(IT Deparment note: sorry for the delay - both cyclists and webmaster had interwebs problems yesterday July 26th. Photos to come soon!)
Had a great breakfast at the Lodge: avocado, bacon, and tomato omelette with Two plate-size huckleberry pancakes. I could only eat half. We each saved a pancake for our mid morning snack.
We saw Laurie's tent when we went into breakfast, but not when we checked out. Left around 9. As we were about to enter the highway, we met two girls on bikes coming up the hill. They wanted to know how far it was to the restaurant. They were wearing halter tops and shorts. We were wearing our yellow jackets, full finger gloves, and I was wearing long pants in anticipation of a cool overcast day spent descending. Roy said our attires reflected the work we were doing.
The ACA maps said no services for 66 miles. What they meant was no food for 66 miles. We found several forest service outhouses near trailheads or visitor information pull outs, and there was a staffed historical ranger station with displays, running water, drinking fountains, and flush toilets. Nothing like some of our Montana stretches where there really was nothing.
As we left the historical ranger station, Laurie was pulling in. We assured her it was worth a stop.
Route 12 is marked as especially scenic on any kind of map you look at. Every vista was more lovely than the next. The Lochsa River twisted along our left the entire day. Sheer walls of lodge pole pines framed the views. Creeks flowed into the river. Mostly the river rippled over rocks but in some places it widened, deepened, and quieted. Startlingly, there were a half dozen small sandy beaches.
There have been few places where I've been this impressed with the day's natural beauty--Glacier NP, New Zealand, western North Carolina--but this was definitely one of the top. It was a day full of awe and wows.
66 miles is 66 miles, even if it was all down hill. I was glad to arrive in Lowell, population 23. It appears to be a motel, restaurant, and gas station. Dozens of motorcycles were turning in to fill up while we registered at the motel. Just like last night at the lodge.
There does not appear to be wifi in town. No cell service until tomorrow.
We saw a number of these bridges and they reminded us of hikes in New Zealand.
Lowell. We caught up with Laurie in the cafe. She was finishing dinner as we came in. We talked for awhile and then she left to find a campsite.
Laurie's bike and Laurie in the window of the cafe.
We did not stay here, but this place is within walking distance of where we stayed and they have wifi, which we did not.