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Randy and Kerry's 2002 Trip to British Columbia

DAY 8: Missoula, MONTANA -- Lewis & Clark -- Salmon, IDAHO

WEDNESDAY, 29 May 2002

Randy and I opted for the KOA "all-you-can-eat (pancakes) breakfast" this morning. Randy had 2 pancakes, I had 3. It turned out that the girl who sold us our tickets for breakfast was from Latvia - her name was Baiba. She had a bit of an accent, but her English was very good.

We weren't able to do our laundry as we had planned. The laundry room was in use for the breakfast, and it wasn't going to be available until 11:00 - which was checkout time! We got everything packed and loaded, swept out the Kamping Kabin and returned the key right at 11:00, and then got underway, along I-90.

We stopped at the Idaho/Montana border (at Lookout Pass) to take pictures and to give up looking for the Information Center that the signs had indicated. Another sign indicated an information center another 33 miles down the road. We got off at St. Regis, Montana and proceeded to the not-quite-finished building that housed the Official Montana Information place. The lady inside was SUPER helpful, and gave us maps not only of Montana but of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, and other stuff.

We continued on our way to Missoula, and both of our bikes went on reserve within a minute of each other. We got off the freeway and rode a short way into Alberton. We filled up, checked the oil, lubed the chains, and took some small-town pictures. We finally got to Missoula, only to stop for lunch at Arby's. We left there a little after 5:00 and fought "rush hour" traffic all the way out of town. We had gone maybe 40 miles, with both of us threatening to fall asleep, when Randy pulled into a small campground-like place "before he collided with someone or ran off the road". A young man was sitting on a picnic table by the Bitterroot River eating some McDonald's. Randy approached him about something, and we ended up talking to him for a good while. We mentioned all of the log home building establishments we had seen in the last 20 miles, and he said he used to work at one of them. He gave us some pointers about what to expect as we went down Highway 93, and then we parted ways.

We put in our dark face shields because the sun was low enough in the sky that it shone through the side (and contributed to our getting sleepy). A couple miles later we had to pull over so I could fix my shield - I hadn't attached it quite right. Last night we talked about stopping for the night in the region around Arco, Idaho. Today it backed up to Challis, ID and finally to Salmon, Idaho - where I'm writing from right now. We found a campground run by a member of the Church, and we are the ONLY tenters. The campground is 3 or 4 blocks from the main street in Salmon, but it is very quiet with a little of the river noise in the background. And Randy pointed out how many stars are visible here.

We got the tent set up, had some dinner (Chef Boyardee, peaches) and then went in search of a laundromat...after I called Sue and said that we may be home tomorrow night.

With some help, we found a laundromat that closed at 11:00 PM which was just as we arrived. Instead we went in search of a couple of snacks. We each ate an ice cream bar of some kind, and then brought the rest back to the campground.

Randy "passed out" a while back, and my eyes are swimming from fatigue. I'd better go to bed so I can have a chance at getting HOME tomorrow. Wish me luck! (At both attempted feats....)

Miles covered today: 314
Total miles covered: 2693


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