My Route

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Day 65: Tuesday, 4th September. Destination: Gateway Inn, Grangeville, Idaho

From Lowell I cycled up to Grangeville - the biggest ascent of my trip, I think, (just over 3,000ft climb from valley bottom to the top of White Bird Hill). But once again it wasn't so tough, plus I had a nice internet'n'smoothie break at Chatterbox Cafe in Stites (just West of Kooskia) where I wrote up my post about Missoula. In Grangeville there's a very cute Art Deco cinema called the Blue Fox (it's on the National Register), so I went to see The Bourne Ultimatum to enjoy some Art Deco cool, salted popcorn and fast-action thrills.

It was absolutely pouring with rain by the time I left the cinema, and night had fallen. Places to eat were all closed or closing, so I ended up at a dimly-lit and nearly empty Country Club eating fishburger and fries while the lady bartender cleaned the tables around me.

The other two things I wanted to mention from today are the friendly folks at the Gateway Inn who let me use their computer for hours while snacking on Cheerios in the breakfast/lounge area, and earlier in the day, at Kooskia, I finally left the Lewis & Clark Trail: it heads north before reaching the West coast at Astoria, Oregon, while I head south for a couple of days. I'm now officially on the TransAmerica Trail (though, actually, I've been following it since Missoula). Its funny how this symbolic parting of the ways seems to be echoed in an almost abrupt change to the landscape: from the steep-sided wilderness valley of the Lochsa River to the wide, almost suburban character of this stretch of the Clearwater River. Huts, houses and sundry other accommodation line the flat land between river and road. Of course, I know it's just an interlude - but if I'm still in the Rockies, then I'm heading towards a different kind of Rockies.