Cross Country Recumbent
Thursday July 24, 2003. Powell ID to Missoula MT
|6:22 am PDT
|1:00 pm MDT
Woohoo! A new state, and back to the mountain time zone.
The day ended up being relatively easy, with the climb over Lolo being
an easier grade than anticipated. This is almost the last view of
the Lochsa river, which I was sorry to see go. Basically while
following a river you can be assured that the road grade will be easy;
once you leave it you are at the mercy of the road engineer.
The heat wave has abated (at least for today). The skies were
overcast, and the temperatures in the 70s climbing towards Lolo
pass. The top of Lolo pass has an interpretive center with lots
of information about the local Native Americans and Lewis and
Clark. Sometimes it seems like what I am doing is hard, but
actually I cover in one day what took the discovery corp weeks.
The pass is also the state line, and the line between the pacific
timezone and the mountain time zone (yes, there is a section of Idaho
that is in the mountain time zone, but I moved back to the Pacific when
I crossed the Salmon river).
The drop into Missoula was fast, though a little cold. It rained
almost the whole way, which was the first test of how watertight my
gear is. So far so good. The rain and low clouds made
picture taking problematic, so nothing more to see. Missoula
seems like a nice place. I picked up the tire and visited the
adventure cycling headquarters. Actually I went there first,
before cleaning up. The lady behind the counter looked a little
shocked to see me, so I decided I better shower and shave before
wandering around Missoula.
The bad news is that 93 and 43 are closed around the Chief Joseph pass,
due to a 4000 acre fire called the "frog pond fire", so far 0%
contained. This is the way I was going to go. It may be
open by Saturday when I plan to leave, but I doubt it. I and some
others plotted a way around the fires, joining back up with the TA in
Twin Bridges. The alternate route won't be as scenic, though it
will be substantially shorter. Time will tell which way I end up
going. There is a fire in Glacier National Park, which will
probably send tourists to Yellowstone, where I will be going.
I ran into my first Eastbound rider today, Chris. He was actually
in Sula yesterday, and had to turn back. He's a nice guy but you
could really see how bummed he was to have to backtrack. He is
going to ride again tomorrow, following the alternate route. He
says he is making about 50 miles a day, so hopefuly I'll catch him up
and see him on the way.
I get to sleep in tomorrow!