After 51 days, Gavin and Jenna are nearing their final destination. There’s only one more week of updates left and then we’ll share Gavin’s epilogue for this ride. It’s been quite the ride this summer, although Gavin did most of the work and I’m excited to learn how it all ends.

But for now, here’s Gavin.

Days 52 to 58: Mountain Home, Idaho, to Mitchell, Oregon
Monday, Aug. 1 to Sunday, Aug. 8
Distance Travelled: 589.16km

Boise: back in town – We spent two days with Rachel and Patrick, a couple living in a great old house in Boise, currently being gutted by Patrick for renovation (there were no stairs to the top floor while the renovation was underway because then they would have to pay tax on it).

Rachel took a plane to New Zealand for her first bike tour at the age of 42, where she rode solo around the country and worked on farms, eventually meeting Patrick, who is from Holland and was also touring the area by bike. Rachel then toured Australia before meeting Patrick in South Africa and cycling with him up to Nairobi. They have since biked all over the world during almost two decades, including their most recent trip a few years ago when they both quit their jobs and rode for 13 months through south Asia, Tibet and eventually down through Alaska.

Their generosity with offering us food, laundry, towels, a bed, internet and pretty much anything else we could want was astounding. Rachel said she knew what touring was like and that she and Patrick tried to make their home a vacation for cyclists on tour. They succeeded in that respect, and we used their house as a home base to explore the great town of Boise.

The highlight came in the blistering heat of the afternoon on the second day, when we took and inflatable raft that Rachel and Patrick had lent us down to a bus stop by the Boise River. The bus carried us to a drop-off point on the river outside of town, complete with inflation stations for rafts and tubes. We then floated for an hour and a half down the river into downtown Boise, balancing out the heat by occasionally dipping parts of our body into the water (and falling in once by mistake).

On the Thursday we left Boise and crossed into Oregon, our final state. The next day we unexpectedly hit Pacific Standard Time at the top of a giant hill, magically gaining another hour and feeling closer and closer to our destination.

Bike Inn – On Saturday we hit our first full-fledged forest since Yellowstone. Although we had crossed the state line several days earlier, it was the first time I felt like we were in Oregon. There were familiar smells. That night we arrived at the Bike Inn in Mount Vernon, which is the spare detached garage and apartment of a woman named Christie, who keeps it as a haven for touring cyclists. There was no one else there, even Christie was out of town, but the door was unlocked and we were greeted by Barbie, her dog who had the run of the unfenced yard. Christie also kept goats, chickens and ducks in a fenced off area behind the Bike Inn. Occasionally a rooster would hop the fence and Barbie would chase it until it jumped back into captivity again. Inside there was a shower, kitchen, stocked fridge, pull-out futon, TV, VCR and large collection of the finest VHS movies that the 1990s had to offer, all for our use by donation. We cooked macaroni and cheese and watched Dances With Wolves.

This Monday, we’ll post the final leg of Gavin’s trek and deliver his final update on Friday.