Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kooscia Id. to Powell Id. area campground

Actually saw this sign prior to reaching Kooscia and thought it pretty significant because this is where L/K stopped slogging across mountain since they left the Missouri River several months before. The party was in rough shape mentally and physically, getting to the Clearwater River provided the possibilty that they could ride the water system west to the ocean.

This was the view from my room at Kooscia Motel. It is a cool looking statue of an anatomically correct bull elk on roof of building with its head down in a fighting position--like if a wolf attacked or something. This pic does not do justice to the spectacular scenery surrounding this town.

This bird flew down into the path of my bike and I had to stop to keep from hitting it. It seemed very tame so I am assuming it is not wild, maybe an escapee from one of the zillion camper/motor homes on this road. It actually flew along with me for awhile and I was having thoughts of it becoming a sort of trip mascot. We would explore the west together and I would name him(?) Tonto and when we finished the trek in Washington DC he would come live with us in Darke County into old age, but after about a quarter mile we parted ways leaving me to wonder about what his life span will be in the wild.

My campground along the Lochsa River near the Powell Area Id. Ranger Station. I stayed here 2 nights and it was great. The river was about 10 feet awayfrom bike and the constant sound it made when I went to sleep was somewhat like the constant sound the air conditioner makes in an inexpensive motel room, only 100 times more pleasant. I have never slept by the ocean but I imagine the sound breaking waves make would be similar.
The tent was comfortable, not a lot of extra room but when I got all tucked into the sleeping bag Miss Betty the librarian sewed for me using a large micro fleece blanket on top of the therma-rest self inflating sleeping pad I was a very happy camper (literally).

Rode 85 miles on Friday and it took over 12 hours. This was not because the route was difficult but because it the scenery was so spectacular I must have stopped at lest 25 times to take pics and/or just marvel at how tremendous/interesting it was. Besides the natural beauty of a white water river there were a bunch of rafters, kayakers and canoeists rolling by. One time I looked over and saw the bottoms of 3 kayaks in a series of rapids. Then all 3 popped over and righted themselves and the drivers were non chalant about it. I guess that is part of their deal, traveling with their heads underwater for part of the trip. I took a bunch of movie snipets but still having trouble getting computer to upload. I can view them but have to figure out how to get them on blog.

Monica/Sassy and I drove this route from Missoula to Lewiston following the river east to west and thought it was tremendous then even though it was on our left and we were traveling about 50 mph. Well, after biking up this same stretch at 10-12 mph with the river only 10-15 feet away most of the time I thought it was 5 times more tremendous because at 1/5th speed I saw and appreciated so much more. Maybe saying I could "absorb more" would be more accurate.

As I peddled along I kept thinking how fortunate I was to be in this position at this time. What a thrill. Actually I kept thinking about the very end of that speech Lou Gehrig gave on his last day as a player in Yankee Stadium with the echos and all.
"Today today I I consider consider myself myself the the luckiest luckiest guy guy on on the the face face of of the the earth earth."

This is the real speech or at least the movie version but it will give you the idea.
I even had a FTOT (flat tire on trailer) but that was just a hiccup. A little piece of wire, changed/patched it in less than 15 minutes and rode away feeling like I had just made a Tony Stewart pit stop durring a race at Talledega speedway.
It was a glorius day.

My goal was to camp at the Jerry Johnson campground which I had heard so much about from the local Kooskia natives (more on that later) and it was getting late in the day when I was finally getting close. After lolly gagging around all day I had to push the last 10 miles because I wanted to get there before it got too dark. When you get into a situation like that on a bike you watch every 10th of a mile turn over agonizingly slow, hell my odometer shows every 100th of a mile and it seemed to take forever.
After working up a sweat I pull into Jerry Jones and the camping part is closed whch was a real mental pisser. The next campground was 8 miles away and I made it there right at dark and had to set up tent by touch, it do get very dark in the woods at night, that went well, Ray Charles would have been proud of the results.
I could see my neighbors about 30 yards away by the light of thier campfire but I was too tired to go visit. It was after 9 pm and night night time for this biker.

Once I was out of Kooscia a little way I saw that my phone had no bars which meant no internet as well. I did not have service again til I got to Missoula this afternoon, so I was out of pocket blogwise for 2 days. As the trip continues I am sure there will be other stretches like this as well. I realize now that when this happens I am going to have to take some notes because so much happens that sometimes days/people/places/events run together. It is like sensory overload and when you think back on what happened during the day you kinda forget the sequence of things.

I have about 4-5 more posts to get caught up on the past 2 days. I have to write before it fades.
Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment