Day 23 – 2018 Western States Tour

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Day’s distance: 530 miles (odometer)
Total trip distance (final): 5,116 miles

Today’s temperatures started at 45, dropped to as low as 38 at the Pass, and rose to 94 before finishing in the 80s. All this under sunny skies. Light headwinds buffeted my final two hours of riding back home.

My second highest mileage day ever was just 10 miles below my record It took about eleven hours and a half, my second longest day of this trip, by about 30 minutes.

Lolo Peak is visible early in my morning ride. It’s about 7:30 local time and still brisk.

 

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Snow still around at the Visitor Center and Rest Area (and state border and place where the time changes back to Pacific).

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As happened last time I crossed the Idaho-Montana border, immediate speed limit changes, this time from 70mph to 50mph.

The road surface at the top and down quite a ways on the Idaho side is really rough. With the morning sun still casting shadows, it took my focus away from taking pictures of the snow capped mountains in the vista ahead of me. I could generally choose a flexible line and adjust as needed to avoid pavement issues.

The roughly middle third of my ride down Hwy 12 towards Kooksia was more relaxed as the road surface was in better shape. It was a picture perfect weekday early morning ride with almost nobody else to distract. The last third, barring the two road work sites, was excellent.

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My first time for breakfast at the Lowell Wilderness Inn. Struck up a couple of conversations while eating.

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Part of the Lewis and Clark trail, Hwy 12 signage reminded me that I started this trip staying in Seaside Oregon, the end of the Lewis and Clark trail. Cool.

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The canyon opens up and the river spreads out. Loving it!

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The Clearwater River is what Hwy 12 follows next as I head west.

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I didn’t stop in Lewiston but continued after topping off my fuel tank.  It was still before noon and I knew I could make it home.

To reach the coast from here, I (eventually) took Hwy 26 and traveled through vast farming tracks. My last vista shot for the trip.

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I reached the outskirts of Seattle about 6pm just after most of the rush hour traffic heading back into the city had dissipated. Convinced Seattle put something in the water, I was shocked at how Seattle drivers changed my state of mind. 🙁

Getting home felt great. That was good riding. I do live a charmed life.

I’ll have some trip reflections in a few days as well as an update on my Alaska ride.

Stay tuned!

3 thoughts

  1. Have really enjoyed your narrative and the pictures make it come to life, A vicarious adventure. One day you might plan to stay over in Spokane so that I might return your wonderful hospitality. I’ll gladly make dinner for you. Blessings.

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