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Thread: Idaho US 12 Lolo to Lewiston

  1. #1
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    Default Idaho US 12 Lolo to Lewiston

    Not a favorite, just a road report.

    Ride: July 2009, Weekday, Late AM
    Gas Available: Lowell, Kooskia.
    Direction: West
    Avg Speed: 55
    Flora: Ponderosa
    Fauna Encounters: 0
    Subjective Temp: Balmy to warm. [I live in Phoenix, AZ]

    Road Condition: Lolo to Kooskia:
    Mostly fair to good. After Lolo Pass, this mountain road parallels Lochsa River with well marked sweepers and tighter corners for the distance. Slightly choppy in some of the corners, thus the fair to good rating.

    Starting about 30 miles north of Kooskia, construction in progress at three points, down to dirt for 1/4 mile or so on each scrub. One way traffic in construction zones cause 10 to 20 minute waits. Intermittent gravel patches on the road before and after each dirt patch, but usually swept out of the tire tracks by preceding cagers.

    There was gas available at a turn off between Lolo Hot Springs and Lowell (closer to LHS). I wanted to gas up and have some fun, but the road was dirt and I had dropped my bike two days prior, in Monticello,UT, when I put my foot down on some gravel and it slid out. So I decided I didn't want any more of that for a while and kept my rpm's low to Kooskia.

    Cars Passing Same Direction: 0
    Cars Passed Same Direction: a few maybe
    Cars Passed Opposite Direction: low drip

    Road Condition: Kooskia to Lewiston:
    Poor to fair. Poor when you pick up the Clearwater River. This river road, with sweepers everywhere, narrows in places with the shoulder substituted with a concrete barrier. Add longitudinal tire track depressions and I'll say this road is in poor condition. In other areas the road is fair, due to the road opening up a bit, losing the concrete barriers. Near Lewiston, the road becomes four lane expressway in very good condition.

    Cars Passing Same Direction: a few
    Cars Passed Same Direction: 0
    Cars Passed Opposite Direction: intermittent clumps, maybe 10 - 20 per mile

    I fought a heavy headwind, the tire tracks and fully loaded bike: wife, dog, loaded bags, trunk and tank bag, for what seemed like hours. This part of the road really beat me up an I was not sorry to see it behind me. When I got to Lewiston, I had to lay down for 20 minutes to get some rest.

    After going from Salmon to Lewiston, I planned on taking more corners on Washington SR 14 to Portland the next day, but decided that I had had enough curves for a while, so I took I-84 all the way and was happy to do so.

    Perhaps I'll take this route again, on another day: solo on a standard liter bike or sport tourer, but never again loaded the way I was on this trip.
    Last edited by Slab Pig; 08-13-2009 at 03:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Did you stop by Jerry Johnson hot springs? That is a great place for soaking and getting the kinks out of tired muscles.

    Jeff

  3. #3
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    I had to get from Salmon, ID, to Pendleton, OR, so I didn't have time to smell the roses. Thanks, I'll keep it in mind the next time I'm in the area. I really could have used a nice soak. Had I stopped for a soak, that would have been the end of the road for that day.
    Last edited by Slab Pig; 08-13-2009 at 03:48 PM.

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