Day 88-The End, 20 miles

Pain 1To the Pacific!

88-Seaside, ORThis is the actual end of the road to most of us since we pack up our bikes here, but it certainly was to Lewis & Clark. Bill had our most accurate final odometer reading at 4048 miles while Don’s whose odometer was never reset during the trip read 4125. We rode inland past Fort Clatsop where the Corp of Discovery wintered in from Dec 1805-March 1806 because of the availability of both salt, the much desired spice for their elk, fish and dog meat. Our route took us through lovely forested hills with wild plums hanging from the trees. We got our first glimpse of the ocean in Seaside, OR at the Lewis and Clark Memorial. Now were off to look for Beer.                                  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 87-36 miles

Pain 1Into Astoria!

  87-Astoria, OROLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Just a couple of small hills and were there! This is the outlet of the Columbia River and the end of the Adventure Cycling Route so it has been our goal and we have reason to celebrate. Tomorrow we will go on to the Pacific Ocean.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA FUDb-day.87-049 FUDb-day.87-055 FUDb-day.87-057 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFUDb-day.87-076 FUDb-day.87-078FUDb-day.87-074

Day 86-33 miles

Pain 1An uneventful day working our way closer to the coast.

86-Clatskanie, OR We had 2 hills to cross with the max elevation of 760′. It is getting more crowded, some sights pretty and many less so. We did pass Deer Island, a island rich in whitetail that Lewis & Clark stayed on to stock up on meat for both the outbound and return journey.  FUDb-day.86-001OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 85-29 miles

Pain 1Don hit 4,000 miles in the City of Roses. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

85-St. Helens, ORWe got lucky with good weather on our ride through Portland and being Saturday, there was little traffic on the road except hoards of joggers. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We passed Peninsula Park and its Rose Garden with at least 5,000 roses. Brambles of what are likely evergreen blackberries have lined our route today as they have for the last week as opposed to their ever-present cousin, the marionberries (not named for the ex-DC mayor) that were developed by the Oregon State University in the 1950’s.  It was a short day with stops at local farmer’s markets that are more like small flea markets and ended in the town of St. Helens. June got her first flat. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFUDb-day.85-011OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Becky and June went back to Portland to pick up Scarlett and to pass the time most spent the afternoon at Johnny’s, the local pub. This generated the hardest riding of all with the late night ride back causing more bruises than the 4000 miles to date. We stayed at the local park that provides cheap campsites along the creek so kids can explore and even hunt crawfish.    FUDb-day.85-073FUDb-day.85-072

Day 84-Layover Portland, OR

We spent a layover on a houseboat on Hayden Island in the Columbia River. These look like houses but move with water levels, some say as much as 15′. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The morning was spent shopping and 4 prized hats set the mood. zz Most of our day was spent on the deck watching boats go by with a beer in hand. The final conclusion was that the bigger the boat, the better looking the women on it. I’m not sure if that holds true for sea kayaks. DSC00901DSC00903DSC00897

Day 83-42 miles

Pain 1Were riding through Portland’s playground the “King of Roads”. 

83-Portland, OR The 75 mile stretch of highway followed the most treacherous path of the Oregon Trail and was the first planned scenic roadway in the country. Engineers chose the route to reach interesting points or scenic vistas while ignoring grades, curvature, distance and even expense. It was built for the then-popular model T, between 1913-1922. With the advent of faster cars I84 cut through this area and what is now known as Historic Route 30 went into disrepair. The 20+ mile stretch we rode today had most of the original road features and masonry work. It made for a beautiful ride. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA FUDb-day.83-095 FUDb-day.83-096 FUDb-day.83-098 The end of the route is the Vista House was the finishing achievement for the highway, a rest stop at Crown Point that was 693′ above the Columbia River. The rest of the day was downhill into Portland. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 82-46 Miles

