Thursday June 25
This morning started with us still alive after camping next to the river. Our neighbor Lucia walked over with fresh cantalope that Donna and Lewis enjoyed. Since lewis was actually eagerly eating this I donated any portion that might have been mine to him. Gotta get food into Lewis anyway possible says Dr. Amy, his pediatrician. An interesting sidenote here: since the start of this trip I believe that I've shed somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 pounds. At this rate by the time we get to Washington DC, I'll weight all of 98 pounds!
We packed up and were on the road by 10:00. Todays ride was going to be on the shorter side as we had a mountain pass to climb and then an easy 20 miles to get to our destination LOLO Hot Springs. The steady upriver/uphill climb that we did all of yesterday continued for another 15 miles. Then the pass. This is the last pass that Idaho has to throw at us. LoLo Pass was 9 miles long and had just one really steep section that we chose to walk. At the top of this Pass we entered our next state, Montana. A scant 8 miles into Montana is where we stopped for the day. It was just after 6:00 when we pulled into LOLO Hot Springs. We paid for a campsite and a dip in the heated pool. Total damages $33. For this reason we opted for Ramen noodles and sandwiches. After eating our fill, we headed over to the pool where I left Donna and Lewis to relax while I checked out the availability of wifi. Yep, in luck. I scanned our e-mails then got busy with the task at hand. This being to firm up our warm showers stay in Missoula.
Julie and Ron (our hosts in Missoula) are going to be gone all weekend but have offered us the use of their home while they are away. We only have to make it to Missoula before they leave tomorrow. With this taken care of I can relax a bit so I do this by sampling an India Pale Ale on tap that was only $1 a glass. After 2 more of these I’m now ready to tackle the hot springs!
Donna and Lewis were enjoying the therapeutic and socializing aspects of the hot springs. Donna enjoys the hot pool while Lewis plays in the temperate pool. I joined Lewis for a while before finding my way to the hot pool. Man was that hot. Just prior to paying for our stay here, we ran into another cyclist. We were uncertain if he was staying or moving on. I ran into him again in the hot pool and had a chance for some conversation. Brad left Missoula that day and is on his way to Portland. He previously worked in the home construction and remodel industry. We are running into quite a few out of work carpenters.
The hot tub area closes at 10:00 but the bar (where my laptop has been charging since earlier) will be open until at least 11:00. So at a quarter to 10:00 we exit the hot spring pools and wander on over to the bar. The bartender assured me that Lewis was welcome. Donna immediately got onto the computer and started e-mailing. She remained busy for the better part of 45 minutes while Lewis was being schooled in the finer aspects of billiards (Photo). I enjoyed a couple more of the $1 IPA’s and continued talking to Brad the cyclist. One weird coincindence that came to light while conversing was that we both knew the guy we had camped next to the night before. Brad and Anjin are good friends! Small world.
By the time we were ready to walk back to the campground, I was feeling the effects of at least one too many of those IPA’s. It was nearly midnight before we crawled into our sleeping bags to retire for the night. Both Donna and I slept fitfully as the temperature dropped precipitously and we both had cold feet all night long. I made the mistake of going to sleep with no socks on as all my footwear had been soiled. Donna actually had socks on and in addition in the middle of the night she slipped the stuffs sacks over her feet as well. I wish I had the camera to capture that image when she crawled out of the sleeping bag with the big orange sacks on her feet. It would have been worthy of a top picture in the blog. Lewis never seems to complain about being cold and usually has the opposite discomfort of being too warm at night. Go figure!