Motoring on to Darby, MT

We are off this AM after our brief stay with my horse friend. She was too busy eating this AM to say good-bye. Bryce and David at Stallings Automotive adjusted our trailer brakes so that was a relief that we didn’t need to do brake shoes on all four tires! Whew! Thank You Lord for Your blessings! Bryce also bought the 5 gallons of gasoline we having been dragging around in case we went boondocking and needed more fuel for the generator. That along with a trip to the charity store and the post office to mail home some packages, ended up making us at least 100 lbs lighter. That will help to offset the vacuum cleaner, patio chairs and a ladder we bought. We are stopping at the scale this morning to be sure we are not towing too much weight. We may be like the Western Bound settlers that left things on the trail. 🙂

Well, what a difference a few miles make! We have covered about 35 miles since leaving Rigby. We left the lovely crop land there for the beautiful grassland by the Snake, then on to the arid sage land away from the Snake and then back to the irrigated flat lands with gorgeous alfalfa hay just as far as you can see. As we approach the Lemhi Mountain Range, there is crop land also with miles of a grain crop. It is hard to tell wheat and hops apart. In this area it is probably wheat. When the irrigation runs out, there is sage as far as you can see. The mountains are as majestic as any you have ever seen in America with rugged, broad bases. I would photograph them for you but there is so much haze today it would not come out well.

We found a scale at an elevator along the highway that was not in use so we stopped and weighed the whole rig which came in at 20,500 lbs! Pheww. Not used to thinking in numbers that big. Love the honor system here, “leave your $5 on the counter and weigh yourself”. Then off you go.

We are traveling Idaho Hwy 28 (Sacajawea Historic Byway) for the next 120 miles between two mountain ranges, the Lemhi and the Lost River. This is Sacajawea’s birthplace and those here in the area of NE Idaho and SW Montana are proud of her heritage and her contribution to our countries history. The highway bores a direct line NW to the town of Salmon following the Lemhi River valley. Part of the awe inspiring aspect of the ranges is the flat land we are driving in between the ranges, makes such a contrast. Wide, flat open expanses of sage brush, no fences, and only a few very small towns along the way makes for a lonesome drive. Diesel fuel is not available once you head NW from Mud Lake and for the first time since we bought it, our 5 gallon Jerry stretched our range a bit.

We connect with US Hwy 93 at Salmon, fuel up, and begin heading north along the fabulously scenic Salmon river up towards Lost Trail Pass. The Pass which is both the Idaho-Montana border and the Continental Divide. This highway follows the Lewis & Clark Trail with lots of historical interest points along the way.

Top of the pass!Now comes the real test…how will the new radiator perform on a long slope with a 3,000 FT elevation gain??? and the answer is…beautifully! We have a doodad that Matt hooked up to the vehicle computer system and an App on his smart phone that monitors the real time engine data. The coolant temp never got higher than 220 degrees and then only briefly.

There is a nice rest area and visitors center at the top of the pass. We took a break there to cool off, even though we didn’t really need to, and let Abby out for a walk. We had a nice chat with Chris, who was on duty, gathered some brochures and info from him and headed on down the Montana side of the pass to our destination…Darby, MT.