Posted by: bikedave | June 28, 2010

June 27, White Bird, ID to Kooskia, ID

I left white Bird to the north on the old Highway 95. This road was built about 100 years ago. Leaving White Bird you can see the switchbacks near the top of the mountain.

View of the old road going up the side of the mountain

The old road follows White Bird Creek for a few miles, then skirts the east side of the Nez Perce National Historic Park.  The site of the 1877 battle that began the Nez Perce war.  Soon after passing the battlefield I came upon a marker on the side of the road.

Marker located uphill, northeast of the battlefield

“Before you to the weatward lies the historid white bird battle ground of the Nez Perce Indian War in which thirty five men gave up their lives in service for their country, June 17, 1877. Beneath this shaft lies one of those brave men laid to rest where he fell.” is carved into the western side of the marker.

The road surface is chip seal with loose gravel on the shoulders.  I rode within about 3 feet of a nesting Killdeer before i saw her at the side of the road.  she stood part way up and extended a wing like she was about to try to draw me away from the nest by feigning a broken wing.  As I passed however, she never moved from the nest.  I could see at least one egg in the gravel beneath her.

I saw a group of riders coming up from below, so I waited to take their picture.

Transcontinental cyclists

They are also headed to Virginia and had started in Florence, OR.  There was no Question of my being able to climb as fast as they could.  They were out of sight in no time.

About a half mile from the summit on Old White Bird Hill Road I had one last look down the valley at white Bird.

White Bird from near the top of the hill

At the summit there is an interesting looking Bed and Breakfast.

White Bird Summit B&B

The climb was about 2700 feed over a distance of about 12 miles.  It took me over 3 and a half hours to reach the top.

The view north from White Bird Hill

I had stopped to take a picture when I herd some machinery above me.  It turned out to be two loaded log trucks coming out of the woods.  I waited a few minutes before following them down the hill.

The road was downhill most of the way to Grangeville and went by quickly.  While I was still on the old road, A pickup pulling a stock trailer with living quarters in the front was coming towards with sewage dumping onto the ground as he drove.  I thought it was an accident until I came upon the big puddle in the road where he had stopped to open his dump valve.  This is the second time I have seen such a thing on this trip.

The first few miles out of Grangeville were up and down (mostly down) rolling hills, this then changed to a steeper decent. I soon came upon Vicki waiting for me on the side of the road and stopped for lunch.

Lunch Break!

After lunch, Vicki followed me down the rest of the decent to the south fork of the Clearwater River, where she passed me and continued on to Kooskia.

I saw the same four cyclists that I had photographed earlier again near Harpster, ID.

The rest of the ride in to Kooskia was mostly downhill along the river, on a road with few shoulders.

South fork of the Clearwater near Harpster, ID

I met Vicki in Kooskia, Id.  She was parked near a coin operated car and truck wash, so we gave the motor home a needed bath.  I hope it doesn’t rain for a while.Vicki went ahead and found us a nice camping spot on the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River.  We took our folding chairs down to the riverbank and soaked our feet in the cold water.  Perfect!

This is the life!

The view from my chair

Vicki found this strange worm on the wet sand next to the river. It’s very thin and 8 to 10 inches long.  It was flailing around like an earthworm does if you pick it up.  Does anybody know what it is?

What is this creature?

It would straighten out then curl up like this.

After the picture we put it in the shallow water.

As of today this has become the longest trip i have taken on a bicycle.

Miles today: 50    Total miles: 705



  1. Dave, sure do miss you. Love the pictures, love checking up on you. We will be driving to Wyoming this Friday, where you gonna be, maybe I could stop and say hi! Don is great be he will never be Dave.


  2. This could be the worm you found?!:

    Horsehair or gordian worms are long, slender worms related to nematodes. They get their name because of the mistaken belief that they originated from the long thin hairs of a horse’s tail or mane that have fallen into a horse trough. When they are immature, they are parasites of insects, arthropods, and other invertebrate animals. As adults, they are free- living. They are harmless to people in all stages of their lives.

    Horsehair worms are long, measuring from several inches to over 14 inches. They are quite thin, ranging from 1/25 inch to 1/16 inch wide (1 mm to 1.5 mm) and are uniform in diameter from front to back. They vary greatly in color from whitish to yellow/tan to brown/black. Horsehair worms are found on the ground or on plants, especially near water.

    • Mystery Solved!!!

      Thanks Shirley Ann,

  3. Dave. Talk about the camera you are using a bit. The flying bird, the buck deer and other close up type shot are really coming through well on the blog. My Lynn is getting to the new entries before I do. Really great.
    On a Sherman Team note. I did a self called for ODOT safety inspection at Woodburn POE. Passed and got a Golden Safety Sticker for my old girl. The inspector even said she looked good for and older truck with a million miles.
    You and Vicki run safe, Regards, j.

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