Day Five – Hailey ID to Joseph OR
Miles: 447
Elapsed Time: 12:05

We sat down to breakfast at 7:15. We were one of the few customers at Shorty’s Diner on Saturday morning. We were a little concerned but the service and food could not have been better. Shorty’s skillet really hit the spot and we were on our way just before 8:00. We were headed north on ID 75 into the heart of the Sawtooth National Forest. Our first stop was going to be at Galena Summit; roughly at 8,100 feet above sea level and 3,000 feet above Hailey, a short roughly 30 miles to the north of Hailey. We stopped at the very summit for a few quick minutes and took some pics, but the better stop was just beyond the actual summit where we also briefly stopped. At the second point the view was of several of the peaks in the Sawtooth range including Thompson, Horstmann, Braxon, Decker, and Payette Peaks. The scenery was great and the road was phenomenal. We hit Stanley around 9:30, but didn’t take much of a look around as we knew we were going to be back on Tuesday to spend the night. So we continued on and kept our sights on the fantastic road. We were now headed west on ID21which is called the Ponderosa Pines Scenic Byway, and just a few miles west of Stanley we pulled over for a nice look at the Sawtooth Mountain Range and ended up with the signature picture of the trip. I saw this place on Google Earth and thought it might be a good spot for a stop and it ended up begin perfect. It would have been almost impossible to find unless you knew it was there. It’s marked but, it didn’t look like much from the road. After stopping we continued on ID21 following along the Payette River towards Lowman. We stopped for gas and a quick catch of our breath at the Sourdough Lodge. Just after our gas stop and before the town Lowman we spotted Kirkham Hot Springs which had drawn quite a crowd. We briefly stopped to get a quick look from the road, but there wan’t much to see. We continued on ID21 which was now running due south down towards Boise. Just south of Lowman ID21 breaks away from the Payette River and climbs very quickly into a nice set of turns and switchbacks that provides great riding. We passed over Beaver Creek Pass and Mores Creek Summit. We considered stopping to look around Idaho City but decided to continue on. We stopped at the Lucky Peak Reservoir Bridge which is south of Arrowrock Dam built in 1915 and north of the Lucky Peak Dam built in the 1950s as a flood control and irrigation project. We worked our way through Boise as quickly as possible staying on the North side and weaving through secondary streets until we could break out on ID55. We went north and continued until we reached Horseshoe Bend where we stopped for gas and a stop along the Payette River, and an old railroad bridge. We turned onto ID52 and continued on toward Hell’s Canyon. In Payette we met up with US95 and said good bye to the Payette River and began our trek into Hell’s Canyon on ID71. This is a really nice road that hangs along the side of the Basalt cliffs on the very western edge of the state Idaho. The Snake River forms the border with Oregon and cuts through what is the deepest gorge on the US There are three dams on the snake river in Hell’s Canyon; Brownlee is the southern most dam, Oxbow Dam in the middle and Hell’s Canyon Dam is the northern most. The road was ok, but nothing spectacular. Maybe my expectations were too high. We crossed over into Oregon at Brownlee Dam and stopped along the river at Oregon Island for a brief stop. We continued on the Brownlee-Oxbow Highway towards Oxbow and the dam. We climbed up over the ismuth that hides Oxbow Dam in this Gooseneck area on the Snake River and into Oxbow OR. Soon we would be climbing our way out of the canyon on OR86 and turning on North Pine Road. I was less than certain about the quality of this road, but I did much research to determine that it was a paved road and in good enough shape. It turned out that the road was paradise in term of scenery, but the condition was far less than perfect. We pulled over at the McGraw Overlook which offered a wonderful view of the entire Hell’s Canyon area. We rode on to the motel where we found the Indian Lodge Motel to be a perfect fit for us. Lots of other bikers, a carwash across the street and at least a couple of microbreweries in within walking distance. After washing off the bikes we walked down to Mutiny Brewing Company to have a pint or two and grab some grub. We sat out on the deck and enjoyed a big burrito and a couple of their Pale Ales. The food and beer was average when compared to the other venues on the trip, but not bad. As we were walking back we stopped at Embers Brewpub and this seemed to be the better place. We didn’t eat but had a couple of Terminal Gravity IPAs, a locally brewed beer that was very tasty. We also convinced the folks at Embers to put on the Reds game where we got to watch the end of another game. Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run first inning for the Reds against the Brewers, and Brandon Phillips added a two-run shot in the seventh. Bronson Arroyo improved to 13-8 against Milwaukee for his career while the bullpen shutdown the Brewers with only one hit over 3 innings. We went back to the room and began to think about the next day.