faces-8Brutal day. No place to hide from heat or traffic 

 82-Cascade Locks, ORWere back in civilization again. The roads narrowed significantly with cliffs pressing up close against the highway. The morning was kept interesting with needed to pass through 6 small tunnels. Bikers are asked to press a button upon entry to turn on a blinking light on the road that signified that cars should slow down. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Much of this region was beautiful with great views of Mt. Hood and the Wild and Scenic Klickitat River. A hawk even dropped his catch by our feet. FUDb-day.82-112OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Towards the end of the day the roads became more narrow and the cars kept coming fast and close. June was blown off the road by a logging truck but she caught herself with one of the cliffs. The stress level was ramped up with the crossing of the metal Bridge of the Gods into Oregon that lacked a bike lane. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  photo (3) We spent the night at the KOA in Cascade Locks. This was a town was named after the series of locks that were installed on the Columbia in 1896 to help shippers and steamboat lines compete against railroads. This bypass around Cascade Rapids, a second large set of rapids on the Columbia River was flooded by the Bonneville Dam.  The Bonneville Dam was created primarily for power generation and navigation but fish ladders were installed allow the steelhead and salmon to spawn. These still do not let the bottom feeding white sturgeon to migrate upstream but since this is the most downstream dam on the Columbia River, their population is strong here.FUDb-day.82-180 The Bonneville Dam has a Visitor Center that showcases their work on fishery management. There are 23 types of sturgeon, 7 found in North America and only 2 are on the Pacific Coast. Sturgeon are prehistoric beasts that have changed little over the last 200 million years with body armor and a skeleton that is more cartilage than bone. The Visitor Center includes ponds with underwater viewing areas, including one that shows off its 25 year old white sturgeon. This fish is relatively small, with some known to reach 20′ and weigh as much as 1800 lbs. Sturgeon under 42″ or over 60″ have to be released.

Day 81-50 miles

faces-2Were still traveling along the Columbia River on the Washington Side, tracing a submerged culture.

 81-Columbia Hills State Park, WA The weather and terrain is similar to yesterday but with hints the greenery to come. There were even orchards along route. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We ended our day at the Dalles Dam, 1 of the 4 dams on the lower Columbia Basin. This was an ideal location for a dam since the flow from a river often over a mile wide was constricted through a channel 140′ across. Along with Celilo Falls itself, 12 miles of downstream whitewater was inundated along with its nearby settlements, the longest continuously inhabited community in North America. For over 15,000 years a vast network of trade passed through this region leaving Lewis & Clark to call this region the “Great Mart”. Fish was the basis of this trade network and the ancestral fishing grounds of the tribes that were passed through generations were lost with the building of this dam. Amazing photos show how fish were traditionally netted at these falls.  In order to compensate a number of tribes for this loss, 26 fishing sites between the McNary Dam upstream and Bonneville Dam downstream were given to them along with a $26,000,000 settlement.  Celilo 2 We got of first view of  the 11, 249′ Mt. Hood, the highest mountain in Oregon today. Also, June got lost and accidentally crossed a very narrow bridge that left her a bit jittery but it was nothing some ice cream and  “Water From The Hood” could not cure. The perpetual smile is back on. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We camped at Horsethief Butte, a basalt formation which withstood the Glacial Floods. FUDb-day.81b-090OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA It is an area of enough significance that the tribes of this region requested a number of pictographs and petroglyphs be removed from sites to be submerged under the Dalles Dam reservoir be brought here.  FUDb-day.81b-002FUDb-day.81b-040FUDb-day.81b-049

Day 80-51 miles

faces-6Hard, hot day. 

 80-Roosevelt, WA We went to bed with a light rain and ominous thunder so when the rain started pouring down it had some hoping for a cooler day but it was just the sprinkler system. We decided to cross back into the Washington and follow that side of the Columbia Gorge. We will stay on here for the next 100 miles before going back south into Oregon.  We all rode hard to our destination, a riverside camp in Roosevelt, WA to avoid the having to do the climbs in triple digit temperatures and strong headwinds-but no luck. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We all dropped like lead weights into chairs as we arrived totally exhausted at the only store in the town of 79, a mini mart at the top of the campground road to recuperate from the ride. This store had a small cafe with surprisingly fabulous food so we ate both lunch and dinner here. For an unknown reason there was no water in the campground for flush toilets or showers. The pumps were locked so the river is what cooled and cleaned us off. The nearest town was 30 miles away so we stayed put and just sat around the campsite and went for swims in the Columbia. There were some windsurfers camping there also enjoying the high winds that we try to avoid. Here is Don on the hunt for hidden sprinklers and a boulder rolled down from the Glacial Floods.  FUDb-day.80xb-009 FUDb-day.80xb-004FUDb-day.80xb-011FUDb-day.80xb-012

