We had another great weekend adventure yesterday! We decided to finally go bike the Hiawatha Trail. I'm so glad that we did. Adam was getting a little worried about our stamina since we did a 30 mile bike ride the day before, but I wouldn't let him talk me out of it. Since I only have a couple weeks left where I can ride a bike, I was determined to go!
The trip was worth it...even before we got to the trail. On our way out there we saw this moose just chillin' in the water. It is also one of the first animals that has responded to Adam's banter. Adam would say "goodbye" and the moose would look up at us and watch us!
You have to drive through a few tunnels to get to the trail head. In one of the tunnels, 4 deer were taking advantage of the shade. I was a little slow with my camera, but got the last one running out.
This is towards the beginning of the trail and the first tunnel that we came through. There are a total of 10 tunnels and 7 trestles. You have to have a headlamp or flashlight of some sort to be able to go on the trail.
This is still towards the beginning of the trail. The trail is 15 miles. Most people take a shuttle from the bottom and only ride down. We, being the cheap people that we are, decided we were tough enough to ride up 15 miles up at a 1.7% grade and then bike down. Not sure that was the best idea for me considering my current condition. I wasn't sure I was going to make it!
I liked watching people come out of the tunnels. You could only see their lights for a while and then eventually you could tell it was a person.
A lot of the tunnels were really long...and really dark. I had to walk my bike a time or two because I was too chicken to ride! It is so dark that my head lamp didn't do a thing...only made it so people coming the other way wouldn't run into me!
Here is the first and longest trestle we came to. We were really high up and the view was incredible.
From the trestles you could see the trestles on the other side of the mountain. I have to admit, this is the point where I started questioning my decision to ride up (and it was only about 6 miles in).
Luckily I have a good (and strong) husband that would hold my hand and pull me! (This isn't a picture of that...just a side note! I just liked this shot!)
Here we are getting close to the top looking down at the trestles we rode on earlier. (If you click on this picture and make it big, you can follow the trail across most of the mountain).
There was a little stream about two miles from the end and I spotted a little cutthroat trout in there. It was a little guy...but we added it to our animal spottings!
This is the beginning of the mammoth tunnel. It is officially called the "Taft Tunnell" or "St. Paul Pass". If you read the sing on the edge you will see that this tunnel is 8,771 feet. That is almost two miles long. It was the craziest feeling riding through there. It was pitch black and freezing cold. There was water dripping on you and it almost felt like you were flying because you couldn't see the ground. Luckily, once your eyes adjusted, you could see the reflectors that they had put on the walls to keep you from crashing into them.
Here is Adam getting ready to enter the tunnel. I was glad he was in front. My light was bright enough for me to see the reflectors on his bike, so I just followed that and hoped he didn't wreck!
Here is the entrance to the trail from the top. We are actually in Montana here. I was excited that I made it to Montana for the first time...on bike!
The best part of getting to the top was knowing that we got to turn around and do the whole thing again...except downhill!! We couldn't wait to go through that tunnel again!
Here is a view coming out of one of the tunnels. On the way back we were pretty much the only ones on the trail because it was getting late and it took us (well...me) so long to get to the top. It was nice to have it to ourselves though.
Just another tunnel! If anyone wants to come visit, we'll take you there! I'd love to do it again...at least the downhill part. I am glad that we rode both ways though. We saw the trail from both ways and could really take it in on the way up because it was slow going.
The Idaho trail head is really close to Adam's favorite fishing hole on the St. Joe's. We stopped there on the way home and he fished for a while. I was too pooped to do anything, but sit and watch.