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Friday, August 10, 2012

THE DAWSONS - Are Following Lewis and Clark's Trail West In Montana

George Dawson wrote -

We are now at the beginning of our third week of our trip and are getting into the routine of setting and breaking camp on the road.  Now that we are in the Northern Rockies and finally out of searing heat, we are enjoying being outside considerable more.   In the past couple of days we have not been driving all day long but taking time to raft, hike a bit and really relax.  Here are some short notes from the past two days of my journal which I have attempted sporadically.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Today we are taking on the Bitteroot Mts which we can cross in four hours or so but which took Lewis and Clark five weeks.  We will be driving and walking today and tomorrow on top of the footprints of Lewis and Clark where they experienced some of their toughest days on there great exploratory adventure.  They crossed these mountains in September and October, 1805 and returned headed east in May and June 1806.  There are roadside markers and place names related to that expedition all along our route (US 12).  

While we did not have a place reserved for the night we targeted Lolo Hot Springs campground just over Lolo Pass into Montana, primarily because it was one of the few places with showers available for miles.  The real attraction is the hot springs at the campground.  Lewis and Clark came though the area going and coming to the Pacific coast.  We went to the hot springs for soaking last night and alternated between the real hot pool (104 - 110)vand the body temperature pool (96 - 98) which is a very large outdoor swimming pool.  The hottest pool is enclosed but has a small opening in the side where the natural rocks are exposed.  It is as Clark said in 1806 "too hot to hold your finger in it."  It still that hot at the rock opening.

Thursday, August 9, 2012  Lolo Hot Springs

I got up this morning at 6:15, 7 miles into Mt. time zone which at this point the time zone line is on the eastern side of Idaho, but around Boise the time line is on the Western side of the state.  We rafted the Salmon River on Tuesday and the first bridge north of Riggins where we started the float is called Time Zone bridge as the divide between Pacific and Mountain time here is the Salmon River.

Last night the temperature was a warm 73 degrees at dusk but this morning it was a cool 45.  Joel is  back at the hot springs this morning while I chose to come to the Lolo Hot Springs Bar and Grill to get on the internet.  There are many tattooed bikers here with the predominate color of the clothing being black. A number of highway workers are staying in the campground as road construction at higher elevations is done at a fever pitch at this time of year due to the short summer when there is no snow.  Clark could not get over the mountains on his way east until mid June,  On the way out west he encountered deep snows by mid-september.

The river photo is the Lacksa which comes within a few miles of Lolo Pass.  The indian trails ran along the ridge tops, not down by the river as the ridge line is more level.  

The photo of Joel is a Ponderosa St. Park in McCall, ID.

Today we decided to stay close to the campground to wash clothes and take in an evening session at the hot springs.  
Time to get to bed.

Sent from Missoula 8/10/12


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