Day 79-56 miles

Pain 1Were on the home stretch. We made it into Oregon and had our first view of  the Columbia River today.

79-Umatilla, OR We took the  day slow take in the history of the region. This is more than just the home of the Walla Walla onion. It is home to numerous Indian tribes including the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla. These tribes traded with the French fur traders that followed close on the heels of Lewis & Clark. By 1811 Britian had placed a flag at mouth of the Snake River and within 7 years Fort Nez Perces was built at the head of the Walla Walla River. This eventually became a Hudson Bay Company whose French-Candadian employees were on good terms with the Indians, many of whom they married. These families typically lived in here in what is called “Frenchtown” and they spawned a whole new culture with unique languages, clothes, food and music. This harmony did not last many generations. The large influx of settlers, many migrating along the Oregon Trail, scared the Indians. A measles epidemic thought to have been spread by the Whitman Mission in 1947 led to the massacre of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and 11 others. Also, in 1855, the longest battle in the history of the Washington Territory was fought here between these 3 tribes and Oregon settlers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers is submerged under Lake Wallula, the reservoir of the McNary Dam. It is 325 miles from here to the Pacific Ocean. This road follows basalt cliffs which are notable in a number of ways.  The dual rock pillars are according to legend actually 2 Cayuse sisters that were turned to stone by the supernatural powers of the coyote. He tricked a total of 3 sisters into becoming his wives but became jealous of them eventually and changed 2 into these pillars and one into a cave further downstream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA More importantly, this junction is extremely geologically important and has been designated a National Natural Landmark by the Park Service because it illustrates the geologic history of the U.S. The following photos show the Wallula Gap, the location of  where the ice dam burst from the flow of Glacial Lake Missoula during the last ice age. These were a series of at least 40 floods with an average interval of 30 years and the last occurring 13,000 years ago and are the largest known floods in the last 2 million years. The crest at this point reached 1200′ and has been calculated to having reached speeds of over 60 mph. This resulted in giant ripple marks on the landscape with mounds 30′ high. FUDb-day.81b-079OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This lower stretch of the Columbia River is dammed and the dams themselves monitor fish counts and provide viewing platforms. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  1  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 

Day 78-Layover Walla Walla, WA

We joined Barry and Scott in Walla Walla at Barry’s cousin Gayle’s house. This is clearly a home of 2 master landscapers who have created a work of art in their backyard. No, that is not a statue. It is Chuck & Gail’s dog.  FUDb-day.78-011FUDb-day.78-001FUDb-day.78-003FUDb-day.78-007FUDb-day.78-004 This is a very artsy town with a sense of humor. FUDb-day.78-012 Our timing was such that we were able to have dinner at the annual Rotary Indian Salmon Bake. Even in this blistering heat they diligently filleted the salmon, removed their backbones and placed them in the same structures that the local Indian tribes used to cook their fish. They then cooked them slowly over an alder wood fire and served them to hungry locals. The proceeds go towards local education. FUDb-day.78-015FUDb-day.78-016FUDb-day.78-019Tucker and Polaris got both fish skin and ice cream treats today.      dogs ice cream

Day 77-25 miles

faces-2A short day into Walla Walla to meet Barry & Scott who got here a day early. 

 We expected one hill but had the gift of 4 unmarked extras.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The dry wheat fields that are ready for harvest might not make clear that Walla Walla is rich in its water resources. The name itself means “many waters” due to its many rivers and aquifers. Being an oaisis in the desert interior of the northwest has kept its population relatively large over the years and fueled the birth of this industry. Its first commercial winery was formed in 1977 and today it has over 100. They are everywhere!

