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* Day 2, Lolo Hot Springs - USFS Wilderness (8/2/00)
Map: Day 2
Day 2
Day: 101.5 km | Trip: 164 km

I got up quite early! I had to skip breakfast as I did not have anything to eat. I have to buy some Müsli. I left the campground at 7:30 AM, about 15 min after the Dutch couple and Fiddling. The hill to Lolo Pass was nasty, steep enough to be uncomfortable to sit but not steep enough to stand. The forest fire that I was told about yesterday was still burning and the smoke was hanging over the area. The higher I got the more dense the smoke became.

At the top of the pass I met two fire fighters from Oregon. They are helping the fire fighters in Idaho and Montana. They were very friendly, we chatted for a while about the fire situation and they gave me some water. On the downhill part the smoke got thicker. I could not see more than 50 feet ahead and my eyes started burning. It reminded me of sitting next to a BBQ and the wind is blowing the smoke towards me. Now all the clothes I'm wearing are smelling of smoke.

In Powell at the resort I met John, Madeline and Fiddling again. They were already done with their breakfast and were ready to leave. I bicycle a lot slower then them, which is no wonder as they got 3 months more training. In the restaurant I met two American riders, students, who are on their way from Portland to New York. I joined them for breakfast. They were not following the Trans America routes of the Adventure Cycling Association.

The rest of the way had a beautiful scenery and there was no smoke anymore. The road went only downhill but because of the wind I still needed a lot of strength. The heat was again getting to me. I guess you can never have enough water with you.

I reached the USFS Wilderness Campground close to Lochsa Peak at 4 PM and was exhausted after 100 km. There are no showers or wash-rooms on this campground but I could not imagine going for another 25 miles to Lowell. There is also no store or restaurant anywhere. So my dinner, after I took a dip in the Lochsa Creek, was Rice-a-Roni. Rice-a-Roni sucks, tastes like salty mud! Oh well... I got a sunburn on my left calf, not on my right because I'm bicycling west.

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