Daily miles – 47. Total miles – 1437.
It was a cold night at Powell, but we didn’t notice all buttoned up in the tent and warm bags. We had a liesurely morning taking in the warming sun and spotty clouds over the meadow.
Once we finally got started riding, we knew it would be about 15 miles of climbing to Lolo Pass followed by about 36 miles downhill to Dunrovin Ranch in Lolo. The cool air with the sun made the climb easy and fun. We cranked along and started to see much more snow on the peaks aroud. It turns out that while Lolo Pass in only a little higher than 5,000 feet, it got 5 inches of snow in the recent storms over the last few days! We wee told it would be mostly melted byt he time we arrived and the indeed the road was totally clear when we got there. We put the hammer down for the final climbing mile since we fot passed by a single bike who was riding accross the country. The guy was not necessarily all that friendly, but more than anything else, we are so accustomed on our training rides to have someone to chase or keep behind us that it is a natural tendency to compete a little. He must have been doing the same thing with us since he passed us pretty fast and then slowed. The whole thing as familiar, yet hasn’t happened in a while so I waited a little too long to turn it on and, while we closed the gap considerably, we did not pass him before the pass. We also never saw him again after we started our descent. He said he had a partner whom we never saw at all. That is a major difference between tandem and single bikes!
The pass marks te border between Montana and Idaho so we entered our 5th state of the trip. As we descended, the environs became more and more familiar as we have visited Lolo several times over the last 10 years.
Our focus shifted from the long haul to a very short distance to the end of this section of the journey. We were ancy – like little kids. Impatient, anticipating arriving at a familiar destination with familiar family and a chance to relax for a few days – a vacation within the journey. We played twenty questions, we pushed hard, and we even had to deal with our first flat since Hwy 14 in Washington (the blowout) aout 16 miles shy of Dunrovin. But – we’re here now, enthusiastic to met up with the Millers and do some bike logistics, rest, eat, drink, and enjoy their company. We’re going to take a brea from blogging too, but we’ll be back online in a few days. Meanwhile, we will get pictures up including for past postings. Enjoy!