Just a short post tonight... and no pics since the photo editor took the night off. We left Columbia Falls this morning about 9am, headed west on US-2, and experienced driving through the mountains the way it used to be in the old days.
In the last few years, if they wanted to build an Interstate Highway across a mountain range they'd pretty much just bulldoze the mountain, put the material from the high spots into the low spots, pour 4 wide lanes of concrete... and you'd have a nice straight stretch of road that was easy to drive but would lull everybody to sleep. Add a few Holiday Inn Expresses, Cracker Barrels, McDonalds, and Flying Js and you'd have a road that looked and felt like every other I-road in the USA. I mean, why go to Idaho if you can experience the same driving sensation you find in Indiana?
The great thing about driving the old US highways... like US-2... is that you drive around mountains, through small towns, and experience how people are living in, ohh, say, Libby, MT. or Bonners Ferry, ID. All senses are active in this endeavor... you smell the bacon frying on the grill at a local breakfast and lunch joint as you drive by... you see the pride (or lack of pride) in the town's architectural dress, cleanliness, and neatness... you hear the activity of people going about their daily chores... you feel both the potholes and the newly laid asphalt roadway... you can taste the way people feel about their town... just by driving through and letting your senses do the work.
And here we were, plotting a course west. Ah, but because US-2 was built many years ago... when they used to build roads that went around mountain ranges... first we headed due south. Then, after a short spell of westward movement, we headed north, traversing valleys lined with high ridges and dark green forest. Then, after another short spell of westward movement, we headed due south again. At the end of the day we put on a little over 200 miles to reach a point that was only a little over 100 air miles from where we started this morning. But, oh, what a drive.
Tonight we're camped at another Corps of Engineers campground... the Riley Creek Recreation Area a little south and west of Sandpoint, ID. We'll be here through the weekend.
Ready for a good nights sleep...