Day 11 – Lowell to Lolo Hot Springs

Sat 12th June 2010

Wow, we had a dry day today, in fact it was really hot once the sun had burnt off the early morning mist. So nice to cycle in just shorts and a top.

We set off at our usual time of 6:30am and we continued to follow the Clearwater river upstream for another 70 miles. In all that way the view was the same and every bend looked like the last one. The scenery was wonderful but it was hard cycling as we were climbing all day and often had a headwind. That said we made good time and by 12:30pm we had done 60 miles. The road was good and very quiet and we were passed by lots of Harley’s. They do sound pretty awesome in the river gorge when 4 or 5 come past together and this is certainly the place to ride them. One day maybe.

Deer crossing road

No wolves today

The road surface today was first class and in 50 miles we saw one pothole, quite a large one. I cycled past it and didn’t warn Chris because I was sure he would see it. Unfortunately he forgot to switch on his pothole radar this morning and went right into it. I can’t repeat what he said. I’m amazed (and thankful) that Sherman was not damaged. That bike must be built like a tank.

Clearwater River

70 miles of scenery in a single photo

Because there’s no grocery store here at Lolo Hot Springs we had to buy the ingredients for our dinner and breakfast and then lug it over Lolo Pass. The final 4 miles to get over the pass was the steepest incline we have encountered yet but we made it okay and enjoyed the high speed run down into Lolo Hot Springs. At Lolo Pass we entered Montana so it’s goodbye Idaho.

Lolo Pass

One mile from the top of Lolo Pass

Enterng Montana at Lolo Pass

We’ve managed to camp tonight for the first time since Halfway and it’s good to get in the tents again and much cheaper than motel rooms. As soon as we arrived at the campsite a couple of local cats befriended Chris. Clearly news that he’s good for some food has spread fast in the feline world.

Chris decides to sleep upright tonight to see if it will help his snoring

Chris decides to sleep upright tonight to see if it will help his snoring.

You all saw the rather poor conditions I had to write the blog yesterday, but not tonight. I’m sat in a really nice bar/restaurant here at Lolo Hot Springs. We have just had a huge portion of apple pie with huckleberry ice cream, the coffee is never ending and I have a band behind me playing live bluegrass music. In addition we are sharing our table with three other transamerican cyclists, Todd, Tim and Marty who are on a more leisurely tour than us. There’s also free wi-fi at the tables and it’s just great. I’d post a photo but we don’t want you all to think we’re enjoying ourselves too much.

So tomorrow we have a mostly downhill ride to Kicking Ass Ranch where we’ll spend a rest day and we are really looking forward to that.


  1. Honestly Alan, knowing Chris’s track record I can’t believe you assumed he would see the pothole! I am glad you had a better day weather wise and it sounds as though you had a lovely evening. I am quite looking forward to the trip on Harley’s too – it is only another 9 years or so before we can leave Emily on her own!! The photographs are really nice to see and you both look great, if a little hairy!! Have a wonderful day’s cycling.
    Love ya x

  2. Ha good old sherman!! For gods sake dad what is wrong with you? Are you officially the clumbsiest person in the whole world!
    Well done for completing the climb today so quickly and enjoy a more leisurable cycle tomorrow.
    Cats again!! Dad are you the pied piper for cats? They love you dont they! I’m sure mum will smile reading it, as i did! Marmite and Toastie send grampy their love and are jelous that other cats are getting all your attention!! ha ha
    Well done to you both. Nice to see your smiling faces in the photos, and you have enjoyed a nice evening.
    love you

  3. Bye Idaho.Hello Montana.Your both doing great.Have a good rest day at kicking Ass Ranch.I wonder what wild animal you’ll meet on the road next?BEAR!!!

  4. Chris be careful of potholes you know first hand what damage they can do. Cats again, im getting jealous, i agree with tracey you must be pied piper for cats and if you can feed them then you can feed scraggs when you get home, give the cats lots of strokes and tell them theres a loving home here for them, if you can get them on your bike!! Well done your doing great on your adventure, take care xxx