The silver mountains loom in the far distance. The view at the trailhead lays it all out for you so there is no mistaking your mission: you ride down to the lake, up and over the lake on the train bridge, through to Harrison, up the north side of the Harrison flats to the Rose Lake plain up the Coeur d'Alene River valley to Enaville, Kellogg, Osborn and Mullan,on the other side of those mountains you saw 72 miles ago. Where by the way, if Idaho were Germany, there'd be passion plays and beer festivals in the fall to which international tourists would flock. But Idaho isn't Gemany, so once you get 72 miles up the trail to Mullan, you turn around and ride back to the Res at Plummer, where you started. If Idaho were the Sonoma Valley, there would be charming inns and cafes dotting the trail, where you'd stop for repast and revival; but Idaho isn't California so we make bread and butter with cheese sandwiches at home and we carefully tuck them into our backpacks with green grapes and water bottles frozen with lemonade. We throw in a bottle of frozen water for good luck. We feast all the way up and all the way back.
We see freshly hatched duck eggs. We see myriads of blooming wildflowers. At points, the trail is obscured by drifting cotton from the cottonwoods trees. We see pastured dairy and beef cows. There are still plenty of deadheads in Coeur d'Alene Lake. The river is alive with moose, deer, heron, eagles and hawks. Even, we see unlucky individuals who have tried to master the trail, but sadly, have failed.
Not us, though. No failure for us. We're so on this. And we have a new nano, programmed and fully loaded with 1106 explosively powerful songs. North Idaho, here we come.
The 'Kan EWA