From Idaho (Wallace) to Montana (Missoula)... Part 3
For the last couple of days, our single burner camp stove has'nt been working too well.
Not sure if you're familiar with Whisperlite stoves but, normally, that's what they are,
burners!! But for now, ours heats more like a Bic lighter...
Not a problem, you're thinking, they can always cook their food on the
As you know, there are many forest fires raging in the area. With records breaking
heat, in degrees and in nb of days in a row over 90, over 100, etc, (see, we were'nt
complaining for nothing...), open fires are now totally restricted. Even logging
activities (Most probably the no1 job in the area...) must be suspended from 1:00pm to
1:00am. No internal combustion engine is allowed to operate (except on roads...) between
those hours, except for emergencies. This is what they call a "stage II" fire
restriction. I would imagine that, if things don't get any better, we could move to the
next stage pretty soon and that could mean a complete closure of National Forests roads...
Oh! Yeah! Did I mention the fines for violation of those restrictions were $5000 or 6
months jail or...both?
We were used to cook our dinner on a nice campfire so, we have to adapt and our menu
will change accordingly.
France: "Think this morning we could get on the quads early, for a change?''
Marc: ''Well, I have to work on the stove, something's not right''
Seems every morning brings it's share of unexpected events. That's why our daily
mileage is rather low.
Half an hour and some stove cleaning and maintenance later, we're all set.
Here we are, on the road again, at last!
Going up and up, and up some more, 4000ft, 5000ft, 6000ft, and we keep climbing...The
trail is narrow and rutted (guess it must have rained at some point...), It's pretty steep
and it climbs for 20 miles, the Popos' drive belts are hard at work!!..And Hop!...
...We were all excited when we hit 6000ft, here we are at 6465ft! Our top elevation to
date! We are on the Montana-Idaho border.
Industries - Canada
Polaris Industries - USA
We stop right at the mountain top and WOW! A few feet on the other side, a totally
different scenery is waiting for us!
This is Missoula Lake. Splendid!
After driving a 25 mile long downhill stretch (don't ask me why it's longer, in miles
to get back down than it was to go up, I don't know!), we hit the town of Superior. It's a
nice and very different decor.
Ouff!...It's hot in town, very hot! Over 100 deg. F. The pavement makes it even worst.
After fuelling up, we decide to spend a couple of minutes in the comfort of the a/ced
convenience store of the gas station. We then leave the valley nested town to climb back
on top of the hills you see on the picture.
The climb takes us from 2700ft to 6100tft in 25 minutes. An elevator! The trail is nice
We pause on top, where it's nice and cooler, not much for us but for our steeds...
Listen...Can you hear that?? Oh! That's right, this page does'nt come with sound
At least you can see, there's movement in the gas tank. It's not vibration since the
engine's not running. What you see is the gas boiling in the tank!!!
We can hear the gas boilling in the tank!!!
When we say it's hot, it's hot!! Those Popos are working hard, my friends!!
Oufff...We're coming back down again, for about 20 miles. The air is warming up more
and more but it's sooooo much easier on the machines.
|Yeah ! Impressive machines!
||After having climbed, for miles and miles, loaded as mules,
in over 100deg. heat, and at more than 6000ft elev., no signs of fatigue
whatsoever...Skeptics will be proved wrong...
||Goodbye juicy steaks on the fire...Goodbye bacon and maple
syrup cured potatoes...sniff...sniff...
We're looking for a way to get into Missoula and, for the first time we ride in the
rain. It's a thundrestorm! Aahhh!! That feels good!!
20 minutes later it's done! Everything dries up instantly and the dust is back!!
Look at the spectacular effect of the rain storm. It's 7:50pm! This is not a sunset!
We arrive in Missoula. We ride on US 93 to get to the KOA campground. Note that there
is not even a 10 minute difference between the picture above and the one below...
...Turn left on Tina ave.
Nope! No curious deers here! (maybe a few curious dears...)