A night of purloined Netflix put us in the mood to break camp and get back on the road.
Motel breakfast was so so. We left on the roads for Lolo somewhat underfed. Coming into Missoula we used bike trails but leaving we used city streets, devoid of traffic early on this Fourth of July holiday.
As luck would have it the road took us to a WalMart where we bought a few essentials. The streets gave way to the bike trail which is in decent condition from Missoula to Lolo.
We rode the trail into Lolo where we had second breakfast at McDonalds. Don’t @ me. We needed calories because the next 26 miles would be gradually uphill.
We turned onto US 12, a road that followed Lolo Creek towards Lolo Pass. The creek was beautiful and it’s surroundings became more so with each mile. We clipped along at (for me) 12 mph. After 38 miles we took a break at Lolo Hot Springs. The soda machine charges $3 for a Coke.
Another eight miles took us to Lolo Pass (elevation 5,235 feet) and the Idaho border and the Pacific time zone. Trifecta! We had climbed just over 2,000 feet. Neither my legs nor my lungs were stressed at all. The day off did them and my mood a world of good.
What followed was a five mile twisty descent into a gusty wind. Big fun. The wind was unpredictable. At one point I was going 29 mph when a headwind gust knocked my speed down to 22. I got the message. Feather the brakes on the turns!
The mountains around us on this side of the pass were densely forested right to the side of the road. I kept expecting a bear to emerge. I’m glad that didn’t happen.
We were riding next to Crooked Fork Creek on our left. The trees were a mixture of cedar, spruce, firs, and other evergreens. They were immense.
After a fun downhill ride we arrived at Lochsa Lodge, a rustic resort that sets aside a lawn area for bicyclists to camp.
Tomorrow we will ride further downhill as far as our bodies and minds allow.
Miles today: 59 Tour miles: 2,394.5