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Missoula, MT

Sadly, Carol has departed our group today. Her husband called and said "I miss you," and so she decided to hightail it back home. We gave her a hug and watched her pull out. We'll have to meet up with her again later this year.

The group made a good call on the route today. Instead of taking the easy route up Rt 95 and back to Interstate highways, we decided to plow through the heart of Idaho on Route 12.

Nez Perce.jpg
Adam and Susan walk back to the Airstreams, Nez Perce NHS

From our base on the Snake River in Clarkston, ID, the road goes east along the Clearwater River, and stays in the river valley for more than a hundred miles. We stopped in at the Nez Perce National Historic Site first, and of course we picked up another passport stamp there. Susan had her brand-new National Parks Passport book too, and we were privileged to see her get her first stamp. Emma also did the Junior Ranger activity and got a patch.

The land gradually changes from brown and sparse "high desert" to forests of evergreen as it winds and climbs. The river changes to the Coldwater, and then the wild and scenic Lochsa.

ID RT12 bridge.jpg

Along the route there are a few pullouts, but not nearly as many as you'd like. The water was extremely tempting: clear, cool, gorgeous, and spotted with the occasional rafter or kayaker. Rich C called us from his position many miles ahead, and said, "It just keeps getting better. I feel like I just drove through a postcard."

With the stops and the winding road, the drive from Clarkston to Missoula, MT, took about eight hours. Of course, not all of that was drive time, but it was still a long and challenging drive. Adam has crashed and I'm feeling pretty tired myself. We have found a KOA to stay at, mostly because everyone said they wanted to do laundry, but of course nobody has so far. We did all hit the Safeway for groceries, but I'm wondering when the laundry is going to get done.

Tomorrow I need to do some maintenance too. The tires need air, and I've found that my 12v compressor will not reach to the driver's side. So I need to find a service station with air. We also need propane, and while I'm at it I should check a few other things on the rig. Our drive tomorrow will be short: two hours to Bigfork, where we are expected by Bert & Janie.

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