Day 208 Salmon Idaho
Nov 6, 2008
|Day 208 Thursday 6th November Salmon Idaho pg 31 N5
It sure was freezing last nite. Outside -6.4C (20.4F) inside the van 2.4C (36.4F). The temperature remained below freezing until afternoon. I was up early this morning putting on the gas heating, it works well.
After breakfast we decided to take a drive down town Missoula and have a better look at some nice buildings. I’m having interruptions from the peanut gallery here: Steve has found some jokes: What did the sailor find in the toilet?… the Captains log!!… ha ha. What did Paddy say to his mate: I only drink twice, when I’m by myself and when I’m with somebody…… hmmmm. Anyway back down town. We have noticed in a lot of these towns that one of the most impressive buildings is often the Court House and Missoula was no exception. I let Steve get out and take some pics – it was still -6C and way too cold to go walking around.
We then drove to the Elk Country Visitor Centre. Besides that magic word free to get in to, this was an amazing place. Founded in 1984, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation made up a 160,000 members is responsible for protection and reintroductions elk into areas where numbers have dwindled. This centre is part of their project. They have many exhibits of life-size elk, bear, antelope, birds, beavers and more. We were both amazed with their attention to detail throughout this museum.
Back on board we headed south along Rte 93. This took us thru the wide open plains beside the Bitterroot National Forest and the Garnet Range of mountains. Most of this morning’s drive the road followed the Bitterroot River, which is a fast flowing river with lots of twists and bends as it wound its way thru the wide valleys.
Soon after, we were again climbing up the mountain side to the Lost Trail Pass 7014’ high. The snow was more prevalent up the top, we found a rest area, albeit closed for the season, but we still parked there and had some hot homemade soup and a bread roll. This Pass also shared the border of Montana and Idaho. The snow was glistening in the sunshine and of course the blue skies always help with the pics.
After leaving our lunchtime stopover, we wound our way down the mountain towards the township of Salmon, with the noticeable difference of the valley being much narrower than this morning. We followed the Salmon River, which started with what seems like a trickling creek, but soon became a large wide river.
Tonite Steve found a track that lead right down to the river’s edge where we are camped beside. We are actually about half way between the towns of Salmon and Challis. Steve has tried the fishing caper twice today, but the fish appear to be too smart and are still swimming safely in the river.
The photographic highlight for the day was seeing a herd of Mountain Sheep grazing on the side of the road. Bronni was able to get some fantastic shots of leader of the herd with his big horns curling beside his face. On closer examination of the photos at night, we were able to see an injury he sustained just in front of his hind quarters. It looked a decent wound, however it looks as though it was healing up OK. We can only speculate the reason for the injury, it may have been defending his territory from another male.
Listening to the radio today, we heard a weather report for North & South Dakota. The forecast was for blizzards and that the I90 (the main east/west highway in South Dakota) was closed in the Spearfish area where we were on Sunday. Had we been there at this time, we would not have been able to see the Devils Towers and possibly Mt Rushmore.