We have been back on the road again, after several days in Salmon, ID, although it was hard to leave. I made some good friends who I am bound to see again and the area was lovely.
Got to see a great herd of elk, and my first Chukar. Not to mention the vet who saved Ruka from an early demise. I will be forever grateful to Andy’s Animal Hospital and the gal at the Texaco station who recommended her. But I had the itch to move, so we unhooked, filled the bottles with fresh spring water straight from a spigot in the rocks and off we went. North!
I changed my mind- I had sort of planned on heading south, then over to McCall, but decided the country was just too pretty so headed to Lolo, MT (just south of Missoula) where I picked up YET ANOTHER SCENIC BYWAY. Are you getting sick of hearing about them? Remember, Idaho is jam packed and you can’t hardly go 50 miles without hitting one of these suckers. With good reason, too. It ain’t just hype.
And really, I don’t get why there aren’t more tourists!!!! Up to Lolo was fab, but Highway 12 from Lolo, up through the pass which Lewis and Clark made infamous, down the other side, back in Idaho, has to be one of the prettiest drives I have ever taken. Not much traffic, a lot of historic markers and scenery that opens your heart. I think it would be impossible to be depressed out here.
At the top is a great visitors center with nice little walks through a small wetland and grove. There were several small, 4 legged greeters who chirped friendly “hellos”. (Or they were mad that a REAL dog was coming!) There are several National Forest Campgrounds right on the Lochsa River, some among older growth evergreens with giant ferns and quiet pine needle floors.
I kept expecting a dinosaur to come around the bend- it seemed prehistoric. It showered all day, but that only made it more beautiful – like a Japanese painting – with foggy clouds shrouding the slopes and the evergreens even richer in color. No towns, one gas station in 100 miles and a few hot springs. I think I saw a sign that said, “Winding Road Next 99 Miles”- so if you get carsick, make sure to take your Dramamine and choose the front seat.
While there, two men stopped in the lot to change a bicycle tire. That’s right. I must have passed 20 people cycling UP Lolo Pass. Men and women- some looked like they were doing cross-country biking. I was completely spent and exhausted just watching them. Every time I passed one I rolled down the window and gave them a thumbs up and a Kudos!
It was a longish drive today, more so because I didn’t hurry and stopped often. I made it to McCall where I reunited with a lovely couple I met in Branson, MO at the Roadtrek Corporate Rally last month. I was sitting at dinner one evening, next to Danny and Ann (and Guinness- the Dachshund), told them I was headed here for a month and viola! Just got back from a tour of this gorgeous town and a nice evening at their home.
I love being in this club!