June 7 - 19: Idaho and Montana (and Idaho again)

6/16 - Lowell (LAYOVER 3269.5 total)
here's a photo of our resort here in lowell that i took yesterday from the bridge over the lochsa that gets us over to the resort. our staff are staying in one of those cabins on the shore. notice under the motel sign the pile of rubber rafts & the old school bus used to take raft-riders to their point of departure up the lochsa. isn't it a beautiful setting?
today was one of those lazy crazy days of summer. weather here in lowell was perfect...sunny, lovely fluffy puffy clouds, light breezes. sarah went off to do some whitewater rafting by mid-morning. i understand that the staff (becky, patty the chef, debby, & claudine) went horseback riding. patty fainer & anne went on a hike. the rest of us enjoyed doing little odds & ends---handwashing (there's no laundry in lowell), cleaning & lubing our bikes, catching up with email/pocketmail, & napping. for us the main exercise of the day was walking the 1/2 mile to the restaurant up the road for a meal or 2.
here's a photo depicting another of the day's activities....tho' this picture was taken last night. layover days almost always provide an opportunity for the card-playing group to get in another hand or 10.
from left with her favorite side toward the camera is sarah, then gerrie, jackie, & darleene. jackie is sitting on the end of her bed, sarah is sitting on the end of mine. you can see jackie's bike parked against the wall beside her bed. this cabin just oozes cozy.
i went down the road to the motel office late morning today. the lady agreed that it was a convenient time for me to use her one & only phone line, so i hooked up & transmitted yesterday's web trip report. i won't bother her again to send today's; i'll wait & hope for an in-room phone hookup at our accommodations tomorrow in lucille.
the lady at the motel office told me that this is her favorite time of year: the 5 companies licensed to run whitewater rafting operations on the lochsa begin their summer season. about 30 raft guides move into the motel rooms & outdoor camping spaces here at the resort. she enjoys their exuberance & friendliness.
here's a photo of my 2 cabinmates on the porch of our little number 12. we riders inhabit about 6 of these buildings, which are lined up along the bluff about a half block from the river's edge.
sarah returned from her whitewater rafting trip late afternoon raving about the experience. she looked pretty dry, so i'm guessing she stayed inside the raft the whole way. she also said that the lunch prepared for the rafters was delicious, so she advised us to eat supper here at the motel restaurant (where the raft lunches were prepared); they're open from 5-8. sarah gave us such a good lead yesterday about the veggie omelet at powell that we took a culinary cue from her again. sari had poached salmon & i had grilled (local) rainbow trout. rose dined with us; she had the trout, too. she said it was too fishy for her, but i loved it. jackie came back from supper at the other restaurant in town & said the homemade marionberry pie she had there was "to die for." guess sari & i missed a good pie :-<
on the way back to our cabin from supper sari & i saw this butterfly. quite a few riders have seen this variety a lot lately along our route. we don't know what kind it is. if you do, please let me know .
as for lucile, we'll pedal 83.5 miles tomorrow to get there. the 1st 10 miles will continue downhill along the lochsa, but then we start a 47-mi climb that gets us up another 2,000 feet to white bird hill pass. i've looked at the altitude profile on the adventure cycling map; the down side of white bird pass looks like a 90% descent. i'm hoping it looks a lot different in person.
Higher quality versions of the pictures from my trip are available here. If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, or if you would like text-only versions of these daily reports e-mailed to you, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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