Day 11: My Queen stage -- To Lolo Pass And Lochsa Lodge - It's Something To Do - CycleBlaze

June 11, 2017

Day 11: My Queen stage -- To Lolo Pass And Lochsa Lodge

I knew from the get go that today would be a tall ask, 95 miles give or take, and mostly up. But the next couple of days they are predicting rain, and today is beautiful for riding, so I have to give it a try.

I set out with the sun after a breakfast of crackers and peanut butter and headed for a second breakfast at Kooskia. The conditions were perfect, and so was my breakfast of French Toast, Eggs and bacon, oh and coffee.

Lolo pass isn't too steep, just long. Something like 80 miles but I must say beautiful.

I stopped in Lowell and had a hushed conversation with a couple at the next table. Hushed because they were obviously unhappy about the Trump Situation and didn't want any conflict with anyone who is happy about the Trump Situation.

"I don't know what your political views are," the man said.

Though by then we had been talking and it was clear we could discuss things from the same point of view. They were from Portland and come out to the mountain every year. They asked about my trip and route, to which I explained, " Lewiston, then Orofino, Kamiah and I just had breakfast in Kooskia...".

"Wow we're impressed. You pronounced everyone of those towns correctly. Most visitors mangle the names."

"I did my due-diligence," I explained. I try and learn the names of towns if I can so I don't like an idiot.

From there it was ride, ride, ride. I really wanted to make it to Lochsa Lodge tonight. Not only to avoid tomorrow's predicted inclement weather but they have nice showers, free cyclist camping behind the store and, from what I read, great food at the restaurant!

At the historic ranger station I met cyclist Ian from Scotland. And unlike the Scotswoman I met yesterday, Ian had a Scottish accent.

After that I continued to pedal like hell, for around 85 miles until the sun started getting low in the mountains. It was only around 6:00 but because of the mountains visibility was getting pour and the road narrower. I stopped at a pullout with visitor information, met a retired couple in a pick-up truck and asked for a lift the rest of the way. Ok there, I said it. I got a lift. So sue me.

I kind of didn't care but did a little bit, until I got to the Lodge and was so happy to be there. There were also 4 other touring cyclists there and when I told one of the women, who's name I forgot, about my sin she told me the story of her and some friends getting a lift in a lightning storm near Jackson Hole and, "sometimes safety wins." Actually, she couldn't believe I had riding 84 miles from Kamiah.

I was glad in the end, because after a great shower I had an even greater dinner of Bison meatloaf, which I devoured in about 5 minutes.

Tomorrow I go over the pass. Fingers crossed that the weather will hold.

The sun rising near Kooskia
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Downtown Kooskia after breakfast
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Fisherman on the bottom of Lolo pass road
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Getting closer!
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One of many cross river transport systems for residents who live on the other side of the river.
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That's about the size of it. 77 miles of squiggly road.
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There were a LOT of rafters out today!
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One of several foot bridges over the river for hikers
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Historic Ranger Station
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Bison Meatloaf.
Now you see it...
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Now you don't
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Today's ride: 84 miles (135 km)
Total: 590 miles (950 km)

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