Day 76-65 miles

We are ahead of schedule so we have become very flexible with our plans.

  Given the heat, we made this a short day to get one large hill behind us and save the second for the next day. This seeminly small hill with a final elevation of just 2785′ took us a full 1′ 30″ to climb. There was followed by a very steep decent that eventually crossed a junction of historic footpaths still called 3 Forks. These trails connect the Columbia and Snake Rivers and were some of the most heavily traveled footpaths in the West, with their divots in the ground still clearly visible. The Lewis & Clark Expedition used them to shave a number of miles off of their route when heading home in 1806.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We only traveled through 2 towns today. Pomeroy has the undeniable distinction of having the largest FFA chapter in Washington state. Its rich agricultural land and particularly the barley fields brought Jacob Weinhard, nephew to the brewer Henry, to neighboring Dayton to establish his own brewery. His legacy is still apparent in many of the buildings in this hip little town. FUDb-day.76-053 This region in the Lower Snake Valley is now covered with wheat fields, cows looking for shade, and lots of windmills. This region is perfect for windmills, a necessary addition to the grid since electric utilities in Washington with 25,000 or more customers being required to generate 15% of their power supply from renewable resources by 2020 . In addition to these regions having very high winds,  these windmills leave 99% of the area open for agriculture and grazing, provides a number of jobs, and itis the largest property tax payer in the county. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We stopped along the road for the day near Palouse Falls State Park, the location where Tyler Brant kayaked over a 189′ waterfall in 2010, the largest run to date.  The video of this run is added to the top of this post.Palouse Falls

Day 75-Layover Snake River Tour

faces-2Bill, June, Don & Audrey took a jet boat up the Snake River from Lewiston, OR. Two major contributors to the flow of the Snake River are the Clearwater and the Salmon Rivers from Idaho. The Snake River is a key element of the massive Columbia River Watershed, with the Columbia River itself is being the largest river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. This entire watershed is heavily dammed for hydropower, irrigation, flood control and enhanced navigation. The jet boat put-in is essentially a lake that formed above the Lower Granite Dam, one of 15 on the Salmon River alone. Columbia River Basin2Columbia River Basin1 The trip took them 100 miles up the river through Hell’s Canyon and over most of the major rapids. The whitewater section through the Hells Canyon Gorge has a gradient about 16’/mile as compared to 6’/mile downstream and has the obviously high excitement level of an amusement park ride. FUDb-day.75-191FUDb-day.75-192FUDb-day.75-170 Private trips along this stretch of river are regulated and permits have to be granted. The jet boat passed many multi-day trips that were coming down the river and camping along its banks. We were lucky today since it was overcast and the temperature barely hit 100F.  FUDb-day.75-174FUDb-day.75-241 The driver deliberately turned the boat into the waves to drench Bill and Don. Their smugness of keeping their beers in their hands was quickly diminished when they realized the beer cooler went overboard. FUDb-day.75-202 The Snake is not as remote as the other permitted trips in the area and signs of modern and ancient inhabitants abound.   Native Americans lived here for thousands of years and steamboats even traveled these waters to supply the miners, ranchers and homesteaders living along its banks. FUDb-day.75-009FUDb-day.75-064FUDb-day.75-021FUDb-day.75-098 Although it still known for its fishing industry, the dams have drastically reduced the legendary spawning runs of its salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. There are no fish ladders on Snake River dams while only the last few dams of the Columbia River have them. Deer and elk thrive here and a bighorn sheep reintroduction has brought the herds in the area to over 700 after they were completely eliminated by 1945.FUDb-day.75-240FUDb-day.75-072FUDb-day.75-092FUDb-day.75-201 June ended the day with what was described as either a Corona-Rita or a Marga-Rona by her kids. margarona

Day 74-49 miles

Pain 1We entered Washington State today.

