Day 3: Bitterroot River Valley
Moving Time: 4h 56m
Stopped Time: 3h 15m
Moving Avg: 52.4
Overall Avg: 31.6
Max Elevation: 7200
Missoula, MT to Stanley, ID
Casey and I had agreed the night before to head south instead of north out of Missoula. Glacier's Going to the Sun Road was still closed and NW Montana/Northern Idaho had the greatest chance of precip. I've always heard the Sawtooth Mtns of ID were bitchin' and we'd bypass all the boring scenery of Eastern Washington this way.
Weather was looking decent out of Missoula. Mid 50's, Mostly Cloudy...
I really wanted to see the Bitterroots in all their glory, but the clouds shrouded their alleged beauty. Pics are from US93 between Lolo, MT and Darby, MT.
As we approached Darby, the valley narrowed and the sky darkened. We took another pit stop to gear up.
Shit...We we're headed up there? 7200ft at pass level Vs 4000ish if we went north. At this point, we were pot committed. Head for the hills! Photos from south of Darby into Idaho.
It was a good thing we did. Sure, it rained a little, but we saw some neat stuff. Like these sheep! Bighorn, I think.
They we're all coming down from the rocky bluff in the background to graze roadside. I'm really surprised they stuck around for the photo shoot. Sad but true, this would be our only "cool" wildlife sighting. Saw an okay amount of deer. Shitload of dead skunks and snakes. One coyote in Eastern Oregon. No bears...no elk...no moose.
As we ascended the mountains, the rain stopped and it got chilly. 40F-45F maybe? Didn't see too much snow through 7200ft...Weird.
Right before 93 crosses into Idaho, we b-line it East on MT43 to accomplish this great feat...
Alright, back down to 93 and into Idaho. Shots from MT43:
Looking into Idaho from the north...
Part 2 of Day 3 coming up!