Cross Country Recumbent

Wednesday July 23, 2003. Grangeville ID to Powell ID


Start time
7:00 am
End time
5:05 pm
Time pedaling
Average speed
Odometer 818

Today was much better than yesterday.  There were no mechanical problems, and I now have some confidence in my repairs.  There actually is little to tell; good days make for less riveting journaling :) .  I dropped down from Grangeville a few thousand feet to the Clearwater river, and then followed that river all the way to its confluence with the Lochsa.  Grangeville is at about 3500', and the low point of the day was just above 1000'.  I hit Lowell, which had been my original target yesterday, about 40 odd miles in.  It was there I asessed how I was doing and determined that I might be able to make Powell.  There was big incentive to doing so because from the Clearwater the route climbs to 5300' feet for Lolo pass.  Most of the climb is shallow, following the Lochsa river.  Getting up high (Powell is at 3600') means that the push for Lolo, which appears to be steep, won't be so bad since I'll get to do it early in the cool morning, before I'm tired.

The Lochsa river cuts a majestic canyon that winds and winds for nearly 60 miles.  Apparently the road that I followed today (highway 12) was quite the engineering feet, taking crews many years working from both ends to put it in.  Lewis and Clark came this way, but only rarely got down to the river because of all the ridges that run right down to it (this is also why the road was hard to build).  The Lochsa is a whitewater rafting, fly-fishing, swimming in the afternoon, type of river.  Today's ride was easily the most fun of any day yet, simply because the river was so pretty, and I got to stop multiple times to jump in.  I'd show you more pictures, but they really all look like this one (for 60 miles!).

Today was also good because the heat wave broke (relatively, it was in the 90s).  At one point I actually got rained on.  Actual water droplets from the sky, which I was beginning to think I had only dreamed before, fell upon me, for nearly five minutes.  Heaven.  By the time I had passed the century mark (my first ever) I was starting to get a little ragged and wanted to stop.  Unfortunately my chosen campground was closed, so I had to go another 7 miles to get to Wendover campground. This is the Lochsa from Wendover (a couple miles West of Powell).

Tomorrow I make Missoula, and then take a rest day.  Things to do in Missoula:

Visit Adventure Cycling headquarters
Pick up front tire that compadres have mailed me
Go to bike shop and get various and sundry things
See a movie
Go to a brew pub
Update web page.