74-Chief Timmothy, ORWe heard that it would be starting to get massively hot, about 105F today. We were up early to avoid being on the macadam and thus only hit the heat of the day during the last 10 miles. We started with a spectacular 8 mile decent down an extremely curvy road into the Snake River Valley. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Later in the day we passed the site of the first white settlement in Idaho and, once in Clarkston, the clear signs of hydropower transmission from the Snake River.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is where Lewis & Clark got back into their boats for the final leg of their journey into the Pacific. We will not take that easy route-although we did follow a flat bike path for many mails. As might be expected from a river of this size, there are lots of ways to play in the water. Becky tried to entice the dogs into catching fish by calling them “underwater squirrels”. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFUDb-day.74-079FUDb-day.74-088FUDb-day.74-083

Day 73-44 miles

faces-4Short but hard day that regained lost elevation.

73-Winchester, ID We left for the big climb early in the morning before the heat set in and noticed one of the side roads ominously named “Fort Misery”. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The other side of the hill opened up unexpectedly into a vast agricultural area known as the Camas Prairie. This area between the Clearwater River here in the north and the Salmon River in the south was a traditional gathering place for the Nez Perce and a place where they gathered the perennial camas roots for thousands of years. Now the fields are covered with a large diversity of traditional annual crops such as barley, wheat, oats and peas, all harvested by modern methods. The bright yellow flower in the panoramic is one variety of rape plant whose seeds are used to make canola oil, the field mustard rape. We followed its bright yellow fields most of the day. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFUDb-day.73-096FUDb-day.73-077FUDb-day.73-086 The tail end of our ride took us past Lawyer Canyon, named after the Indian Chief who signed the controversial 1863 treaty that shrunk the Nez Percce reservation to 10% of its original size, and a number of large wooden trestle bridges used for action shots in movies. We stayed in Winchester, ID, a town on the Camas Prairie with a population of 340 with seemingly no relation to the rifle. We hung out at a local bar owned by a split Norwegian/Snoqualmie descendent. This is her daughter. She had our full attention since we were the only ones there. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFUDb-day.73-098

Day 72-31 miles

faces-0Big route change to the Pacific. We decided to follow Lewis & Clark’s route to the Pacific in order to travel along the Columbia Gorge. There are always trade-offs. This will be a shorter trip with strong headwinds but it will be very scenic and good for Barry who can visit family in Washington. Kooskia is our fork in the road.

  72-Kooskia, IDToday we follow the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River into the heart of Nez Perce country. This river system has always been important for its fish. Its steelhead trout and king salmon are anadromous, beginning as fresh waster fish that travel down to the ocean where they live for 2 or 5 years, respectively, before returning to spawn. It was a primary food source for the Nez Perce and vital for the survival of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Also here in north central Idaho is half the statewide population of elk and whitetail deer. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Although we traveled on the reservation for a number of days, it seemed populated mostly by white settlers in both small towns and luxury homes on both banks of the river.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is not surprising given another U.S. Government policy change that followed the initial shrinking of their reservation by 90% after gold was discovered in 1863. Between 1889-1893 the Government divided the 756,960 acre Nez Perce reservation into family sized acreages called “allotments”. They gave all Nez Perce adults and children an allotment and some went under tribal control but 70% was deemed “surplus” and ceded back to the government for resale. The large town of Kooskia at the junction of the Middle and South Forks of the Clearwater was formed in 1894 as a result of this land resale as was Kamiah, the town adjacent to the rock formation that is the basis for the Nez Perce creation story. It is here that a coyote killed a monster that was eating all the animals by being ingested by him and then using the knives carried with him to cut him apart from the inside and to release all the monsters that were still trapped inside. The coyote cut up the monster and distributed the pieces on the land and that, along with the monster’s blood, became the Nez Perce. FUDb-day.71-027Heart-of-the-Monster

Day 71-66 miles

Pain 1 The longest downhill ever.

