Today was our best day by far. We woke a little after 5 and while we were getting ready, Jesse brought over a pot of coffee and 4 mugs.  While we put away our gear we had a nice time chatting. Jesse is Nez Perce, his descendants have been in the area for over a thousand years. He was in the Air Force in the 1950s and is a private pilot.  He lives in Craigmont in the summer, but winters with his wife in Arizona. 

His goal of the morning was to be certain that we took the shortcut from Craigmomt to Kamiah which would save 10 miles. He drew us a map and prefaced it by telling us 4 miles were not paved. These 4 turned out to be wonderful-  incredibly scenic, descending from the plateau that Craigmont is on down to the town of Kamiah, hard packed and easy to handle on bikes.

     Food hasn't been perfect the last few days but we carried out our plan of buying breakfast food the night before, riding 20-30 miles then stopping for breakfast. In Kamiah, Jesse had recommended eating at the casino, right on route 12. We each had the breakfast burrito and 4 eggs over easy on the side. We then went to the grocery store, bought snacks for the road and headed west on 12 which would be our route for the day.

      We texted my sister Diane for food recommendations and learned there were 2, a lunch stop 30 miles away, the Wilderness Lodge in Lowell, the dinner at the Lochsa Lodge 65 miles after that in Powell. With 95 more miles we would have preferred lunch stop a little later but there were no other options.

     Route 12 was beautiful, a gradual uphill hugging the Lochsa river which was a Lewis and Clarke route. The riding was smooth with very little traffic allowing us to make good time.  The temperature reached into the 90s so we took a quick dip in the river which was very cold.

    We pulled into the Lochsa Lodge a little after 7, got a room, took showers, (the first of the trip) bought provisions for the morning, and had a great dinner.  We'll enjoy sleeping in beds tonight resting up for the big climb over the Lolo pass first thing in the morning. 


We woke up at the Palouse Falls campsite with an amazing view. The 2 mile climb out of the campground woke up our legs and we powered through a couple hours of riding. We crossed an awesome bridge before saying goodbye to our Washington host Patrick Burns as he headed to Spokane via 127. Thanks for joining us, Patrick! We miss you already. 

Next, we stopped at a local grocery store for lunch, and brought it to the town park. We thought we might not be getting enough vitamin D, so shirts came off. 

Next, we made it to our second state: Idaho! So nice to have a state completed. Washington was not easy, but we are expecting the worst from the Rockies, yet to come. 

10 minutes after stopping at a bike shop and briefly tuning up our bikes, Justin's rear tube spontaneously exploded. We fixed it pretty fast and back on the road. We passed through beautiful farm fields; the most impressive being bright yellow fields of canola. At the end if the day, we hit a long steady incline of over 15 miles. Totally brutal! Creeping along at about 6 mph, we finally rolled into Woody's in Craigmont, 8 miles further than our goal. There, we stuffed our face with BBQ and met an incredibly kind man, Jesse. He knew the area very well and gave us a ton of advice. He even let us crash in an old pizzeria he bought which remains vacant. It was the best night of sleep so far. That's Justin already passed out on the floor.