June 29: Idaho Springs to Butte, MT
Well, as I said my stomach growling woke Joan up around 4 AM and she gave me some treats. Since she was already awake, we got up before 6 AM. Joan decided we should go on a short hike so we could get some exercise before a day of driving. In the middle of our short hike (this time we didn't get lost), it started sprinkling. So we headed back to camp and Joan took down the tent and got us in our car ready to go in about 10 minutes. I think that was a record. Hondacar's mileage was at 121,222 to start our day.
Our morning was nice - meandering our way along Hwy 20 - there was a big forest fire here a few years ago so some parts had small regrowth. By 9 AM, Joan left me in the car (no pets allowed!) at the Kirkham Hotsprings. She put her bathing suit on (no nudity allowed either!) and went to soak in the hotsprings. The view is nice with the river rushing right next to it.
By 10:30 we were at Stanley Lake - a nice place to camp but we were not staying here. We walked around a bit and took pictures of McGown Peak across the lake.
We kept driving and got on Hwy 75 north that runs along the Salmon River. We passed the 45th Parallel (midway between North Pole and the equator) today. We also saw lots of signs for "Sportsman Access" - we thought it should not be so focused on MEN since both of us are women! It rained on and off during our drive. We stopped at an uninteresting campsite (the only person there was the host) to eat lunch. I also decided to eat about a cup of food. Joan was thrilled!
From that point on, most of the rest of the day was rain, rain, rain. We did, though, stop at Big Hole National Battlefield, Nez Perce National Historic Park along Hwy 43. Joan had to leave me in the car since it was a national park but since it was cool and rainy, it was no problem except that the mosquitos got in the car because the windows were open and then we spent the next 30 min in the car trying to kill them while also driving. Joan took this picture at the battlefield. Also while we were there, two fighter jets zoomed by very close to the ground and it freaked us both out!
While I was in the car and Joan was out walking a short trail, it started raining again. Before I knew it, Joan was back and we were driving again. It rained buckets after this. Plus, we ended up in a section of the road on Hwy 43 where the entire road was torn up and it was mud. Talk about a way to repave roads. No worries about old Hondacar - they assume everyone in Montana has a truck! We made it through the 10 miles or so of mud safely though our car was muddy. Still raining, raining, so luckily Joan decided to not camp tonight - and that's a good thing because even after we were in our hotel, it rained more overnight.
I was so happy to be here that I ate another cup of food! We were in a place called Butte, MT. I'll tell you more about why we DON'T LIKE BUTTE in tomorrow's entry.