After a three day trek through the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest, I have finally made it to a place with Cell Reception! I had two beautiful riding days in the forest before rain got to me this morning.
There was a long decent into Kooskia, almost 5 miles a coastable downhill
I sat down for some second breakfast and I ran into Gert! We ate together and talked about the road. (I also got his Instagram info! Follow his travels at gert61! He may even post a picture of me when he gets internet again!
The first glimpse of the River that I will be following the next 3 days
Gert is cautious about camping, so he stopped in Lowell, the last place for services in about 70 miles. I decided to bike on for another 20 miles after refilling my water, because I didn’t want to waste the good weather!
The Trees were blooming and the River was gorgeous!
There are many little campgrounds along Highway 12, but most of them are closed until Memorial Day. Luckily a couple were open, mainly for the Kayak and white water rafters that were enjoying the Lochsa River. I stayed in the Wilderness Gateway Campground, which unfortunately did not have spare water. I carry three bottles though, so I had enough to cook dinner and for most of the next day.
I stopped at all the historical markers to learn about Lewis and Clark’s journey through what is now known as Idaho!
The Lochsa River is the River that Lewis and Clark followed on their adventures. There were many little historical markers talking about Lewis and Clarks adventures, where they slept, and about the people they met while on the trail.
Due to the lack of Cell Service, they had these Emergency Call Boxes every 50ish miles
I slept in a bit on Day 2, and started biking. I was running a little low on water, but I managed to get to Powell (a little Resort) after being waterless for about an hour. I haven’t been able to get up the courage to just walk in and ask for people to fill up my water bottles in a restaurant without buying anything, so I had some slightly overpiced bison meatloaf. I must say, it was pretty tasty.
About 40 miles into Day 2 of the ride through the Wilderness, I think I was out of water at this point.
There was rain forecasted for that night and the next morning, so some motorcyclists suggested I get over Lolo Pass that night due to not wanting to bicycle in Snow. I agreed with them, so I decided to try to cross the pass that night.
The Forests were gorgeous, with towering trees and silence
I must have looked like I was struggling up the pass, because at least three cars slowed down to give me encouragements. I got one “Great Job”, and two “nearly there”s!
I decided to climb Lolo Pass on Day 2 rather than Day 3 due to possible Storms and potential snow
There was about 4 ft deep snow on the side of the roads at the top of the pass, and I was glad not to have to deal with Icy Roads.
So close to the top!
I hit Montana at about 6 pm Pacific time, and 7 pm Mountain time!
Idaho is officially crossed!
I quickly coasted down a few mile past the snow line and camped in the Lolo Hot Springs Campground! I got free admissions to the hot springs with my campsite, so I soaked in the minerals for a bit. I ran into Gert in the Hot Springs, and he beat me into the area! He passed me while I was at Lunch in Powell! It was fun to “race” him into Missoula, but we are now taking different paths. He will eventually make his way up to Michigan and Canada, so maybe I will see him on the road again.
Remnants of a forest fire
I stayed in camp until the rain cleared at about 10:30 and then biked downhill into Missoula. I will take a rest day tomorrow in Missoula, because Lolo Pass seems to have aggravated my ankles. I have 2 more days of Mountains, and then it should be flatish sailing from then on!
The adorable Dachshunds owned by my hosts!