After cycling 42 miles and getting drenched, the comfort of the Roosevelt Inn beckoned. No wooden-ruler-wielding teachers roam the Roosevelt school-house these days. The old building, now listed on the National Register of Historic places in Coeur D’Alene (CDA), houses a bed and breakfast guaranteed to provide restful nights and lively breakfast conversation. Old class pictures line the hallways and individual rooms honor well-remembered teachers.
On day three of my adventure, I woke to the smell of coffee, blue sky painted with puffy clouds, and a forecast of afternoon thunder and lightening storms. On this day, I was determined to ride a loop on the Trail of the CDAs. I had no trouble finding the trailhead at Enaville. The first segment of my ride would be on pavement, heading in the direction of the previous day’s bike ride. Again, I sailed along, enjoying myself immensely. Muddy moose tracks ambled across the path and horses grazed contentedly in belly deep grass. I rode over several bridges and pedaled past Cataldo. Several campsites looked like inviting alternatives for cyclists who prefer to rough it.
At Latour Creek I stopped to consult my map and route instructions. Holy cow! I was within 3.7 miles of where I had stopped the day before—almost connecting the dots; but this meant I had overshot the turnoff by almost two miles! I backtracked to Cataldo. I reread the instructions on the Friends of the CDA Trails website, which bragged that riders from age 8 to 60+ ride this loop each year to commemorate the Summer Equinox. I had to find the old CCC Road which begins the dirt climb. I pedaled in circles around Cataldo looking for this CCC road. “Go over the bridge and turn right,” said the bartender at the Cataldo Inn (which is really the Cataldo Roadhouse.) Hmm. I saw the bridge that crosses I90 and dumps traffic onto the freeway. I saw the bike bridge on the CDA trail I’d just gone and come on—multiple times. Finally, I saw a bridge heading east on Canyon Road. And there, on the other side of that bridge over the CDA Rriver, was my CCC Road.The dirt road looked innocuous. I was prepared for a bit of a climb, but heck, if 8-year-olds can do this, how tough could it be? Right? Perhaps I should have paid closer attention to the text that said, “the next couple of miles rise at 6-7% grade.”
By now, I’d burned valuable time looking for the trailhead and the predicted storms were brewing not so far away. I negotiated the first hill with no problem. This’ll be a piece a cake! Then came the next rise. Whooee, this is a bit steeper . . . and longer. Good God, will it ever stop rising? That’s about when I looked across a canyon and saw a road rising waaaay up. That can’t be this road. . .can it?” I pedaled. I pushed. I grumbled. Mind you, dear reader, I am not one of those paragons of fitness who barely fills out a Size 3. No, I have a Size 12 ass to haul uphill. And the freakin’ clouds were lurking—ominously. How the hell high is this gonna take me? I’ll probably crest the summit just as the lightning storm hits. Cheeerist, Linda!” I briefly considered retreat. Briefly. I hate to give in, even to my own stupidity.
Accompanied by thunder inside and outside of my head, I finally summited. The view was spectacular, but I had time for only a hasty photo. Next I had to keep my wits about me so I wouldn’t repeat the mistake of the young whippersnapper who flipped his bike in front of me on flat, smooth pavement yesterday! I coasted carefully down, down, down, till at last I recognized the paved trail below me. Just as I thought to congratulate myself, a fire-breathing border collie rushed from a ramshackle property. “Ha! Smell ye a letter carrier, eh?” I growled as I hurtled past flying snot without missing a stroke.
My lone car welcomed me back to the parking lot at Enaville. The mileage was only half what I’d done the day before, but calorie for calorie, it was a hell of a work out. I was just locking the bike to the car when the sky opened up and the rain came sheeting down.
That wrapped up the biking portion of this adventure. Next, let’s see what urban mischief I can find.