My Route

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Day 63: Sunday, 2nd September. Destination: Lochsa Lodge, 13m W of Lolo Pass, Idaho

So it's farewell to Montana and welcome Idaho, home to my route through the Rocky Mountains. I have to admit to a little trepidation about this stage - after all, these are big mountains, and all the way over from the East Coast people have been saying to me with foreboding "ah, but you've still got the Rockies to come...", as if you really haven't done anything till you've done them. So how was it?

Lolo Pass (5,235ft) turned out to be a lovely day's cycle up a cedar and aspen lined valley, beside a bonnie brook - Lolo Creek - that sparkled in the sunlight. The final few bends to the top gave dramatic views of the surrounding mountains, and then it was over the top (after a break at the Visitor Centre) and down a fabulous descent to the stately, clear, Lochsa river via a beautiful cedar grove to Lochsa Lodge and my very own wee log cabin for the night, in amongst the pines.

At the lodge I had supper with a fellow coast-to-coaster Mike Ling (cycling West to East), who had seen a black bear and a family of otters earlier in the day. No such thrills for me, thought I have seen a few blue jays (stellar's jay, actually, according to a roadside information sign) and several whitetail deer. That reminds me; I met another West to East cyclist, Mike Dawson, at the Lolo Hot Springs where I had lunch half way up the pass. Nice to meet up with passing travellers. Of course, it's not downhill from here on: I'll be in the heart of the mountains for the next few days, and there are still two or three big ascents to do, according to my map.