One of the great hopes that Matt and I had while planning our ride across America is that we’d stumble upon towns, diners, museums, people, etc that we hadn’t planned on and would pull over from our ride and be sure to enjoy these moments and places. While we’ve had a couple such experiences, today was the first time our whole day unfolded with different twists and turns that made for an incredible day. Here’s a writing on the wall in our first “stumble upon” stop in Blackfoot, ID that sums up our attitude for our trip:
We already knew it was going to be a good day as we only had 50 flat miles to ride and we planned to take them at an active recovery pace. For you non-cyclists who wonder why the guys in the Tour de France still go for a ride on their off day, this is it. It can be more beneficial to your bodies recovery when you’re doing intense exercise to exercise at a recovery rate (about 60% of your max heart rate) than to take the entire day off. In addition since we had an easy day planned we had a slow morning catching up on work and responding to all the wonderful comments we’ve received. We finally rolled out of Pocatello at 10a and had planned to ride the 23 miles to a dot on the map called Blackfoot and see if we could find a place to eat lunch. We cruised the 23 miles in a little over an hour (still had the wind at our back although not as strong as the day before) and pulled over to look at Yelp for any dining suggestions as we couldn’t find anyone to ask. While Matt was looking at his phone I saw this sign and figured any shop that said “We Bee Dough’n” had to be worth a try.
We then each had a GREAT sandwich, cookie, carrots, drink and split a Blueberry Cream Cheese Turnover! It was so good, wish we could eat there everyday. We enjoyed talking to the two wonderful women (Brittany and ?) who worked there about our trip and enjoyed stumbling upon the Downtown Bread Co. We then checked in with Danica and Maggie (they were on their own adventure to Chesterfield http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesterfield,_Idaho ) and Maggie reminded us that the Idaho Potato Museum was in Blackfoot. We then rode around the corner and came across the Idaho Potato Museum/Chamber of Commerce building. We put our bikes in the back storage room and proceed to learn more about potatoes than I thought possible. No doubt the word of the day would be Potato! So why Idaho…well it’s because they have the right blend of climate, soil and irrigation. Kind of like Napa for wine, however wine tasting is a much different experience than potato tasting (although less expensive). We also learned the 3 grades of potatoes and that SE Idaho produces 50% of Idaho potatoes. I could keep going on with all our new potato knowledge but I’ll leave you with potatoes are not grown from seeds but rather whole potatoes or cut up potatoes that have at least one eye on them (now you can try to grow potatoes in your garden). We then pulled ourselves away from the potato museum and rode the final 27 miles to Idaho Falls. In pedaling to our hotel (Super 8 again) I thought I saw a brewery around the corner. Matt and I pedaled over and sure enough there was the Snow Eagle Brewery right on the Snake River across from the falls (it is called Idaho Falls after all). What a perfect finish to an incredible day of riding through SE Idaho. We then rode to the hotel and met the girls later and walked across the street for dinner. What a great setting outdoors on the Snake River with that perfect not too warm/not too cold temperature. We had a spectacular dinner of salmon and trout and could have stayed there all night. Matt and I finally pulled ourselves away as tomorrow we have to ride over the Grand Tetons (90+ miles and 7,000+ feet of climbing). Matt and I must have commented to each other at least a dozen times that today was what we were hoping for from the trip. One final note on Idaho Falls. Here’s the text I got from my friend Brad Blackwell: “Lisa’s brother Bob says there’s a great bakery in Idaho Falls, but he can’t remember the name”. So I text Brad the name of a few bakery’s and here’s the response I get: ‘I don’t remember the name but you can smell the cinnamon rolls from 2 blocks away…just text me the smell”. Candidly, I didn’t think this was a lot of help, but when I asked our waiter tonight if there’s a bakery that you can smell the cinnamon rolls from two blocks away he said “you must mean the Great Harvest Bread Co”. So thanks Bob, you now know where Matt and I will be in the morning!