Milwaukee Road’s train #15, the westbound “Olympian Hiawatha,” exits breathtaking backcountry on the late afternoon of May 27, 1953. Alas, nothing remains here today aside from an empty path. (Sandy Goodrick photo).
Saturday July 16
We were finally on The Official Lolo Motorway. And it was rough. We were averaging 5 to 8 miles per hour. This was the most difficult section of trail we’ve been on all summer.
There is so much history up on this series of ridges. Luckily there are many information boards explaining the role of The Nez Perce, and their interaction with Lewis and Clark.
We had a nice break at the “Smoking Place”. We reevaluated the broken weld on the Taylor’s rear rack mount. The bush fix was holding for now, but our luck was running out. It didn’t take much discussion to agree we needed to find the first route down off the Lolo Motorway and get to Missoula where we had the best chance of hiring a welder.
We gave the Lolo our best shot, but we had to be practical. We figure we cut off at least 20 miles of the trail and we really hated to do that. Down we went on the next good looking road to Highway 12 and Lochsa Lodge and campground. They also have gas.
We went to the visitor center down on the 12. It’s a nice little museum that explains more about what we were seeing and why there was so much activity back in the day￼.
We made it to Missoula where there are no Airbnb’s available so we instead found the correct motel. The one where we can park our rigs right outside the door, but it’s not too old or run down. We usually find these “motor hotels” in the older historic parts of town. Beats hanging out in the new builds out on the freeway by the truck stop and Walmart! And we have much more freedom with the dogs.
And we got right in to get the racks welded! Yay! We can get back on the trails tomorrow!
Or not…. Why not? What could stop us??
Covid, yes we have Covid in our group and that changes everything. We’re going home. Now. 🤢