Well, finally all the ducks were in a row, the T’s were dotted and the I’s were crossed, Hailey had her shots and didn’t draw anyone’s blood, the new satellite system was up and running, and the temperatures were beginning to drop. So there was no more reason to stick around at home and wait for the weather to get worse.
We are on the road south!! After debating the various routes south, we headed out taking it one turn at a time.
The first stop was 36’ down the road to barricade the driveway to the ‘sticks n bricks’ place with, well, a stick and some bricks. This is required to keep the snow plow guy from moving all the gravel off the driveway over the winter.
Then it was off down the open roads, ever southward.
The first day was rather short, following the eastern slopes, noting that most of the higher ground already was sporting a seasonal dusting of snow. After a casual, early afternoon departure, a stop was in order at Chain Lakes Provincial Park. Part of the campground was still open, and there appeared to be a few hunters staying there.
In the morning we continued on, swinging west across the continental divide in the Crowsnest Pass.
On the way there, the highway crosses the huge Franks Slide area.
The border crossing at Roosville was a bit busier than the route I took last year, but still it was only a 10 minute wait, and no hassles at all.
and we wound our way through quaint Montana towns, and the occasional construction project.
We cruised southbound through Whitefish, Kalispell, Polson, and Missoula Montana, before pulling in for another night near a wildlife refuge along highway 93.
In the morning, after topping off the fuel tank, it was a long climb to the continental divide at Lost Trail pass (7014’). There is a ski area of the same name there, but the roads were bare and there was not yet any snow on the ski runs. Then it was a long coast down to Salmon Idaho.
In Salmon there was a sign warning of wildlife crossing right in the town! Of course, I saw a few animals crossing in the backs of trucks, and one hanging at a ‘pizza & RV park’ near North Fork. It was clearly fishing season on the Salmon river, as every section of the river was occupied by anglers on the bank, or those floating down in various boats. There were also hunter checks set up along the highway.
We left highway 93 for a while at Challis, and continued along the ‘Salmon river scenic byway’ – the same route we took last year. There was more road construction and detours along the way, but the delays (for us) were minor.
With another even higher pass approaching, the fuel was again topped off in Stanley, and with some snow forecast, we took a chance and stopped again for the night near Sunny Gulch. Not sure why, but all the trees in this campground were individually marked with small aluminum tags on their bases.
Next, an exciting day for Hailey! (?)