71-Lowell, ID We had a gourmet breakfast at the Lochsa Lodge to say goodbye to Walt. FUDb-day.70-002OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We sailed along the Lochsa River until its confluence with the Selway and the Middle Fork of the Clearwater, all 3 of whose stretches are classified as National Wild & Scenic Rivers. We dropped 2000′ in elevation and ended up in Lowell, ID at a final elevation of 1496′ above sea level. Along  the way we passed hot springs, long stretches of white water, and even a historic ranger station with all of its equipment displayed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFUDb-day.70-039OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The Lochsa, a word from the Nez Pierce language that means “rough waters” was running at 3′ and at this level there was a surf wave that brought all sorts of watercraft to the river. DSC00042DSC00037 Some of our group traveled up the road to Selway Falls to look for wildlife. The 67 mile Selway River is pristine and its incoming tributaries are clear. Nobody brought a camera to the Falls so the 2nd photo was was pulled off the web. They guiys not see any elk but they said the fish at the falls were amazing.FUDb-day.70-088Selway Falls

Day 70-4th of July, 47 miles

Pain 1We crossed the Bitterroot mountains into the Pacific time zone.

70-Lochsa Lodge, IDThis was a short day with our 12th and last crossing of the Continental Divide at Lolo Pass on the border of Montana and Idaho. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This area has not changed much in hundreds of years, with only two parallel routes crossing the region. The northern route is the remains of a 168 mile “Lolo Motorway”, the mostly single lane road that the CCC built in the 1930’s which closely follows the Indian trails that Lewis and Clark used and considered the most difficult of their trip. “Lolo” is thought to derive from an Indian word meaning “to bring across or carry across on one’s back”. This road is still very rugged today, best suited for 4-wheel drive vehicles and mountain bikes, and which is still currently impassable for a few more weeks due to snow. For reasons made clear by the following elevation profiles on the right, we followed route 12 along the Lachsa River. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Nez Pierce also used the northern route to evade federal troops in their attempt to escape settlement in their Idaho reservation. Route 12 passes Fort Fizzle, the camp where the soldiers and settlers attempted to halt the Indian’s movements but failed when the Nez Peirce simply bypassed them. The logs in the breastworks were deliberately spaced to allow rifles to penetrate while giving some protection. Combined, the Lolo Motorway and the NePierce Historical Trail form the modern day Lolo Trail. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA FUDb-day.69-085 Over time there have been noticeable changes in the forests of this region. Pine beetle devastation might have contributed to the August 2013 lightning fire that burned 11K acres.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The forests in this area are also split in a checkerboard pattern between the Forest Service and The Plum Creek Timber Company and their different timber management practices are reflected in the landscape. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA In contrast to this, a large tract cedar forest has been preserved and looks similar to what it would have looked like during the Journey of Exploration since the trees don’t reach maturity for 400-500 years. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We camped and ate at the lovely Lochsa Lodge.

Day 69-Layover Lolo, MT

We took a day off in order to doing laundry, catch up on electronics, running errands, eat and sleep. What made it most interesting was the trip to Missoula, MT to visit the Adventure Cycling Headquarters and to see the hand-made carousel in Caras Park. The 3-seater is for dad and two kid while the ring in the dragon’s nose is what everyone tries to grab in order to get a free ride on the carousel. photophoto(1)photo(3) We also wheedled our way into an invitation to a private party in celebration of the opening of the first Lolo Brew Pub. We all piled into the car to find our way there, only to find out it was directly across a side street a few hundred yards away. Montana is unique in that the ability to produce alcohol on site is much easier to obtain than getting a formal liquor license which is based on population and becomes available only rarely. To avoid having craft beer industry take away too much business from the taverns, there are very firm rules about how many beverages can be consumed in the “tasting rooms” that they are allowed to have (wine and hard-liquor have their own set of rules too). In a craft brewery, each person can have a maximum of 3 pints/day between the hours of 10:00-8:00. We Pennsylvania folk found these rules perplexing. While all the locals kept within their limits, we kept our eyes out for unused tickets and had a roaring good time until heading home promptly at 8pm. The fish embedded in the cement table is a bullfish and Scott even did his Laurel and Hardy imitation.  photo(7)FUDb-day.68b-006photo(2) FUDb-day.68b-012 photo(6)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAphoto(8)