I biked out of Lewiston just past 9 am in cloudy weather fearing that today was once again going to be soaking. It was now time to take out the maps made by Adventure Cycling Association. These maps were especially made for cycling with all the back roads and bike paths mapped out, along with points of interest to traveling cyclists. Although it felt great to get rid of the highly impractical and inaccurate state road map I had bought in Seattle, it is good to know you can find your way without having every turn marked for you.
The map had a detailed description of how to get out of Lewiston and since I chose to take the route following Clearwater river, I was directed onto a long nice bike path following the river taking me out to the countryside.
As the weather cleared up I got to enjoy some beautiful scenery that was to be present all day. I followed the river so that meant following a valley with high hills on both sides covered in grasslands and trees. After having been directed through park and to go through a barricade signed with "Do not enter" and "stop", I got to a completely deserted road that used to be the main highway through the area and there was not one single vehicle nor bike in sight for about 13 km before it joined the main highway. This is exactly why I love and appreciate the work of ACA so much.
I made a rest stop at one of the many campgrounds along the river to make myself something to eat. And just as I was about to sit down I saw three road workers pulling up in their trucks. Clearly I was not the only one thinking this was a great place to have lunch. As two of the guys sat down at a bench about 20 m away from where I was sitting, one came over and asked if he could join me. I told him he was more than welcome and we started talking. With going up and down the roads in the area for a living, he was able to provide much detailed information on the road ahead, and he could even pinpoint campgrounds and other points of interest down to which milepost they are located at (sort of a sign occurring every mile marking how far you've gone on the road you're currently on). He told me about one of the many naturally heated pools aka hot springs in the area that you can go swimming in and how spectacular the scenery was all the way to Missoula.
After finishing a most pleasant lunch, I set off once again. The road kept twisting and turning along with the river through the valley and except for the occasional truck driving past a little too close, it was very nice riding.
I stopped at a subway restaurant in the town of Orofino before I pressed on to the place I had set out to reach today. The place was a cozy campground by the river just south of Kamiah. Here I put up my tent and ate some fruit while watching the river.