Day 24/25: Powell, Idaho to Lolo, Montana

20160805_102820
Mr. Moose goes for a dip.

Another state, another timezone. I’m finally in the Mountain Time Zone, only two hours from my timezone in Florida. Only 11 miles to Missoula, Montana.

Upon leaving Powell, Idaho I encountered numerous deer. Then I spied this male moose off to my right. The photo doesn’t do it justice, he was much closer than it appears. He kept looking up at me on the road and then decided to wade out into the pond.

He had a ball. He kept splashing his head in the water and making big waves and then would just watch them. Every so often he would look up to make certain of my whereabouts and then do more splashing. He was fun to watch and I spent about twenty minutes there. He was like a big kid with his own kiddie pool.

Today I was facing a climb over Lolo Pass, 5235 feet (1595 m), which would bring me into Montana. I was anxious to see a new state, one I had not been to before.

The climb was a few thousand feet, but the road was gradual enough that it wasn’t a killer and I was feeling good at the pass. Idaho has a visitor center there and I filled up my water bottles and rested for a bit. I tried to call Jane using Skype, but, as usual, the WiFi was powered by potato (see previous comments in another post) and we were only getting about every third word of the conversation.

Just beyond the center was the sign for Montana. I ran into David there, he is a retired police officer following the path of a book he read recently about an attempted murder case. The book, A Strange Piece of Paradise, is about two women cyclists that rode cross country and were attacked in Oregon. A man ran over their tent with his pickup truck and then proceeded to attack them with an ax. Amazingly, they both lived.

20160805_152353

David was riding an Indian motorcycle. It was an impressive machine and it was nice talking to him. We parted ways and I was in Montana.

20160804_111628
They have finally named a creek after me, how nice.
20160805_175513
The cows always view me with suspicion.

In late afternoon, I arrived in Lola, Montana. I tried to hook up with someone from the WarmShowers.org, but it was late in the day and I gave up. I had a quick meal in Lolo and then pedaled back to a campground that I had passed earlier, 2.5 miles (4 km) out of town. The campground, Square Dance Center and Campground was full. It was getting dark and even though they had a dance in full swing, the owner took me out to show me where I could put a tent and find a shower. I’m forever grateful. Additionally, the campground has the best WiFi service I’ve seen since leaving the Pacific Coast! Kudos.

As I was signing in they offered for me to join in the dance. There were at least a hundred people dancing and they have never seen me dance. It would have been like rolling a giant bowling ball into the middle of them. It would have been chaos. I can’t dance a step, just ask Jane.

The campground is very nice and I felt quite at home with everyone I met. I liked it so much, I decided to spend the next day there before heading off to Missoula, Montana.