Day 21: Saturday, June 8, 2013
Wilderness Gateway Campground to Lochsa Lodge: 43 miles
Today was a short day. Lochsa Lodge, where we stayed in a cabin after a wet and miserable day back in 1981, was a mandatory stop for me, just for old times' sake.
The route was more of the same: US 12 along the Lochsa River, which, as it ascended, kept narrowing and presenting ever more challenges to white-water adventurers.
|Whitewater on the Lochsa
Butterflies have been in abundance up here in the mountains and the meadows: swallowtails; those little light blue or lavender ones; and these orange and black ones by the thousands. Many of those that I saw were casualties of interactions with cars; but not this one.
|A butterfly pays the Old Coot a visit.
As I was stopped, just a few miles from the day's destination, reading yet another of the Lewis and Clark historical markers (or was it about the Nez Perce?), who should pull up but Dennis and Becky? I had thought that, after they passed me on White Bird Hill, I'd never see them again. But they had stopped for the night in Grangeville, whereas I had gone on to Kooskia.
We pedaled together to Lochsa Lodge (for that was their destination as well) only to find that it was full up for the night. That might have had something to do with this being Saturday, whereas it had been a Monday when we stayed there back in 1981. Luckily, there's a US Forest Service campground about half a mile down the road. We set up our tents, then dressed for dinner (well, they did, anyway) and adjourned to the Lodge for some prawns and pasta. The meal was okay, but not as good as the rosemary garlic shrimp at the bar in Prairie City.
I think the cabins were the same as those we stayed in back in 1981 (here's the 1981 picture), but the lodge whose atmosphere was so 1930s had burned down a few years ago. The new lodge just did not have the ambience of the old one, and it was more upscale, with fancier food and a gift shop with Lochsa Lodge sweatshirts and other must-have items.