Idaho


more photos from my trip across the Rocky Mountains several times – in the dead of winter, of course!


old US-91 in Idaho. Between the full moon and the snow, it was bright enough to drive without headlights!


Interstate Ninety. Appropriately, I’m doing ninety. The storm behind on top of me, threatening wind and rain and snow, is doing ninety as well. This oughta be fun, especially since I am obligated to stop at every exit to look for old signs…

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these photos go very far back – to a trip I took in December, 2007 … crossing the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide several times, including a dead-of-night blizzard trip across the treacherous Million Dollar Highway in western Colorado!

here is the first day of that trip – the Bay Area to Arco, Idaho.


The Sierras, in southeast Oregon. Just about the northernmost extent of this mountain range.

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the last Alaska Highway batch, which contains no actual Alaska Highway – and, in fact, very little Canada. We had about 24 hours before we needed to be at the airport, so we spent some time exploring eastern Washington, Idaho, and even a little bit of Montana.


What do we have here? An original I-90 trailblazer, complete with green sign back. We found a few of these in Spokane, and several modern copies with the old-style shield.


Someone made this gantry, with correct distances and accurate 1930s Washington style, for his own front yard.


Sunset in Idaho.


This may very well be the oldest sign in Washington. The 97 covers up an outline shield! It does not reflect very well after about 52 years of service.

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The second day of our marathon drive continued us northeast into the Treasure State of Montana, my first visit there, and then back west via Interstate 90 to Seattle. A bout of allergies made life difficult through Boise, but the sleep I got in Kooskia all but removed the effects of that!

We resumed our journey along Idaho 13 north to U.S. 12 east for the eastward trek into Montana. U.S. 12 is considered a scenic route throughout its routing in Idaho, so signs are all coloured brown (shades of the old Florida days, I tell you!). The road lives up to its scenic designation, paralleling the Lochsa River from Lowell east to McConell Mountain and Lolo Pass. Surprisingly, the road moves fast and passing opportunities are available more than you would think.

Westbound reassurance shield for U.S. 12 posted at the settlement of Lowell. The Lochsa River flows into the Clearwater Middle Fork river at Lowell. U.S. 12 parallels the waterway west to Kooskia and Kamiah.

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This past weekend’s roadtrip took us to Jacksonville, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina. But before I get into the details of those travels, it is time to take care of unfinished business…
Now two and half months removed from the trip, here’s a summary of Day 6 of our Northwest U.S. roadtrip.

Chris Kalina joined Andy and I for the two-day marathon drive from Seattle east to Montana and back. To get as far east during daylight hours, the day began before sunrise in Burien, Washington with myself loading up on coffee at 5:45 am (!). We arranged to meet Chris at a park and ride lot next to Interstate 405 at Bellevue by 6:30, but a gnarly traffic accident clogged the northbound lanes of I-405 at 6:15, causing us to get there 15 minutes late. Chris also showed up late, so all was ok, and we piled into our rental car and ventured east toward Snoqualmie Pass by 7 am.

The climb eastward into the Cascade Mountains was magnificent with layers of low clouds and fog shrouding the valleys and passes of Interstate 90.

Climbing toward the West Summit interchange (Exit 52) on Interstate 90 east. Snoqualmie Pass rises to 3,022 feet and is snow covered for most of the year. During this last day of August, the temperature was already down to 37 degrees!
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