Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Day 11 - Passed the Pass

Pretty tough getting up this morning.  A little too much paradise yesterday.  Not sure what happened but after a couple bottles of wine we got the great idea to pour some Vodka into Ginger Ale throw in a lime and shazam!  We call it a Clearwater Surprise!  Coming soon to a bar near you. Well, I’m feeling it this morning but unfortunately, I can’t lay in bed and whine about my headache, I’m going to need to whine on the bike.  We are going to cross Lolo Pass today.  

I was on the bike at 7:30 am and the riding conditions were perfect.  Slight cool breeze and the road turned AMAZING.  About 15 miles before the Lochsa Ranger Station new paving began and my life went from hell to heaven as quick as my tires could cross the threshold.  Makes such a difference.  So now I’m ready for anything (even with a headache).

The approach to the pass was beautiful again.  You’re probably tired of seeing the scenic pictures but sorry, it’s all part of the experience. 

We’ve been without cell service since we left Kamiah early Monday morning and in addition to not knowing what’s going on in the world or communicating with anyone, I have to listen to the same two playlists that I have downloaded on my Spotify.  I like Don Henley and all, but if I have to hear “Boys of Summer” one more time I’m going to ride off the road.  I definitely need to better prepare for the next time we are out of cell service (which I imagine will be a lot between here and Minneapolis).  Sorry Don, but you and “Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac” are getting the hook.

Without cell service Strava didn’t work either and I didn’t get the joy and feeling of accomplishment seeing my elevation climb approaching Lolo Pass.  I pulled up Google and it’s kind of depressing seeing a little blip.  It was tough pedaling damn it!

When I reached the rest area at the top, Cheryl was there waiting for me.  Always makes me happy to see her.  Lolo Pass is also where we enter Montana and crossed our first time zone.  Now we are on Mountain Time!  I hope we like Montana because I’m going to be riding here for 12 days! 

We stopped at Lolo Hot Springs and it was a little underwhelming.  Just a swimming pool and a hot tub that is fed from the natural hot springs.  I would not recommend riding your bike to get here. There is a lodge and restaurant and RV park here also.  We went to the restaurant for lunch as we will try and visit the local establishments along the way.  Seeing this sign above the door, the moose crossing road signs and Everclear (190 proof) at a convenience store was a reminder that we are entering a different part of the country.  I love it!

We got some more good news about filling our open slots.  A friend of my son Kyle, Tom, lives in New York and will be joining this coast to coast extravaganza August 12 and 13.  He’s an avid cyclist and knows the New York roads so finally I won’t have to worry about getting lost (at least for two days anyway).  I have not provided the blog address to him yet as I’m afraid if he sees what he’s getting into he will back out.

We’re back into civilization tomorrow in Missoula Montana!!

Until then….


  1. I just gave Vickiy the bad news that we are canceling our bike trip to Lolo Hot Springs. She's pretty bummed out and is getting into what's left of her gallon Everclear bottle.
    So good to read about the improved riding surface. Yippee! Keep those beautiful scenery pictures coming. We love 'em. "Hi" to Cheryl. Enjoy Montana!

    1. Don’t let me effect you’re decision. You may like it. If you drink the everclear it won’t matter!

  2. NEVER will get tired of your incredible scenery pictures!!! I hope the conditions are awesome today . . . .just like you and your #1 teammate, Cheryl.💪👍

  3. Yay. Rest day for you!!! You deserve it Chris!!! This trip inspires us to plan another bike tour. Enjoy Montana and keep up the good work!!