Hell on Wheels – Breaking Away – Day 2
An interesting tidbit: we enter the Mountain Time Zone 0.3 miles from the park. But, don’t stop in the middle of the road to set your watches ahead an hour, we’ll stay on Pacific Time, and the friendly folks in Idaho will have to adjust their time schedules to accommodate ours.
Once again everyone gets to enjoy riding on the I-84 shoulder, but only for about two and a half miles. Then the route follows Highway 201 along the Snake River with a few whoop de doos (short little hills) before turning onto a Spur of U.S. Highway 95 to travel through Annex and across the Snake River into Idaho to the community of Weiser (Wee-zer). Fiddling contests have been held in Weiser since 1914, and the city bills itself as the “Fiddling Capital of the World,” with the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest held here each year in June since 1953. In addition to fiddling, the city has a wonderful park with green grass that is the site for our first stop of the day.
After leaving town, we travel east for a few miles, and then turn north on Mann Creek Road. This route allows us to avoid riding on Highway 95 for fifteen miles, and wends its way through agricultural fields, past a picturesque abandoned schoolhouse, with a gentle, but unrelenting grade, to our lunch site at the junction of Highway 95. After lunch, there is only one paved road that leads to Cambridge, so everyone must remain on the shoulder of the highway and yield to motorists. Traffic is not terrible, but just be aware.
The start of our sojourn on Highway 95 begins with a climb of a little over two miles, followed by a great descent of about the same length, leading to the fourth stop of the day in Midvale. After fueling at the rest stop it’s less than nine miles to the finish. Most of Highway 95 has excellent shoulders for cycling, but a few miles after Midvale, the shoulder narrows for four miles. The only option to avoid this section of narrow shoulder involves adding extra miles – on gravel roads (yep, we looked hard for options). Be sure to “Share the Road” with motorists by riding single file to allow faster traffic to pass.
Cambridge (population about 350) is the second largest city in Washington County after Weiser. The community will welcome everyone with green grass for our camp at the local school, just a couple blocks off Main Street, with shops and restaurants, and a local watering hole or two.