To Hell and Back

September 1, 2011 – Moscow, Idaho – Hells Canyon – Vale Oregon

I spent the night of August 31st in a town named Moscow. I went walking around looking for Red Square or the famous Saint Basils Cathedral but sadly they were nowhere to be found.   I have been to Moscow Russia many times but this place offered no resemblance. Not yet ready to give up, I went looking for the infamous bar “Night Flight”, but I struck out with this as well. I ended up at the only open restaurant I could find, a Chinese food restaurant on the main street. Chinese it was; food that remains a question.

Waking up in the morning I realize that I am now officially homeless. I sold my home last year and the lease on the apartment was renting expired last night. I live on my bike, my most important possessions fit on my bike. I was told that I have squatters rights in Newfoundland and as long as my brother does not change the code for his garage door, I should always be able to find a place to crash back in Canada. Now however I feel a much stronger desire to move forward in my journey.

I headed south down highway 95 with the intention of getting as far south as I could. Stopping in a small town called Riggins for lunch, my plans were about to change. The very attractive waitress told me about the “7 Devils Road” leading into “Hells Canyon”. How could I refuse?

The 7 Devils Road soon turned to loose gravel with patches of sand. It was a steady 21mile climb with hair pin turns and drop offs descending into canyons. The view was amazing but it took all of my focus to navigate this road. After 19 miles there was a great place to pull over for a photo, but there were 3 cows blocking my path. Cows, on the road to hell? I guess this is why the “Hot Beef Sandwich” was the special of the day back at the restaurant.  From the top of 7 Devils Road you can see all three States, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Descending back down was as much fun and as challenging as was the climb. This detour from my original plan was well worth it, the best plans are flexible.

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