12 July 2007

Moving to Oregon, Part IV

After leaving Livingston, we began the steady climb toward the Continental Divide. There were several places where I really didn’t think our rental truck was going to be able to pull the hill! We got as low as 20 MPH going up one hill. I thought how stupid it would be if they had to send a tow truck to tow us 200 Yards to the top of the hill!!
We stopped briefly at a wide spot in the road to read the historical marker for Bozeman Pass, named after John Bozeman, who in 1863 to 1866 brought prospectors and emigrants through it northward from the Platte Valley route of the California-Oregon Trail to the Montana gold mines and settlements. Later in the day, we finally crossed the Continental Divide at the MT/ID border. I had high expectations of this momentous occasion, as marking a line of demarcation between our old lives east of the Rockies and our new lives west of them. I had visions of stopping at the Divide and taking pictures, reading something of the history of the spot, etc. Quite suddenly, we rounded a curve and there was…a sign about 6’ by 9’ on an overpass that said “Continental Divide Elevation 6393.” There wasn’t even a place to pull off the highway!
Once on the downhill side of the Rockies, we made better time, and better gas mileage! The mountainous areas of Montana and Idaho were the prettiest terrain we crossed on the whole trip! We passed through small little hamlets in Idaho that looked carved into the side of the mountains, like Thomas Kinkade paintings (well, except for the four lane interstate running through the middle of them). I was able to pick up a cache at a closed weigh station in Idaho. A few feet up the hillside I entered a world that looked like the Forest of Endor! Poor reception and being in a hurry conspired against me. There were a million places to hide an ammo can in there!! I finally gave up and stepped out of the woods, but decided this was my only shot at an ID cache, so I stepped back in and took one more look. Almost immediately, I spotted the hide technique; one I’d used myself back home!
We continued on to spend the night that evening in Spokane, WA, marking the only day during the trip that we drove in more than two states on the same day.

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