TransAm Days 67, 68 and 69 17th, 18th and 19th of July

Tom writes:

Missoula to Powell: 92 kms


Powell to Syringa: 116 kms


Syringa to Grangeville: 65 kms


In the bigger perspective.
In the bigger perspective.

Total distance so far: 5681 kms


A little update on what has happened since Missoula.

We rode out into the morning and headed for the huge wide open spaces of Montana hoping for the wonders of nature to show themselves to us again in all their glory.

Little did we believe that such an experience would hit us smack bang in the middle of town before we had even left the Macdonalds and Subway infested suburbs.


The deer must really be tame if you can find them lounging around in suburban front gardens.

Our ride was pleasurable without being particularly memorable, arriving in Powell (once again a total non-entity of a place) in the early afternoon.

From being absolutely gorgeous weather it turned nasty as soon as we hit the mattress with our by now rather tired, if still incredibly beautiful, bodies.

We had our first hale storm of the trip and the projectiles hitting our tent were literally the size of table tennis balls. We were very glad that we weren’t out having a wee or something when it struck us. Thankfully however it didn’t last for long and ever since we have been blessed with cloudless sun drenched skies. Long may it continue.

The pleasant temperature and general good demeanour of the weather made quite a nice welcome to our next state (and time zone) which we reached the next morning. Idaho.


Our first impressions were really sweet. From the state line we immediately hit a beautiful downhill which lasted for what seemed like forever or at least all the way to our camp in Syringa. (Whichever is longer).

The road followed to the letter the course of the almost transparent Lochsa and Clearwater rivers all the way down, while the scenery around us was mountainous and heavily forested.

Very pretty.


On arrival we went for a swim in the already mentioned Clearwater rapids. European as we are and secluded as thought we were, we decided to do the only right thing and skinny dip.

There really is no other way to swim and we were absolutely loving the cold, clear water refreshing the parts other waters couldn’t reach.

Then a group of canoeists came by and not only that, decided to leave their vessels at the exact point where we were frolicking.

I think they were more a lot more embarrassed than we were and we couldn’t avoid snickering a little as they left us. I guess though that the smiles would have been quickly wiped from our smug faces if we had been arrested for indecent exposure in this rather prudish country they call the US of A.

Thankfully we weren’t.

Our ride from Syringa to where we are now, Grangeville, was one of the shorter ones we have had recently, a mere 65 kms. This was compensated by an eight kilometre climb of such steepness that other mortals would have turned around and gone home.

Not us though, we fought our way up without resting or walking the bikes, catching Emily and a couple of archaeologists in the process.

We are getting very muscular legs.

Great view at the top too.


Now time to enjoy our evening barbecue.



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