text- The Bitterroot Mountains

Rocky cliffs in the Bitterroot Mountains.

Eroded pinacles in the Bitterroot Mountains.

On our second day in Salmon, Bob2 drove us up a gravel road into the Bitterroot Mountains. He and Tina come up here to cut up firewood for the wood stove, and in the fall he can hunt chukar. A lake in one of the valleys provides escape from the summer heat and a place to go fishing.

 

Pinacles in the Bitterroots.

Limestone pinacles add color, even in the smokey conditions.

 

A chukar beside the road.

A flock of chukar ran across the road. Here one stands motionless in the brush. Like quail, these birds spend most of their time on the ground. When startled they fly short distances and then try to hide in the brush. In size, they are a little bigger than a pigeon.

 

Cattle on the gravel road.

Cattle graze on the open range.

 

Miner's cabin.

An old miner's cabin stands deserted on the mountainside.

 

We very much enjoyed Bob2 and Tina's hospitality and a chance to experience that slice of America which is self reliant and enjoys a greater degree of living off the land. After breakfast on our third morning, we turned the motorcycles back north and retraced our path up Highway 93 to Lolo, Montana. Here we turned west onto Highway 12, and followed the Lolo River up and over the Bitterroot Mountains. We were again on wonderfully, twisty road, but the smoke became very dense, and at times we had to crawl past firefighting equipment. On the descent past the summit, we picked up the Lochsa River, which gradually turned from a tumbling creek into a beautiful, wide river. Through western Idaho, then the north east portion of Oregon and finally eastern Washington, we watched the terain change from mountains, to wheat fields and finally vineyards and orchards. As we moved west, the smoke thinned and by Washington we were under clear skies.

We stayed the night at a Red Lion Hotel in the Tri Cities of Washington, and the next morning went our separate ways, Bob and Ginny to Vancouver, Washington, and me back to Anacortes. It was one of my favorite travel formats, seeing new and interesting places in the company of friends and family.

 

Smoke on Highway 12.

Descending on highway 12 along the Lochsa River.

 

Clearwater River

 

The Lochsa River eventually joined the Clearwater River, in Western Idaho.

 

Silo

 

A silo stands beside the expansive wheat fields of Eastern Oregon.

text- The End
by Don Webster