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Dad and Kerry's 2003 Trip to British Columbia

Day 8 - Whitefish, MONTANA to Arco, IDAHO

THURSDAY, 21 August 2003

Tonight I'm writing from inside my tent again, instead of at a picnic table. The reason is simple; it's RAINING! Yep, even though Dad "promised" that it wouldn't rain on us during the trip, it finally did. Oh well - at least we got our tents set up and all of our gear inside before the rain hit.

I guess I forgot to mention ... we're camped at the Mountain View RV park in Arco, Idaho: "The First City In The World To Be Lit With Atomic Energy". (That's what was printed on the menus in the Village Club Bar & Restaurant down the road.) I believe it too, because of a submarine novel I once read. The first third or so chronicled one navy commander's transition from diesel-powered to atomic-powered craft. He had to spend many weeks at a military atomic research & development site in Idaho. It really exists, and it's between here and Idaho Falls. Anyway....

We got one of our earliest starts today, which helps explain why we put in the most miles in one day today. We also rode until almost 8:00. We ate breakfast at a McDonald's in Whitefish, MT and lunch at a Burger King in Salmon, ID [Map Point #6]and dinner here in Arco. If it hadn't been for the rain we would probably have just had hot chocolate and a granola bar. But we wanted a place to get out of the rain besides the men's room or the laundry room here at the RV park ... so Dad had a 3-enchilada meal and I had lasagna!

Besides stopping for gas today, we also stopped at a rest stop [Map Point #4] between Missoula and Hamilton (the same place Randy and I stopped at last year)...

...and the Visitor Center at Lost Trail Pass (the point where US 93 crosses the Continental Divide and crosses the border between Montana and Idaho). There was a lot of smoke in the Bitterroot drainage area; it rivaled the worst stuff we saw in B.C.! From Salmon (ID) our path diverged from the one I took with Randy. We stayed on 93 and saw a lot of mountains, etc. that I didn't expect for some reason. We got stopped 2 or 3 different times because of road construction. The last 3 or 4 miles before Arco were "Loose Gravel". Grrrr.

Well, it's only 10:15. The rain has stopped for now. I tried to call Sue on the TracFone, but there's no signal. Harumph! First city with atomic energy and last city with cell phone service!

[It was such a long day that I neglected to write down a few things.
* I was really impressed with Flathead Lake between Map Points #1 and #2. It was too smoky to get a good impression of the whole lake, but the nice cabins and marinas and campgrounds reminded me of some of the neat lakes in B.C. This would be another nice place to spend some time....

* Dad will remember following me up a big hill at about Map Point #2. I was wringing my bike's poor neck trying to pass someone, and when I went to shift from 5th gear to 6th I missed the shift and revved the engine from about 7,000 RPM up to about 11,500 RPM - 500 RPM past redline! Dad said later that he was surprised by the big clouds of smoke that came out of the exhaust pipe, and he was sure I had blown the engine. He fully expected me to limp over to the side of the road with a dead bike. Thankfully, that wasn't the case.

* As far as Dad was concerned, the last 100 miles or so before Arco went through a "whole lot of nothing". I didn't notice it as much; maybe I'm used to riding through that kind of country back home in Utah. We passed Leatherman Peak about halfway between Challis and Arco. It was part of a range of oddly-colored mountains. According to an acquaintance of mine, the line of Leatherman utility knives was named after this peak.]

Miles covered today: 426
Total miles covered: 2612


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