PNW Tour Day 8 – Clayton to Baker City

Clayton, ID to Baker City, OR

Approx. 240 miles

This was our earliest start day so far, with KSU at 6:30 AM.  We had planned to head to Stanley, Idaho for breakfast and had heard the bakery there was lovely but crowded by 7:00 AM.  This was also the coldest morning so far with the temperature on my Vstrom reading 41 degrees at one point.  This was the second time I was wishing I’d packed my mid weight gloves!

The ride to Stanley was a little bit twisty but we mostly had the road to ourselves.  Along the way we did encounter a deer but saw her far enough ahead to slow down and everyone passed safely.  I remember coming around a corner and seeing what looked like smoke!  It seemed to be next to the road, so I assumed it wasn’t a camp fire.  As we approached, it turned out to be a small hot springs coming straight out of the mountain and it was amazing!  Sadly there was no safe place to pull over so the images are captured in my memory only.  As we approached Stanley, the Sawtooth mountains came clearly into view and I suddenly knew why they were named this.  The backdrop was a beautiful blue sky and the snow topped mountains made for a beautiful scene.

After a lovely breakfast and gas stop, I noticed my left mirror was turned at a strange angle.  Assuming I (or someone) had bumped it I tried to correct it as we rode, but it was not just bumped out of position, it was loose and blowing around!  For the first half of the morning I was riding with just one mirror and very grateful there was not a great deal of car traffic around us.  At a mid morning stop one of my riding buddies offered up her adjustable wrench and we were able to put that mirror back in place.  Note to self – add an adjustable wrench to my tool kit at home!

We probably spent about half our day riding small, two lane highways that had little traffic.  We did encounter a great deal of classic cars, but they were going the opposite direction we were.  Again choosing an early hotel arrival day, we finished our day on I-84.  It was exciting and sad to cross the state line back into Oregon.  So many mixed emotions knowing that our trip was definitely nearing the end.

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