Day 18: July 10, 2000
Lewiston, ID to Missoula, MT
(249 miles)

We were really lazy this morning, but after all, we are on vacation. We re-packed everything, and managed to get down to just one extra bag strapped to the bike. We headed south for Grangeville, and then took ID 13 north to Kooksia, which was a pleasant surprise, very twisty. Then we took the Lewis and Clark highway over Lolo Pass. But on the way up to Lolo Pass, what a road! This road is designated as US12, and also referred to as The Wild & Scenic River Corridor. This is a great road, with very little traffic. At the beginning of the road, I saw a sign that said "77 miles of mountain road ahead", now that's what I really like!

This road is well maintained, runs right next to the Lochsa River, had at least 8 turns per mile, and just goes on and on. We stopped about half way up this road, and found a small beach next to the river. We parked the bike and spent some time in the sun, surrounded by lots of butterflies! Very relaxing. Also, the weather was beautiful, with temperatures in the 80's, and not a hint of rain.

Lolo Pass itself was a little disappointing, I was expecting a better view, and it was pretty bleak. Down the hill on the Montana side, we came to Lolo Hot Springs, and stopped for lunch. There is a very nice lodge with a bar, restaurant, cabins, pool, and of course the hot springs. This site has been in use since early in this century, although the current lodge is quite modern.

The restaurant menu listed an item called "Jo Jo's", so of course we had to try them. They are extra big potato wedges, deep-fried, and Carla loved them (and the ranch dressing served on the side in a large plastic refillable bottle). I will stick with french fries, thanks.

In Missoula, we are staying at the Double Tree Hotel, which is very nice. We spent about 2 hours at the pool this afternoon, and I actually read a couple of chapters of the book I brought along on the trip (Brock: I'm really enjoying "Torpedo Junction"), and then I took a nap! When I woke up from the nap, I felt really guilty, like I should have been up and going somewhere, but hey, I'm on vacation!

We went out for dinner at a nice local pasta restaurant, and then took a walk along the Blackfoot River, which runs right through Missoula. I'm almost acclimated to the vacation pace, it is so different from what I have been doing for the past 2 weeks. Tomorrow we head for Yellowstone National Park.

Rick Brookes
ST1100, VFR750F, Hawk NT650GT
1998: 50cc Quest
1999: Bun Burner Gold
Summer 2000: BBG 3000, Four Corners Tour

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