Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Meadows, ID

Day 17: Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Cambridge to New Meadows: 48 miles

The last time we came through Cambridge, the Pacific & Idaho Northern Railroad ran through town. Now it's the Weiser River Trail, and follows the river through several other towns that I will pass through today. Being relatively flat, it would be a good alternative to US 95, which is rolling and is heavily traveled by semi-trucks; but most of the trail is unimproved, and is definitely not passable for a fully-loaded touring bike. Dennis and Becky tried it for several hundred yards, and ended up turning around.

Who are Dennis and Becky? You'll meet them in a couple of days.

So US 95 was made pretty miserable by the constant stream of truck traffic. And then there was the 1000-foot climb from Council to New Meadows. There was one interesting highlight: an historical one. Did you know that this area was once home to the largest apple orchard in the United States? They even had a tramway to deliver apples to the closest P&IN railroad siding. But here: read the sign yourself.

largest apple orchard
The largest apple orchard in the US

orchard remnants
All that's left of the orchard
is a few feral fruit trees.

New Meadows has an imposing two-story brick railroad depot, built in 1911. But there are no longer any tracks. I wonder if it was the home base of the P&IN?

Name these flowers!
Name these flowers!

Council town square
I ate lunch in the Council town square.

After a scrumptious meal at the A&W, I bedded down in the city park, not far from the swing set, which seemed to be a gathering place for some of the teens. Don't tell them, but I listened in on some interesting conversations.


  1. Going way out on a limb (er, leaf) here and make a wild guess the flower name is Wyethia amplexicaulis.

  2. I really enjoy reading about your travels. Sounds like you have some travel partners. That is a good thing. Michael

  3. Either Mule's Ears (Wyethia amplexicaulis) or Balsamroot. Or maybe a hybrid of the two, according to USFS.

    As I racall Bret, we spent the 4th of July in New Meadows back in '81.

    1. According to my 1981 notes, we got into White Bird on July 4, spent the morning of the fifth climbing White Bird Hill, cycled through Grangeville (where they were having their second parade), and stayed in Syringa. We stopped at the A&W in Grangeville for root beer floats. I have photos of Rick for those two days (he was having gobs of trouble with flat tires), but none of you online. Were we together those days? Check out my blog entries at http://1981tatrip.oldcootonabike.net/2013/03/13-white-bird-idaho.html and http://1981tatrip.oldcootonabike.net/2013/03/14-syringa-idaho.html

  4. Oh yes, we were together! The memory of riding into the hot Salmon River Canyon is seared into my brain. And poor Rick finally arriving at dusk. Then climbing White Bird Hill, and I even remember stopping at the Grangeville A&W for root beer floats. By then, it was a time-honored tradition! ^_^

    BTW, I had thornproof inner tubes and I NEVER had a single flat, while you guys had multiple flats per day.


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