Posted by: bikedave | July 1, 2010

July 1, Lolo Hot Springs, MT to Hamilton, MT

I had gone less than a mile when I saw this huge rock seeming to hover over Lolo Creek.

Lolo Creek, Lolo Hot Springs, MT

The first 26 miles today were following Lolo Creek downstream into the town of Lolo, MT.

Before long, I came upon this pair of Sandhill Cranes grazing in a pasture.

Sandhill Cranes near Lolo Hot Springs, MT

I was excited to see some more Sandhill Cranes on this trip, but the real excitement was only another mile down the road.

Yesterday I saw some tracks from a moose.  As I wrote about it I could imagine some of my friends reading about it and thinking something like, “Yeah, right! Moose tracks, sure thing…”  Well, check out these pictures:


These things are really big!

I’ve only seen a moose one other time in my life.  It was about 20 years ago when Vicki and I were running team driving big trucks.  Would you believe, we saw that first moose in the same place as I saw this one today?  She was a little more shy than the first one I saw.  She would be eating until a car or truck went by and scared her.  She would then move back into the trees until she felt safe again.  I watched her for about 15 minutes.

I left the moose and continued towards Lolo, MT.  Along the way I met 3 cyclists coming towards me.  Two were a husband and wife from Virginia on a 6 week Pacific NW loop, starting and ending in Olympia, WA.  The solo rider was nearing the end of an east to west transcontinental crossing.

As I came around a corner I saw a turkey on the roadside.  This one was a little more cooperative letting me take her picture.

Wild turkey

As I continued, I began to see smaller ranches and large homes.

The weirdest gate so far!

Lolo Peak, over 9,000 feet

Vicki met me at the site of Fort Fizzle.  This was the name given by the locals to some fortifications that the army hastily built in the Lolo Valley to prevent the Nez Perce from reaching the Bitterroot Valley.  After 3 days of standoff, and failed negotiations, The Nez Perce went around the army, just out of sight, behind the ridge tops to the North, thus the name.

Vicki and I at Fort Fizzle

Vicki in front of some reproductions of the fortifications.

While at Fort Fizzle we walked on a trail that led us to Lolo Creek.

Lolo Creek, near the site of Fort Fizzle

While on the creek, we saw two trees that beavers had been working on cutting down.

Beaver damage, to a 18 to 24 inch diameter tree

Close up of the tooth marks

We left fort fizzle with plans to meet again in Hamilton, MT

Upon reaching Lolo, MT, my route turned south on Hwy 93.  There is a very nice bike path that runs adjacent to the highway all the way to Stevensville.

Lolo to Stevensville bike path.

From Stevensville to Hamilton was all 2 lane road, about half with no shoulder.  I had a good tailwind and was able to make good time.

I met up with Vicki in Hamilton.  We did some grocery shopping and went out to dinner at a Perkins restaurant.

Miles today: 64  Total miles: 874



  1. Hey there Dave and Vickie… Glad to see you are enjoying the trip… love the pictures…. I’ve never seen a moose… heck I’m lucky if I know a what any creatures tracks look like…
    I can’t believe you biked to Crater Lake…. I was so amazed when I drove there… it was the first time I understood the phrase it Took My Breath Away…
    I can’t read your blog at work… web sensed… my internet was down for a few weeks so finally catching up on this today…
    I will keep you two in my prayers for a safe and enlightning trip…. hope you get a couple of thrills for me…. Thunder storms… let me know !!

    take care…Carrie

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