The Great Escape: Idaho Hot Springs Loop (part 1)

posted in: Boise, Idaho Hot Springs Loop | 6
The Boise River…where our bicycle adventure vacation idea came to be.


After months of gut busting workouts and long distance rides, weeks of planning, and days of packing/unpacking/re-packing the moment has finally come—Our great escape into the Idaho wilds! Excited would be an understatement as we have been looking forward to this trip for what feels like an eternity.

Training ride in the foothills which overlooks the booming city of Boise.

We had been planning this much needed, month-long vacation since the beginning of the year. Originally, we had decided to do an independent bike/kayak trip in the San Juan Islands and parts of Canada. While this would have been a lot of fun, I think Eric and I were looking to do something a bit more rugged, adventurous, and in line with our  values—being cheap and not dropping loads of cash in order to have fun and experience the world. So we put our trip to the SJ Islands on hold and came up with the idea to do the Idaho Hot Springs Loop Route. All for the cost of a $15 map $45 in postage for the 3 boxes of food we sent to Stanley, Yellow Pine, and Crouch. We may splurge on a motel for a few nights, we’ll see. Overall, a crazy cheap 30 day vacation if you ask me. Plus, a major bonus that we’re leaving right from our front (well…back) door, no vehicle necessary! The San Juan trip would have easily costed over 2 grand!  I love saving money and even more, I love not buying GAS! Peddle power all the way 🙂

Another training ride along the river. We always seemed to get side tracked by the call of cool river on a hot day!



Trying out some gear!!


This summer we got a lot practice under our belts, tried out all of our gear, and now we think we can conquer one the the ACA’s most difficult routes second only to The Great Divide. Perhaps we will try that one next! haha.


T Minus 4 Days

The packing is never ending it seems. Pack, unpack, re-pack, repeat. The big question always boils down to: Do we REALLY need that? The answer is usually…of course. For our first big trip, I do think we did an excellent job at pairing down to only the basic necessities. The only real creature comfort that we splurged on was our 2 lb. Helinox camp chairs. Hey, when you’re out for nearly 30 days in the wild, we wanted to be somewhat comfortable. I mean, I’m only bringing 1 change of clothes (plus 1 layer of winter gear) to get me through those 20-30 degree nights up in the mountains. My biggest concern is running out of toilet paper. I’ve learned that toilet paper is of much more importance to us females than my male counterpart. Eric literally rolled up about 1/4 a roll of toilet paper and proudly stated, “this should be about good for a month”. My jaw dropped and instantly I thought about making a recommendation for him to see a Gastroenterologist. I mean, is that normal? 🙂



T Minus 3 Days

Meal planning was also a lot more challenging than I expected. We ended up buying a LOT more food than we needed. Our trip to Avery 3 weeks ago helped us realize how little we really needed to eat to sustain our energy levels. At least we have cabinets full of goodies for our next trip! When I’m constantly exercising, the last thing I think about is food—until AFTER of course—then I could eat just about anything! During the day, when we do need to eat, the meals usually consist of a bar here and a small handful of trail mix there.

The funny part about packing…

Eric: I like to call his approach, The Tasmanian Devil. Imagine a grown man rummaging through the kitchen. Throw some bars in here, a pack of potatoes in there, eh…maybe some trail mix. Counting days? Ha. Why would I take time to do that? He may have 3-8 days worth of food depending on how well he “eye-balled it”.

Me: Totally OCD. Everything was a calculated and packed to a perfect fit. Picture worthy as seen here. haha.

Guess what? At the end of the day, we’re both still going to eat and chances are we’ll both still have more food than we’ll even need. If not, I’ll just swipe some out of Eric’s stash.

Thankfully we each will save about 8 lbs since we don’t have to carry so much water! Feeling grateful for Sawyer water filters and Idaho Rivers.

T Minus 2 Days

Sammy is ready to see the world!

Meet our mascot Sammy. He will be joining us for some of our trips because he is a LOT more photogenic than either of us care to be. Ok. That is a lie. I try to be photogenic. It’s Eric that tends to hide from the camera or if I do happen to catch him, he’ll make grumpy or silly faces (which is why I’ve learned to take pictures of his backside).

Jenni and Sammy (our stuffed sloth mascot) pose by their bike
My packing buddy














See…..A perfect example of my most bestest friend doing what he does best….smiling on the inside. I’m convinced if I keep trying, I will eventually get a good photo of him. So far he is winning, because after 6 years together, I have 2. Oh well, I personally like these photos the best.




T Minus 1 Days

Silliness aside….oh wait, we have 1 day left! There is ALWAYS time for more silliness in the Davis household. It momentarily seemed like a fantastic idea to put myself inside the bear bag until that whole suffocation thing became a reality. Bear proof jump suits…my next creation.

I can’t believe we leave tomorrow!

I feel somewhat like this is a make it or break it kind of trip for us. We have big ideas and dreams for our future and this trip is a bit of a test to see if we have what it takes to lead a life on the road. Our dream of “Life in 4 Bags” may soon be a reality in the form of Cycling Sloths. Here’s where I will put a plug in for our Instagram page. Check it out for photos and updates along the way at cyclingsloths.


It’s the day before we take off, the bikes are packed and loaded—no turning back! We’ll be taking off from this very spot at oh-six-hundred. Thank you for all of your words of encouragement!  This is probably the most challenging thing either of us have ever done (at least physically). So, keep the positive vibes coming! This will likely be my last blog update for a while, but I will try to post some photos on Instagram when we have wi-fi along the way (which will NOT be often!).


Until next time…….

6 Responses

  1. Momma

    Awesome blog as always…
    I’m thrilled for the two of you. Only a few hours before takeoff. Be safe and have a fantastic trip. Sending love your way and yes I will be praying for NO BEAR confrontations. It’s what will keep your Momma sane on your trip. Love you.

  2. Heather

    So happy you are doing this for yourselves!! You know we are in the area a lot don’t hesitate to call if you need something! Please lets get together when you get back.

  3. gaby

    so Jealous of your adventure. we need to get toghether afterwards and see all the pictures on a huge screen. Praying for a great adventure and safe travels.

    love u.

    • admin

      That would be so fun! After 1 week, I already have almost 500 photos/videos. lol We hope to make a short movie..maybe I’ll plan a party for something to do this winter when it’s cold!

  4. Marie

    So proud of you! Was the new chair worth it and did ya’ll pack enough food? 🙂

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