Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Traveling Great Falls, Montana to Lewiston Idaho...Retire In Style Blog on the road!

Lochsa facing upstream in the afternoon light. Picture by Barbara Torris

Retire In Style has been on the road for almost a week.  We have been visiting friends in Great Falls Montana and have not been able to connect with the internet. Believe it or not, not every one has a wireless system in their home!  Surprise!

Autumn haze hangs over the Lochsa! Picture by Barbara Torris
We left Great Falls this morning. This Montana city is located in the north central part of the state on the eastern side of the continental divide.  We decided that we would come home by traveling south of Missoula through Idaho via Lolo Pass and down the Lochsa River to Lewiston Idaho.  I took pictures and reveled in the beauty of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area.  While the Lochsa River ran like a well behaved stream along the side of the road I know that this same river would be a raging torrent earlier in the summer as the snow melted in the Bitterroots.  I somehow missed that wondrous wild river I had seen several times before.
The Lochsa (pronounced "lock-saw") was included by the U.S. Congress in 1968 as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.[8]The Lochsa and Selway rivers and their tributaries have no dams, and their flow is unregulated. In late spring, mid-May to mid-June, the Lochsa River is rated as one of the world's best for continuous whitewater. (wikipedia)
This wilderness area covers over a million acres of land in Idaho and really is so beautiful it is a national treasure.  The wilderness was designated in 1964 and remains just a beautiful as it was almost 50 years ago.

I was reminded of traveling along the Big Sur in California.  While the road is very good, don't count on anyplace to buy water or eat for long stretches of road.  In fact we did not see much traffic and only two kayaks along the way.  The road is very curvy although in great condition.  We ate breakfast in Lincoln Montana, then took Highway 12 out of Missoula through Lolo Pass and traveled most of the day to arrive in Lewiston Idaho.

I am alway caught up in the Lewis and Clark story as I travel these roads.  I just may reread Steven Ambrose's Undaunted Courage again when I get home.

To go from the edge of the plains in Montana, across the Selway-Bitterroot wilderness area and back into the dry western Idaho/Eastern Washington/Oregon sagebrush country in only one day is hard to wrap my mind around.  We will travel down the Columbia River back to the Portland metro area tomorrow.

Pictures later.  My camera and this computer do not play well together.


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