Coast to Coast 2022 Adventure Day 9: Cary, ID to Idaho Falls, ID

Alan Gilbert
3 min readJul 3, 2022

This post is part of a series detailing my 2022 coast to coast cycling adventure.

Day 9 was highlighted by a powerful tail wind and Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Day 9 Highlights:

Song of the day: Feel it Still by Portugal. The Man
Start: Cary, ID
End: Idaho Falls, ID
Distance: 117.2 miles
Elevation: 2,713 ft
Breakfast: Silver Creek Hotel staff made us early breakfast
Lunch: Sandwiches provided by Dee at US 20 rest area
Dinner: Spaghetti (Dee and me) and pork chops (Dave) at AirBNB

Progress so far: 796.4 miles, 25,955 ft climbed.

The journey so far, with today’s ride in blue

Here are all the details:

Today’s ride was a whopping 117 miles but it was aided by a bitchin 20 MPH tailwind that made life soooo much better. I was certainly aware of headwinds and tailwinds before this trip but the difference they have made out there is enormous. A route with a 15–20 MPH headwind where our average speed is 12–13 MPH becomes more like 22–25 MPH with the same strength tailwind. The difference between headwinds and tailwinds in these wide-open spaces is literally double (or half) the time and effort. Today it was wonderfully the latter.

In many ways, life is the same way. We enjoy tailwinds and we try to find them but they don’t always blow our way. We fight through headwinds and sometimes they can’t be avoided if we want to get to where we want to go.

Dave seems to be healing up nicely from his fall but is proudly sporting this trophy as a momento:

Dave’s duct tape cycling shoe — the BOA tightening dials and wires ripped off when they hit the pavement

The Craters of the Moon National Monument area, about a 20-mile stretch of our ride, was highlighted by barren, volcanic rock, much like McKenzie Pass. And similarly, it just seemed to start out of nowhere. Here are some shots of the moon-like landscape:

Volcanic landscape around Craters of the Moon National Monument

The road to Idaho Falls was also highlighted by giant walls of hay bails and mysterious Department of Energy facilities. And Arco, “the first city in the world to be lit by atomic power.”

A common site along US 20 in Idaho
Flash back to 1955
Spooky DOE land
Central Idaho mountains gave way to desloate flatlands with occasional buttes