Author Topic: Transam Sec. 2 Connection from Idaho  (Read 4498 times)

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Offline kaer23

Transam Sec. 2 Connection from Idaho
« on: July 03, 2023, 09:12:13 pm »
Dear All,

for several reasons I will end up in a couple of days in Boise, Idaho. My current plan is to cycle from there to Ontario and then follow the nr. 26 via Brogan to Austin Junction to connect to the Trans-America ACA route, sec. 2.
I was considering cycling to Baker City, however, this would involve the I-84, which I would like to avoid.
Are there any better suggestions ? Boise is more or less a fixed point.

Thank you in advance for any ideas / suggestions !

Offline jamawani

Re: Transam Sec. 2 Connection from Idaho
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2023, 01:48:43 am »
I've cycled thru Boise a number of times - most recently in 2022.
But it is not easy either from the east or heading west.
Also, Boise is one of the fastest-growing cities in the West and infrastructure hasn't kept up.

Not sure how you are getting into Boise.
Unless you are coming in from Idaho City on Hwy 21, you have to ride on I-84.
From Mountain Home there are some service roads, but about half on the interstate.

Heading west out of Boise is also challenging. Avoid Hwy 44 / State St.
I'd take the Green Belt to Eagle then back roads to Old Hwy 30.
US 26 between Caldwell and Oregon has heavy traffic with lots of trucks and poor shoulders.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/43530712

From Ontario there is a nice back road to Vale.
Be aware that US 26 west from Vale has almost no services - iffy at Brogan.
Also, three major climbs and often a strong prevailing west wind.

Jama



Start riding at dawn to have the least headwinds.



Offline kaer23

Re: Transam Sec. 2 Connection from Idaho
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2023, 08:53:54 am »
Hi jamawani,

thanks a lot for your reply and the gps-link !

Do you have experience with the I-84 north of Boise heading to Baker City ? Would that be another option or would you strongly discourage from using it ?


Thanks a lot !


Offline jamawani

Re: Transam Sec. 2 Connection from Idaho
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2023, 05:20:52 pm »
I've cycled both US 26, Austin Jct. to Ontario, and I-84, Baker City to Huntington.
If you are connecting to the TransAm heading west, US 26 makes more sense.
Going to Baker on I-84 means cutting west on Hwy 7 and three extra mountain passes.
Westbound on either route is likely to involve headwinds - but that is not guaranteed.

US 26 is remote and quite scenic - the quiet, no limits cycling I enjoy.
Willow Creek has a store, Brogan has a park with water, Unity has a cafe/store.
I-84 has some scenic canyon sections, but the noise is constant.
Plus, you have to key your eye on all the debris on the shoulder.
Where there is a side road, it is often right up against the interstate.
Old US 30 through Durkee is nice.

<<<>>>

* If you are thinking about taking the diagonal Hwy 52 in Idaho - think again.
It has no shoulders and very fast, often heavy traffic.
It's right up there with roads that truly stink.

Pic - Ranch near Durkee, 2022

Offline kaer23

Re: Transam Sec. 2 Connection from Idaho
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2023, 07:08:10 pm »
Thanks a lot ! This just the answer I was looking for.

I have to admit, what scares me with the US 26 is the apparently rather substantial lack of services.
How about campgrounds ? I saw there is one in Brogan and apparently there are some, though rather remote, near Unity (?).
Are there any services near Austin Junction ?

Thanks a lot !

Offline jamawani

Re: Transam Sec. 2 Connection from Idaho
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2023, 08:39:56 pm »
As I posted above -

Vale - All services
Willow Creek - C-store
Brogan - Small park with water and camping
Unity - Cafe/store, state park nearby
Austin Jct. - Cafe/store

Pic - Old Brogan general store - it's what make the back roads worth it

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Transam Sec. 2 Connection from Idaho
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2023, 01:10:48 pm »
Brings back memories. Cycle Oregon 2002 was the first time I rode in the state.  The first day we rode from Nyssa, on the eastern border, to Ironside. I don't remember the exact route, but we must have spent some time on U.S. 26.  Ironside is listed as a town, but I didn't see anything in the way of services.  The high school student who helped me with my bag said the weight was nothing compared to the bales of hay she was used to lifting.

That night we camped on a cattle ranch about 0.75 down a dirt road. It was the second week of September.  Temperature dropped below freezing. I had ice on my tent in the morning.  But the sky was amazing. Seemed like more stars than empty sky. It was worth getting out of the tent in the cold to see.

The next morning, we climbed El Dorado and then turned left onto a F.S. road that took us into the forest and eventually back down to Prairie City. Spent the night in John Day. If you want a workout, that climb was really neat, but there were 2 6,000'+ summits, and the road was narrow, at least going up.