SEA TO SHINING SEA: Pedaling along the Lochsa River

We rode some crazy fast hairpin turns going down a back road between Grangeville and Stites.  Looking down on the Clearwater River was special. BY DENNIS FORNEY
June 8, 2013

DAY 25 - Huckleberry Pieing across America - They sure do lemonade well out here.  Today for a midmorning lift we stopped at a café along the Clearwater River, sat at the counter, read funny post cards and ate a slice of huckleberry pie along with a glass of strawberry lemonade. The pie hit the spot and the lemonade quenched the thirst.

A few minutes ago the ex-Marine named Mike told us he was heading into the desk at the rafting resort where we're camped to try to negotiate a better price than the $115/head they're asking for tomorrow's adventure down the Lochsa (pronounced Lock-Saw).

"I grew up whitewater rafting.  That's a lot of money.  Maybe I can get it for $60."

"It's worth a try," I said.

"A closed mouth gathers no food," he said.  (I say something like that: You don't ask you don't get. But it doesn't always work.)

He came back out. No luck for Mike.

I told him about the funny post cards we bought at the pie stop.  Showed him one.

"Can I have it?" he asked.

"Not so much," I said.  "This one's destined for a friend."

He struck out again, but not for not trying.

We logged 48 miles today.  A real nice ride along the Clearwater and then the Lochsa. Averaged about 11 miles per hour.  About 1,000 feet ascent.  We're climbing toward Lolo Pass.  At 5,235 feet the same as McKenzie but everyone says it's more gradual and one of the easier ones.

So far I think Idaho's about the prettiest place we've been.

Our total is up to 850 or so.  Hitting 1,000 will be big.  That will be in Montana.

Hope everyone's good.  Do like Ricky Scaggs suggests: "Spread a little love around."

Here are some photos from today. Pretty stuff mostly, one of the funny post cards and a glimpse of one of the celebrities that stayed here a few years ago.

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