Today we rode up and up and up. A really demanding day with over 3,000 feet of climbing, plus sun, heat, and wind. Two things made the day pretty special, an A&W Root Beer restaurant waiting for us at the end of the ride in New Meadows, Idaho, and the company of another cyclist, Bryant. We met Bryant at Lolo Pass and have been riding with him for the past three days. He's done a lot of touring in the past 15 years and is a very interesting fellow, with knowledge about farming, nutrition, bicycles, and beekeeping. He left us this evening to head home but we plan on staying with him and his wife later in the trip.
After we ate/drank our root beer floats, John and I went to visit the Meadows Valley Public Library. One of the first things we saw at the library was an Adventure Cycling TransAm sticker in the front window. That made us feel very welcome. Kayrene, a library staff member, greeted us with a hello as we entered and we talked about the town and the library. New Meadows received its name when the original town (Meadows) moved west a few miles to be closer to the trains. About 500-600 people live here, many making their living in the cattle business. The library has been around "forever," moving into the current building about ten years ago.
In addition to the TransAm sticker in the front window, we also saw a display with information about the Adventure Cycling Association and free copies of their magazine, Adventure Cyclist. Kayrene told us many cyclists come through New Meadows to use the computers in the library. All they need to do is read and sign an agreement about appropriate computer use. There is no wifi available in the library since appropriate use cannot be assured. I must say, I've never heard of this being a concern in other libraries and wonder as to the origin of the policy.
The Summer Reading program is in full-swing. 39 kids were in the library earlier today for a program consisting of a 15-minute science program, a story, and a craft (making wind chimes). Participants earn tokens for reading and they can use the tokens to enter drawings for big prizes or trade-in their tokens for smaller prizes. All the prizes were purchased with donations from the community, the donors' names listed along the wall. In addition to the children and youth's Summer Reading, 28 adults have signed up to participate. They can use their tokens to enter a drawing for a Kindle reading tablet.
Thanks to Kaylene for her time. We enjoyed speaking with you. And thank you to Meadows Valley Public Library for being so welcoming to bicycle tourists. It is very much appreciated!