I got on the road about 8:00. Headed up to Missoula and from there over Lolo Highway. What a beautiful drive! Too bad I wasn’t on a motorcycle, but at least I got to drive it.
I stopped at a Forest Service office/rest area on the highway and got some information about Hell’s Canyon and some maps. The ranger told me about an old-growth cedar forest just 10 miles down the road. Who knew? If he hadn’t told me, I would have driven right past it. Instead, I got to stop and walk a beautiful path through 1500-year-old trees, with the ground covered in ferns. It reminded me of northern California. So peaceful and gorgeous.
Then I decided to drive to Hell’s Canyon, but despite the maps I had, I couldn’t feed the right thing into my GPS. I ended up driving over White Bird pass and then to the Salmon River. I was tired of driving, and I spotted a pretty RV park right on the river. So that’s where I spent the night. I got a nice spot overlooking the river, under some weeping willow trees.
I’m having breakfast right now in Riggins, then I’m going to try to get to the Hells Gate overlook of the canyon before heading up to Lake Pond Oreille. It’s 18 miles of dirt road with a steep climb, and I’ve driven so many dirt roads the past couple of days. But I guess it’ll be worth it. If I don’t make it, I saw some lovely, different scenery coming down to where I am now, so I’m not going to be sad about it.