Our friend Richard Boxhall (@richardonabike) is currently cycling 5,000 miles across the USA to raise money for ShelterBox UK and is currently blogging about life on the road, the places he sees and the people he meets . 

You can read a full account of his travels at

Today I arrived in Lowell ID as planned, but something was amiss.

The ride today was awesome, 50 miles and pretty much downhill the entire way. The start of the descent was on steep alpine style switchbacks before following the Clearwater River. The Clearwater River does exactly what it says on the tin.


While cycling along the Clearwater River, I stopped to take several photos. I noticed that visibility was getting worse. This ‘mist’ wasn’t thick enough to affect cycling, but did take the edge off a few of my photos.

Since arriving in Lowell, I have learnt that this ‘mist’ is in fact smoke from some big wildfires that are raging…… Problem!

There are mountains in the background, believe it or not!

The fires are raging a long way from here, and pose no threat to me. They do pose a threat to my plans. As it stands the road I am due to cycle tomorrow is open, but all campsites are shut for 70 miles and there are reports of the smoke being so thick in places it hurts to breath!

The plan is simple, I will cycle on as planned and see how I get on with the smoke. But if it gets thick, I’ll be hitching a ride in a pick-up again. I have met up with a few fellow cyclists too, so will at least have a second opinion to help stop me soldiering on when I shouldn’t.

The worst bit? I did my washing yesterday, now it will all smell of BBQ!

– Rich

Support Richard Here

(Originally posted at August 2012)

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