By Ole Lorenzetti
On June 20, I took off driving out West for a camping, fishing, bicycling, kayaking trip, packing my two bicycles and an inflatable kayak as well as fishing and camping gear.
I drove six to seven hours a day, stopping about 4:00 p.m. at a select camping site near a river or lake, where I’d catch my supper (usually trout, flatfish or occasionally catfish).
In Colorado, I visited my nephew for three days, climbing Long’s peak on the more advanced North Route (we had climbed the keyhole route three years ago). We reached the 14,255 ft peak in two days.
In Idaho, I lingered around McKay, South Idaho, fishing trout from the Lost River area and feasting on it in the morning for breakfast and in the evening for dinner at a covered campsite. I met up with my daughters’ family on the Salmon River (they were vacationing in the area) and we did the Middle Fork of the Salmon on a raft.
Then in mid-July, I started my bicycle adventures. The first was 420 miles from Coeur d’Alene, (Northwest Idaho) to Missoula, MT. I went with Adventure Cycling Assoc. group. We left July 17 and finished the 23rd. We followed 73 miles of the Coeur d’Alene lake trail, a freshly paved trail in 2004.
This trail leads onto the route of the Hiawatha Trail, a converted railroad bed over many high and scenic trestles. The highlight of the last miles was a 1.7 mile tunnel, completely dark, covered with small stones, which should have been traversed with a mountain bike and not a road bike (which I was using).
Three-quarters of the way through, I was hit from a behind by a recombinant bicyclist. The result was a bloody face and five stitches, which looked worse
than it felt.
In Missoula, I joined the Timberline Bicycling adventure group for a 540-mile bicycle trip from Missoula, MT to Boise, Idaho, climbing 6,995 ft on the Lost Trail Pass and then 8,701 ft. at a 7 percent grade for two miles on Galena Summit.
At the end of this trip, I was took a bus back to Missoula, where I rested and camped for a few days.
On Aug 8 -14, I began my third (and final!) bicycle tour, again with the Timberline Group. We rode from Whitefish, MT to Glacier National Park’s Waterton Lakes area (it was the park’s 100th anniversary). This was the most scenic of the trips, with the glacial lakes, landscapes, raging white water rivers and deep gorges of the Flathead River.
The biggest challenge was “The Road to the Sun,” with a summit at Logan’s Pass (6,640 ft) and spectacular vistas that unfolded at every switchback.
This trip was 320 miles; my total mileage on my speedometer for the combined trips, with side trips, was 1,340 miles.
Would I do it again? …Yes, but maybe as separate bicycling trips or with more rest in-between. On my drive back to Fort Worth, Texas, I did not camp but stopped at two motels. After setting up my tent/campsite 44 times (and taking it down!) I had had enough.
Next year, I hope to report on the following adventures:
- January: Burma and Bhutan hiking from monastery to monastery,
staying with locals.
- Mid-Feb to mid-March: Ecuador, kayaking the Galápagos and
climbing Mt. Cotopaxi.
- April to mid-May: Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon…religious trek.
- July-Aug: Camping out West again but different areas in Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
- Sept-Oct: Biking – Camino Santiago (road of St. James).
- Sept 26 to Oct 3: Leon to Santiago, Spain.
- Oct 6-16: Biking – the Coast of Sicily.
- Oct 19-30: Biking – Puglia, Italy around the “boot”.
Life is great – live every day as if it is your last.
I look forward to reporting on the above in 2012!