Day 25 is high clouds and 40 degrees. After yesterdays snow storm, this is welcome relief.
Entering Anaconda, I am looking for the turn off to Wisdom, MT. Realizing I have missed it, I stop and ask for directions at the gas station. "Go back to the cinder pile and there is a small sign." I inquire about the road conditions and the clerk indicates the road is clear but they haven't fixed it yet this spring, there are some broken up areas.
Turning at the cinder pile, the stack of the copper smelter rises high from the hillside. Another community hit hard by economic times.
The road is narrow, and I do have to drive carefully. Dropping down into the Big Hole River Valley, it is gorgeous. There are few cars on the road, so I am relaxing enjoying the "Drive"
Heading west out of Wisdom, MT, I stop a the Big Hole National Battlefield. This is where the 7th Calvary forced the "non treaty" Nez Perce back to the reservation.
Leaving the battlefield, the road climbs quickly to the Chief Joseph Pass, 7264 feet. There is plenty of snow left in the mountains. The road drops just as quick to Lost Trail Pass 7014 feet. The road junctions with Route 93. This also is the corner of Montana and Idaho.
Heading south from the pass, the road has steep grades and sharp curves. This would be more enjoyable if it weren't for the sand on the roadway from the previous nights snow. In a few miles the road is clear and I appear to be the only one on it!
Drive! The roadway follows the North fork of the Salmon River. I Have a pit stop and some lunch in Salmon and continue south for Ketchum and Sun Valley. A few miles south of town, I encounter another 45th Parallel sign, signifying half way between the
Equator and North Pole. This time I am able to get a picture.
The scenery is spectacular. Each roadway has been unique in its own way, and in that, the "Drive" is kept interesting, not knowing what to expect around the next corner or over the next hill.
On the North side of the Sawtooth Mountains, are the Headwaters for the Salmon River. Climbing up to Galena Pass 8701 feet, you can feel the altitude.
At the sign for Galena pass, back off the roadway is a sign: "Avalanche Area." I find it comical at the time, but heading down the grade, its evident that snowboards and skiers have been using the area for some "extreme" skiing!
The drive down the Big Wood River Valley to Sun Valley is quiet. I find a pull off area and am admiring the river with the River Run ski area in the back ground.
I finally, after all day, hit traffic! Bummer! The homes and surrounding area is exquisite. The balance of the drive to Boise is uneventful. I am pleased that I will still have daylight to get a picture of the Capitol. There is a large tower on the hillside that is the Boise Depot. It is the Old Train Station for the Idaho Northern Pacific. As the sun sets, this has been another great day on the road.