Cross Country Recumbent

Thursday July 24, 2003. Powell ID to Missoula MT


Start time
6:22 am PDT
End time
1:00 pm MDT
Time pedaling
Average speed
Odometer 880

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!