I was going to ride there and back, but the way out helped me to realize that riding back in 7 days will NOT feel like vacation. So when I got to the east coast, I found a bike shop to crate the bike and ship it home, and I flew home yesterday.
Day 1 (Jul 4) 600 km/360 miles (Vancouver BC to Spokane WA)
The bike was already loaded from the night before.
I took Hwy 20 and Skagit Hwy to Winthrop, which are some of my favorite roads through the Cascades.
As usual, the weather was lovely until I hit the Cascade Mtn, then it rained, and then turned into sunshine.
By the time I reached Winthrop, it was warm and sunny. By the time I got to Wilbur, I was cooking in my leathers, but was too chicken to take off my leathers. Through Electric City, my thermometer was showing 43 oC. I drank 4 litres of water that day.
I ended in Spokane for the night and camped at KOA Spokane. I was exhausted from the heat, and felt too sick to eat. I later learned that was called "heat stroke".
Day 2 680 km/408 miles (Spokane WA to Deer Lodge MT)
I spent the first bit of the morning riding slabs, so I can get to Moscow to start riding Hwy 12 to Lolo Pass.
I followed this site's route suggestion from Moscow to Lolo Pass. The road from Moscow->Troy->Kendrick->Orofino is SUPER tight twisties! I'm so glad I followed someone's route suggestion.
I had the biggest silly grin when I saw the sign for "Winding Road Next 77 Miles".
Hwy 12 is the kind of road to my liking. No stops, twisty (but not super tight), nice pavement, scenic. I think I had my silly grin the whole time on that 77 miles.
I stopped at the visitor center for the washroom, only to have 5 people walk by and want to talk about my trip. I eventually had to tell the last person I was starting to do the pee-dance and really needed to be excused.
A word about the Lolo Pass visitor center--man, the bathrooms there are nice!
I spent the rest of the day on highways, and ended up at Deer Lodge KOA camp site. This site was one of the cheapest but best KOA's I stayed at (US$18), with highspeed internet access, and free local calls.
Day 3 567 km/340 miles (Deer Lodge MT to Cody WY)
In Montana, I was one of the slowest bikes on the road, and one of the few with a helmet on. But I LOVED riding in Montana, because it reminds me so much of cowboy movies, and the sky is so clear and beautiful.
Hwy 287 is a better alternative than the big slabs. I saw quite a few different kinds of birds, and there was little traffic.
The Old Faithful was one of my favorite things on this whole trip. It was well worth the wait, and the terrible traffic of the Yellowstone Park.
The east entrance to the Yellowstone Park is 7 miles of gravel, with lots of stops for construction trucks. I stopped at Cody WY for the night, and decided that I must leave really early the next day to avoid the mid-afternoon heat.