Thursday, 9 September 2010

Day 6: Ontario, OR - Bozeman, MT

I'd better make this quick as I'm running on flatteries tonight.  This is because some genius not only put all the power sockets in the room at waist level - meaning my US/UK adaptor will fall out of the wall immediately on insertion - but has also put them behind the TV.  Genius.  Also the motor-car's keyless transmitter fob thingy keeps scrambling my room key's brane.

The observant among you may notice that today's route is the same as day 5 from last year, only in reverse.  This is because there are some excellent roads on the way, or rather there would have been had it not rained.  For.  The.  Whole.  Bloody.  Day.  It's still raining now, too.  Still, the run through the woods and meadows of the Salmon River valley was worth the price of admission even if Seven Miles Hill wasn't.  Seven Mile Hill climbs from White Bird to Grangeville, was completed in 1975 and replaced the multi-hairpinned White Bird Grade, bits of which are still visible.  Though not very visible today, as half the ascent was in cloud thick enough that seeing the end of the bonnet was a squint.

Shortly after filling up at Grangeville, though, one encounters this sign:

which is enough to send spasms of joy through my every pore, tempered with the knowledge that while I was taking the photo, a GBFO lorry went through.  Fortunately said lorry was collecting some construction equipment and was already out of the way when I arrived; thus the entire 99 miles up to the top of Lolo pass required overtaking a mere seven other vehicles.

A brief bit of I-90 around Missoula was followed by the back route to Anaconda, where the chimney is still alive and well.  Then back on the 90 for a further short stretch around Butte - birthplace of Evel Knievel, rubbish stuntman fans - before recrossing the Continental Divide over Pipestone Pass.  At which point I could no longer be arsed with retracing last year's route and jumped back on the freeway for the last fifty-odd miles to Bozeman, where I remembered the location of the liquor store.  I hope in the name of $DEITY that the weather picks up tomorrow, because this is making me rather cross.

Curious thing seen on the road: it has to be the four trucks each hauling the blade of a wind turbine as, although that red car lurking in someone's front yard near Riggins looked like a Renault 16, I find it hard to believe that one survives to this day in rural Idaho.

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