday 25 May 2011

Day 16 - Potatoes

Todays mileage: 53
Total mileage: 804
End point: Carey, ID (actually 5 miles north by the side of the highway)

Chips, crisps, fries, mash potato, sauteed potatos.. the list goes on. Life would would be hard without the potato. Its hard not to think of potatoes when every registraion plate in Idaho has them on (potentially the best thing from the american continent - go sir walter raleigh!!). This got me thinking; where are all the potatoes? For all I know I am surrounded by them. I have no idea what the part above ground looks like! Jamie Oliver would be disgusted with me. The closest I have got is root growth when I have left the potato in the cupboard to long. So my default view now is that every field is a potato field. Much more importantly when I get back to england I must start eating before potato waffles with beans - I love them and my life has been incomplete recently... maybe even some potato croquettes too, who knows!

I've also discovered another Idaho bell. The motel I stayed at last night had the exact same bell as me at reception. A second use has been found :) calling absent hotel staff.

Today has been gruelling, more prairie but the wind had swung 180 overnight and was now a strong easterly in my face. I was lucky to get over 10 mph. After 2 hours in I sat down and went through a pack of rolos in about 5 mins. Rolos are unique because they are exactly the same both sides of the atlantic - the kind of consisteny I am looking for. Milky way - different, snickers - different, skittles - more flavours in the states, cadburys - hard to find... rolos are the answer. I thought for a minute after my rolos that the wind dropped off but I was sadly mistaken.

After a few more miles I reached another historic sign - but my hopes were not high. This was not going to be the Battle of Bosworth Field, 1483, 'a horse, a horse a kingdom for my horse'. Now not to belittle american history; give me gettysburg, the boston tea party or a good civil rights march (I spent many hours in the smithsonian) BUT the historical marker signs here are slightly clutching at straws. It was here, no 40 miles away; the first gold nugget was discovered in Idaho. I need more depth, personalities and a narrative to my history. I guess that's what happens when your mum is a history teacher. 

I finally reached a rest area and took a break. I bumped into Carol and Richard a lovely couple from east Oregon who were quizzing me a lot on my journey. It turned out they were mormons, and I must say every mormon I have me have been really nice. But I had to tell them with no alcohol or caffeine mormonism wasn't going to go far in England. We also had a little joke or two over Obama and much more importantly the budget deficit!

After about 45 miles I made it to Carey but there was no where to camp or motels so I pressed forward to these little hot spings by the side of the road. Its a little pool you can swim in which is roasting hot, great after a bike ride. I'm now in a tent surrounded by lava rock (more of that tomorrow), with a storm closing in and I'm in the middle of nowhere. Typing in the tent is very very difficult so I'm calling it a day here - but one last important thing to know is that I've managed to change my computer to miles. I'm now probably going to change back because it just looks like I'm going too slow! Will write more tomorrow!


  1. Don't know if you've seen the wikipedia article on Route 20 - it might help avoid unpleasant surprises...

  2. I hope it is less windy for you today. Loved your bit about Rolos. :) Didn't you have a question in Trivial Pursuit about a golden nugget? Hope the hot spring felt great! Talk to you soon. xxxx

  3. let's hear it for the kind Mormons! Wishing that i'd followed earlier, since C's parents would have loved to show you some hospitality in Boise. Idaho headwinds, potatoes and history -- this blog may take over for my daily online cultural enrichment! here's hoping to tailwinds tomorrow.