Sanity left the room and reason just got up to leave as well. Day 13 124.5 miles on a climbing day! Bam! I woke up in Lowell, ID this morning to another river side campsite along the Middle Fork Clearwater River. I got to bed early last night so I think I was up a little before 5:00 AM. I am not sure because I did not realize that I crossed back into Pacific time. I started in Pacific Time, went to Mountain Time and then back to Pacific till Lolo Pass where I went back into Mountain Time. I was loaded up on oatmeal, coffee and on the bike as Ron and Marion began to rise.
The original plan was to ride from Lowell, ID to Powell, ID 65.5 miles. Powell is right before the climb up Lolo Pass. Even the Lowell to Powell ride is an elevation gain of about 2,100 feet. Then from Powell, ID to Lolo Pass was an elevation gain of 3,735 feet over 15 miles. So I thought doing Lolo Pass in the afternoon would have been too much. My body had a different agenda. I included a pic of the elevation map for reference.
All the variables lined up on the Lowell to Powell ride. It was a very gradual incline, the sky was overcast and I had a tailwind. The trifecta. Again the route went along a river and I took it all in. This when reason and sanity left. I was feeling strong had all the right weather conditions and said to myself, “I could make Missoula today”! I did some mental calculations and figured that would make for a 120+ day from Lowell to Missoula and I still have Lolo Pass.
Just before Powell I met Greg from Washington State. He had done 40,000 miles of the 44,000 mapped Adventure Cycling miles. He works in the oil industry and he is in his off season. So he is out cycling the Country. We had discussed Lolo Pass and Greg said it really was not too bad except for the last 5 miles. We wished each other well and I headed to Powell for lunch and snacks. After lunch I tighted the chin strap and said,, “Bring it on Lolo, you temptress you”. Greg was right, about 5 miles before the pass it got steep, I think I was 75 miles in.
I made it to the top and the Idaho/Montana border! The rest of the way was pretty much downhill through Lolo Hot Spings, Lolo and eventually Missoula. I think Juan Valdez slipped a few extra beans in my cup of Joe this morning. I am staying at a KOA in Missoula. The same one Audrey and I stayed at back in 2012 during our western RV trip. I brings back great memories and makes me miss Audrey and Luna even more. I did not think that was possible. I miss you Audrey. Luna, take care of Mom.
So why was it epic Don? I rode the longest distance, in a day, on a bicycle 124.5 miles. Two States down. In my State line picture I am throwing two fingers down, lol. I crossed the Pacific to Mountain time zone. I finished map set 3, 9 more to go. And, drum roll please, 999.8 miles. I don’t generally round up but I am calling it 1,000 miles!
As I mentioned I am staying in Missoula, MT
Day 13 – 124.5 miles
Total 999.8 miles
You can see the video on my Facebook page at