Highway 12

We made it to Montana this afternoon, riding on Highway 12 along the Clearwater and Lachsa Rivers. It was amazing to continually look down into the rivers and see the rock bottoms–the water so clear. We also took some breaks to enjoy the area. So much to take in on this ride.

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Hike in the woods.
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Biking a bridge.
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Soaking the toes.
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Pedaling along the little bit of shoulder that Idaho has to offer.

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

On our way up Lolo Pass, we stopped off at Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. When I lived here 22 years ago (when Kait was in utero), I visited the hot springs with my friend Dave Stedman. It was winter, so we had to ski in to sit in the hot Idaho sulfur water. I would have enjoyed knowing, 22 years ago, that my soon-to-be born baby girl would some day do a bike tour with me so we could visit this place and soak in the spring.

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The best spring is at the end, very end, of the trail.
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Where the hot spring enters the crick–half hot, half chillingly cold.
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Hot sulfur water pouring from the rock.
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We took the hiker’s route.

Entering the wilderness

Kait and I are in Kooskia, Idaho, on the edge of the Lolo National Forest. We’ll be out of Wi-Fi and cell range for the next 3 days, so there may not be many blog posts in the near future.

We just went to the Kooskia grocery store and loaded up on food for the next 3 days. We also decided to stop off at the Kooskia Cafe for a good breakfast before today’s ride. You need fuel, and this fuel looks pretty tasty.

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The rotating pie machine is a sign of civilization. It will be missed.
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So much pie, spinning and spinning around like a culinary carousel. 

Shade

The temps in Kamiah, Idaho are currently 87 degrees, but we just rode our bikes through some open stretches that had temps in the 90s. You stop when you can and appreciate a bit of shade. It’s just another small detail that I take for granted back at home–but something I greatly appreciate on this open road.

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Shade beneath a railroad bridge.
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Shade beneath a tree.
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Ultimate shade–swinging beside the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River.

From Culdesac to Winchester, Idaho

It’s 8 miles of straight climbing on the Old Winchester Road. It’s a 2,500 elevation gain, but you don’t notice the punishing uphill so much because the views are rather spectacular. And, the air gets colder as you climb into the trees.

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One of the views. You couldn’t stop for long on the twisty road to look.
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Near the top, not far from Winchester.

Walla Walla to Waitsburg

The Middle Waitsburg Road, connecting Walla Walla to Waitsburg, is a pleasure to cycle. You have a bit of climbing to do, but the climb lets you slow down just enough to enjoy the topography. Rolling wheat fields, acres of dry peas, small farms peppering the landscape.

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Green, blue, dappled white.
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Every direction is a good bike ride.
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Go to the Laht Neppur Brewing Company in Waitsburg for a mason jar of beer.