Instead of going through Big Spring, we headed south down first a paved, then gravel road to hit the rail trail. John's GPS device helped us find it, for there was a maze of roads, ATV and foot trails going every which way.
The rail trail is made of course sand and for the most part is only compressed in the ruts left by ATV traffic. If you don't stay exactly in the middle of your chosen rut, you slip and slide all over. Sometimes the sand at the bottom of the rut is also soft. I compared it to driving in a blizzard. You have to completely attend to the road right in front of you. This went on for about 25 miles. One lapse in attention and you will go off the road and so I did. It was a slow speed (8mph) crash, which pitched me into the sand. Fortunately I didn't take anyone else with me and I escaped with a little brush burn on my leg.
Towards the very end the surface solidified and we saw a few people who had come down the path by bike to fish in the Warm River quite a ways below us, as well as some ATVs and a horseback riding group. An old tunnel led under part of the hillside, but it was closed due to instability.
As we jumped out of the river valley onto paved roads, we saw our first and last Idaho crops: wheat, rye (maybe) and potatoes. The crops had disappeared as we re-entered a National Forest.
For a while we followed a solo rider with a 2 wheeled trailer, but we never caught him. John suffered another flat, possibly due to some funky cattle guards we crossed. A thunder and lighting storm threatened to overtake us and the solo cyclist wisely ditched somewhere in the woods while we rode on.
At a rental NFS cabin there was a boil advisory due to cholera bacteria, so we did not stay there,but moved on to Boone's Creek and set up there, quite late. Our bear hang was less than stellar, but hopefully it will do.
Start odometer 1265
Time reset needed, so this was lost