In the South West Idaho newspaper over breakfast in Hanson's Cafe I saw an article promoting local business discounts to customers arriving at their premises by bicycle. Neat idea, but where were these cyclists? The only other diners were two old men showing off about their fishing exploits and two old women showing off about their operations. When one of the men realised I was waiting for my bill, he said of the waitress, “She's slower than the second coming of Christ.” He and his friend gave me directions for the day, yet I couldn't follow them (I'm not very good with directions at the best of times) and I was soon back on my nemesis, the Interstate. Sustained a puncture - fortunately just before a service station, so I would at least have shade to fix it in and it was then that I discovered my tyres were riddled with thorns. Mental note to self : don't take bike off a road to lean against a pole in sagebrush country. Came off the Freeway at Bliss, the naming of which put me in mind of Greenland, to be reunited with old friend Highway 30. Out of desert now and into farmland, where it amazes me how much money and time is spent on irrigation; at least farmers in the UK don't have this to grumble about amongst all their other complaints. The 'Thousand Springs' stretch of road lived up to its reputation, with something approaching this number of waterfalls cascading out of a cliff face into Snake River, and then through the agreeable small town of Buhl, 'Trout Capital of America', with its tree-lined streets of comfortable houses. It was cooler today, with clouds and a wind from the side sapping my energy, and then following Buhl the wind was from behind and so strong that I was sailing along at 20-25 mph without even pedaling. I should have brought a book.
Twin Falls was tonight's destination, fly capital of America (the trout should swim upriver) where I stayed with Mellisa & Nate and their three cats, two budgies and gecko, via Couchsurfing. A nice enough, decent sized town, in which my young, recently wed hosts both worked as journalists. They cooked me a delectable trout from down the road in Buhl, 'twice baked' potatoes and corn on the cob. We saw a little of the Vice Presidential Debate and Sarah Palin acquitted herself well. The cramming had paid off. Joe Biden was good too; the epitome of articulacy and confidence. Then we sat down to play Scrabble as a threesome and with both blanks I was easily able to win with the one bingo (TANGENTS). We went out for a couple of beers at a local tavern, to meet two other journos, who had recently relocated to rural Idaho from Houston and Illinois, to work on this paper. What with their profession they asked as many questions about my life as I did about theirs. They wanted to know what British people thought of Bush, alcohol laws, etc. Leaving there Nate drove past a foreboding, white lit-up edifice, an LDS (Latter Day Saints) church - the pc term for Mormons, to a ludicrously cheap Taco Bell drive-in restaurant, before coffee and bed. Sleep was interrupted by freight trains rushing back and forth here too, although these ones had little bells, two were grey and one tabby.