I had slept soundly in the woods with the sound of the river in the distant,and after waking up to a beautiful morning I was ready to get back on the road again. The moment we got back on the road again it started raining, but fortunately it didn't last very long. Both Claire and I had anticipated a long climb up to Lolo pass today and we were hoping that the weather would stay clear so that we might get to enjoy some beautiful views from the top. I had heard rumors about the pass back in Washington from the guys from day 2, where one of them had actually uttered; "Lolo pass on a bicycle?!"
As the weather cleared up we reached the start of the climb and we were both preparing to stay on these steep and winding roads for some time. But before we knew it, we could see a sign that said "Lolo pass 1 mile". This was a familiar situation. The way non-cyclists talk about some climbs is contributing to building up expectations that far exceed reality. Claire had probably also heard some stories because she jokingly suggested that there was missing a "1" on the sign.
At the top of the pass at almost 1600 m there was a visitors center that we stopped by to fill our water bottles and take a rest. This was also where the border to Montana went and we crossed into another time zone as well. The descent was pretty impressive with snow covered mountain tops, wilderness and a big blue sky all around and it was all slight downhill to Missoula.
Missoula is where the Adventure Cycling Association has it's world headquarters and I was very much looking forward to visiting this place I had heard so much about. Unfortunately they are closed on week ends and we got into town after closing time on a friday afternoon so we didn't get to visit. Instead we enjoyed a nice meal in downtown Missoula, which is by the way one of the cooler cities I have ever been to. Claire got in touch with a warmshowers host and I had checked into a motel because tomorrow was a rest day for both of us and we both had some stuff to do.