Our tips for traveling by bicycle
Our trips in Central America,
Europe and Across the USA
Always following the Rule:
A mile at the beginning of the day is not as long as the mile at the end of the day.
Route 12 which goes south of the real Lewis & Clark Trail over the Lolo Pass and along the Lochsa River is a relatively new road, just completed in 1962. The real Lolo Pass is about 1000 feet above the river and the bike path I am on. Clark wrote, "Here we wer compelled to kill a Colt for our men & Selves for the want of meat & we named the South fork Colt Killed Creek. The Mountains which we passed today much worse than yesterday the excessively bad Thickly Strowed with falling timeber & Pine Spruc Fur Hackmatak & Tamerack, Steep & Stoney our men and horse much fatiqued."
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Saturday, July 20, 2002
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Rain last night and small drops on the pond this morning. Breakfast was meeting a man and two women traveling about. He normally works at Sunriver, OR running float trips. He was trying to remember who the guitarist fellow was who struts across the stage from the late 1950's. I gave him the name Chuck Barry and that satisfied him.
The ride was up about 7 miles but the reality of that was about 4 miles with a slight grade up and then a three mile real up slope. I averaged about 5.5 on the morning's leg to the top. At the top, was a fellow waiting to pick up the landscape architect who told me about the mercury in the latrine discovery. And then the bus that the architect was on with all the elder hostelers drove by. I started down the beautiful pass and was halted by a line of cars and had to put the bike in the back of the truck/pilot car. They trucked me down about a mile around an area which was being enlarged for a passing lane. Stopped at Devoto's Cedar Grove (Botany lover). I met Rene' from Holland who was with a group of cyclists from Adventure Cycling. He was an architect and librarian and had specialized in Architecture Books only. We ended discussing the price of gas being supported by our government and it still is only 1/3 the price of European gas. He was concerned that people in the group didn't understand how price supports were being engendered by the US government. He found the sprawl with which cities ramble on gobbling up space and not knitting communities very appalling. We agreed how it was the individualism tearing at the fabric that brings people together. It was a delightful conversation as we bounced from topic to topic of art and politics. He had even received some eye drops, Ciloxin, and we discussed some protocols about anti-bacterials and contact lenses. We then went down the slippery slope of discussing group touring versus solo touring. Rene' had done many solo trips all around the world including Indonesia, Australia., and of course Europe. We talked about the group dynamics and how he was feeling a little hemmed in and yet it was an introduction to America. He had great disgust at the RV's with their contents and their insulated people. It was fun to meet such a like mind in a cedar grove along the Lewis and Clark Trail.
Arrived at the Locsha Lodge in time for a huckleberry cobbler and lemonade. I saw another cyclist who I had seen in Missoula. Stout muscular man with white hair, looking angry or perhaps defiant. And Rene' came up. The angry man said, "I have been here three hours, is this the campground? I don't know what the others are dong." Rene' did not know. I interjected that I wanted to take a hike to where Colt Killed Creek meets the White Sand Creek. Rene' agreed to go. So we agreed to meet in an hour. I unpacked, took a shower, transferred some pics. We hiked up the road about 3 miles turned inland to the hatchery at the confluence. Again our discussion revolved around group dynamics. we both weren't too smug about being solo travelers. We discussed how people don't often give themselves permission to do things. He felt that many cyclists in his group were just kind of plodding along to finish the 3 month effort. I told him how I remember my trip across America coming to end 20 years ago and how sad I felt. He felt a number of people didn't even like biking and were just finishing to say they had done it. That sounded rock bottom terrible. Sounded like the group was disintegrating. The ugly American had made an ultimatum that he was going to leave. Although tonight was his supper night! That may have been the issue. They all took turns doing supper for the group in teams. There were complaints that some only made spaghetti for their turn. Rene' and I then turned our criticism to the American diet. He was amazed that people in the midwest did not have fruit or seafood. And felt Frozen fish sticks was not even derivative of something that used to swim. We reached the hatchery and watched them film salmon going up the stream. We hiked then on a trail along the river back to the lodge. We agreed to have supper. I sat sipping some ice tea and he went to check the status of the group dinner and returned to say there was an argument playing out and he would stay there to support the leader. Rene' felt he was kind of a fifth wheel in his family. His brother had even challenged him with comparisons of how the brother's life was full of "stuff," possessions, ownership of things, and he challenged Rene' to see what "he had" when he was 50. Ah the Americanization of Europe. Rene' also biked without cleats but in sandals instead of the tennis shoes that I was using without cleats.
I ordered supper and ended having the meal with Paul and Rebecca, an outfit owner-couple, who raft the Owyhee. We discussed a number of things, agreeing on how the Owyhee region was indeed very special and an extremely unique place needing protection.
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