Thursday, 25 July 2013

204 Lolo pass and Darby

Wednesday 24th July 2013 Miles Today  189 Total  14,816

The event of today was the scenery, oh and it is my (Rays) birthday. For the first 120 miles we followed the Lolo pass gorge. The view was incredible and it just went on and on. It was actually tiring as I needed 100% concentration to deal with the constant curves but I kept being distracted by the scenery. 

We did the now obligatory dip in the river and it made the journey a lot more pleasant. It was not quite as hot for most of the day as we were steadily gaining altitude and topped out at just over 5200 feet.

Just messing about on the river

We came across a spattering of wild life and some of the beasts we had been warned about. Deer, despite being very cute are seriously stupid.

Cute but scary at 60mph.

 We reached the Lolo Pass and popped into the visitor center where Karen snapped this cutie.
Some sort of ground squirrel.
On the way down the hill the other side of the pass we came upon Lolo Hot Springs.

One of the odd rock formations at Lolo springs

 Once in Lolo we filled up and popped into McDonalds for a bite. It was then a 50 mile ride on a very straight  road to Darby. A place we just picked off of the map. When we go there it turned out to be a wild west town.

Dusk at the saloon in Darby

We found a small motel and booked in. The owners were very chatty and somehow the conversation got round to guns and how in Montana (which we were now back in) citizens were allowed to carry guns
overtly. The the proprietor reached into his pocket and pulled out a loaded derringer handgun ( I hasten to add, he was in a private part of his motel business) . We were more surprised than shocked. From the conversation that followed, it seems the right to bear arms is held very strongly in this part of the US.

We then went for a short walk in the town to get some food and came across a couple on interesting places.
An antiques and curio shop. They leave the big bits outside overnight.

The local police station. Straight out of a western and still in use.
Looking through the window the jail cage can be seen
We popped into one of the two saloons for a bite and a beer. This one was the 'Sawmill'. The place was decked out with tree felling saws and chainsaws.
You do not get many chainsaws in pubs in the UK. Can't think why, they are kinda cute.

And because it is called the Sawmill. Sawmill type saws too.

Thursday 25th July 2013 Miles Today  240 Total  15,056

Wallace outside out room for the night

We checked out a bit earlier today and went into town again to take a better look at some of the shops we had seen last night. We popped into a hat shop (yes a hat shop !). It was nor ordinary hat shop. This one actually made real cowboy hats and the owner gave us a quick look at how he made them. To be honest, there were some very cool looking stetsons etc in there. The owner said that he even made George Bush's cowboy hat for him. When we checked out the prices we made our excuses and then went into the sports shop.

A sports shop here does not sell baseball bats or footballs. It is all about hunting and fishing. The place was incredible. 

The sports shop

It was run by a father and son couple and on entry the son asked if he could help me and I politely told him I was not there to buy and why. He was not put off by this reply and said that he would still show me anything I wished to look at.

Taxidermy is big here

Not your average long bow.

Racks of hunting rifles of all calibres

Some of the handguns. Most were in the $700 (£400 ish) range

On the wall beside the guns were the skins of most animals encounterd locally. 2 of them were wolves. The size of them was incredible and I asked the owners son to pose for scale.

Behind the shopkeeper are 2 huge wolf skins

Also on one wall was a picture gallery depicting the damage that the wolves do. It is easy to see why they regard them as pests. The following pictures are not pretty.

This is how big they are (after being hunted)

This dog beat the wolf that attacked him but died 2 days later

They even take on lions

A paw print for scale

One of the many game kill photos.

In our travels many hunters have complained about the freedom and protection given to wolves by the government. Now we see why. We have also been told by 2 seperate people and seen a program on telly about the tactics used by wolves to lure people and dogs away from safety to kill it/them. The stories were disturbing to say the least.

We then set off for a 200 odd mile trip along a long valley in the general direction of Salt Lake City. The road started very scenic but towards the end the land flattened out and became featureless and flat. 
 We drove along a 90 mile stretch with only 1 road junction ans a village (that they call a city) called Lone Pine. We think it should be called Lone House because that is what it was. It was desolate and as we were moving slowly South the land was slowly turning more and more desert like. 

 We did start to get a bit bored but eventually got to a place with some life in it called Rigby, just North of Idaho Falls.

Tomorrow we are headed for a place to the North of Salt Lake where we have been invited to stay with a guy who also owns a Super Tenere like Wallace.



No comments:

Post a Comment