Day’s distance: 395 miles (odometer)
Total trip distance: 4,586 miles
This was a gorgeous day of riding in the mountains of Idaho. Temperatures reached 80 after starting off at 45. Skies were clear in the morning with increasing cloud cover in the mountains. At times, I thought I was going to get rained on, but it never happened and when I reached Missoula, there were only a few fluffy cumulus clouds.
I grabbed a Starbucks latte and breakfast sandwich while still in Twin Falls. I was heading north on Hwy 93 by 8am.
In Shoshone, I continued north on Hwy 75. This section is also known as the Sawtooth Scenic Byway.
I think I need to change the name of this tour to the 2018 Western Vistas Tour. The vistas I’ve seen on this trip will totally spoil me.
As the mountains got close, I started to get very excited for today’s ride.
I stopped in Hailey to update folks back in Seattle. While there, I had another latte and a cinnamon roll from Hailey Coffee Company.
This trip has continually surprised me. It seems I get a clear cell signal almost everywhere. Things have changed since 2014 when I took my first long trip.
Soon I was ascending Galena Pass …
and overlooking the Sawtooth Valley that is the headwaters for the Salmon River.
On arriving in Stanley, I topped off with fuel and grabbed a snack. There were three motorcycles in the parking lot that weren’t there when I arrived, so I strolled over to say hello.
We ended up chatting and laughing for about 20 minutes, during which time we collectively nicknamed the group the Team PALMM. From left to right, Paul, Andy, Laura, Matt, and Mark. Paul came up with the name to help me remember who was who. Paul, Andy and Mark were riding while Laura and Matt provided support from their car.
They were taking Hwy 21 west out of Stanley, the route I took last time I was here. I was to continue north on Hwy 75, now also known as the Salmon River Scenic Byway.
Regular readers know that I love two-lane roads that follow alongside a river and this one would take me happily towards Missoula. The surface was excellent and the road twisty while not being technical.
I stopped in Salmon for lunch at For The Love of Food. The chef recommended the Cajun Quesadilla, one of the two specials of the day. It was excellent. Stop by if you find yourself in Salmon, Idaho.
While the roads were generally in great shape and I soon reached Montana.
The last 10 miles of Hwy 93, near the Montana border and the first five miles or so on the Montana side were pretty rough, no doubt from snow plows. The views on the Montana side didn’t disappoint, though.
The speed limits went from 45mph in Idaho instantly to 70mph on the Montana side. They do love driving fast here.
On this side of the mountains, Hwy 93 follows the Bitterroot River. As I got closer to Missoula, the once-remote road became crowded. I slogged through the rush hour traffic until reaching my motel.
Tomorrow, I’m planning to take Hwy 12 over Lolo Pass and down into Lewiston. This route follows the Lochsa River and is one of my favorite roads. If I get an early start, I’ll have time to head back home afterwards. In my favor is a one hour time change. We’ll see how it goes.