Tour 2019 – Day 15

Before Crossing the Ridges

All learning overturned in your pond’s ink-dark ripples,
your tree of life scattering its branches: it’s breathtaking.

Just one darling girl left now. She plays in courtyard dirt,
empty mind fluent in all those scribbled sparrow tracks.

-Liu Tsung-yüan
translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home

With limestone blocks so large
I awoke on the Wildlife Refuge with the calls of strange birds in my ears. Back on the road–the same rocky, dust road–toward the end of Red Rock Lake I saw two large, tan birds. They had the affect of Great Blue Heron, but were tan and much, much larger. The wind picked up, much earlier than normal and would be against me all this morning. I would my way along the Centennial valley until the road began to turn upwards. It wasn’t a tough, overly steep climb, but the road was atrocious, all hard dirt, exposed stones and loose large rocks. But at the top was Red Rock Pass, the Continental Divide and the state line. I was now in Idaho.

Red rock Mountain and Mount Jefferson. Over 10,000’

The descent started off the same and then became finer, hard packed sand. Not bad. It emptied out into a valley with a lake and soon RV Resorts, Rental cabins and lots of people on ATVs. The route took us on an ATV track in the woods, which was actually quite nice, especially on the sections with no motorized vehicles allowed. From that short section of road, the route turned to pavement and I descended to hwy 20 and a junction with stores and such.

Johnny Sack Cabin

Here I was at a quandary on the route. I chose to ride to Big Springs were there is a State Park and a cute little cabin. But from there I turned onto the Fish Creek alternative. The main route spent many miles on soft sand on the Yellowstone Trail and that would not be good riding on a skinny tired bike like mine. So I took this alternative. I didn’t ride much on it though as the only camping was an informal campground on Moose Creek right at the start. Moose Creek was lovely and clear and this was a nice camping spot in the woods.

chance companions
on the way
put us on
different paths
the a night sky
like jewels flung from
a careless hand
lightening flashes–
wake up!

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