PNW Tour – Day 7 Missoula to Clayton

Missoula, MT to Clayton, ID

Approx. 320 miles

During the rest day, I mentioned to the three ladies I was riding with that I’m doing the Tour of Honor and explained what that is.  I had located a site in Missoula that I was going to ride to and photograph before I left town.  Due to a long riding day, I had already missed an opportunity near Issaquah and I was not about to miss another!  My plan had been to do this on our rest day, but my riding buddies offered to go with me at the start of Day 7 if I didn’t mind waiting.  Well, wow, I couldn’t say no to that! 🙂  We planned our KSU time to allow for the detour and photo opportunity; a bit before 8 AM we were on our way.  Our navigator took us right to the site and we had even sorted out the best way to approach the memorial that would allow four motorcycles to be safely off the road.  I had my ToH flag stashed in my tank bag for easy retrieval.  When we arrived, I handed my phone camera to someone else and that made for a very efficient stop!  Soon we were back on our regular route to Stanley, Idaho.  Here is my ToH photo of the memorial in Missoula:

IMG_0158

We had a nice, uneventful ride on this day and it was lovely.  We stopped in Salmon, Idaho at a little cafe for some lunch and a nice rest break.  The cafe owner and her employees were excited to hear about our adventures; about the time we were finishing lunch, the other half of the tour group arrived so we had a chance to compare notes on the ride so far.

The afternoon portion of the trip was probably my favorite as it involved more sweeping curves and riding alongside the river on US-93 and then State Highway 75.  The canyon on either side was gorgeous and this was a pretty relaxing ride, despite the distance.  At one point the wind did kick up for a while and I came close to being blown off the right side of the road and into the river.  I don’t know what it was about my bike and high wind on this trip, but it seemed to follow me everywhere!

Around 3:00 PM we arrived at our stop for the day, between Clayton and Stanley.  The views were spectacular and the weather was perfect!  We enjoyed a nice cooling rain shower later in the evening, but it didn’t last long.  Everywhere I looked seem to be a view that was mind blowing and I am grateful that I had the chance to experience this corner of the world!

Sadly, I also began to notice that the days were starting to pass more quickly.  I had expected this might happen after our rest day, since we were past the half way point of the tour.  While there was still great riding to come, I felt the time speeding forward faster and faster.

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