Day 2: Saturday, 1998-06-27:
On Saturday morning, I was up and gone before 6:15 AM. I headed north on US 95, across the Oregon (#3) border, then across the Idaho (#4) border.
Southern Idaho turned out to be one of the two most beautiful parts of the trip. I was on two-lane roads most of the way, and the valleys were green and beautiful and the small towns looked delightful. I’ve always wanted to spend more time in Idaho, and it is rather close to my home in California. Now my appetite was whetted further.
I continued on up to Lewiston, where I drove across the bridge to get Washington (#5) and then made an immediate U-turn and came back in to Idaho. At this point, I’d completed the first leg of the trip, getting to the far northwest corner of my driving route. From there I went east on US 12 in to Montana (#6) to Missoula, then north on US 93 to I-90 and then east to Butte.
For years I’d been hearing about Montana’s policy of no daytime speed limits and had planned to quickly cover a lot of ground. I had planned to get in to Montana by Saturday evening, and then floor it all the way across, going one hundred miles an hour, the way God and highway engineers intended. Unfortunately, I got very delayed in Idaho, with two lane roads and slow traffic and one particular Idaho State Trooper. By the time I got to Butte, Montana, at 9:00 PM, I was exhausted and decided to get a hotel room, figuring I could make up some miles the next day. Unfortunately, I should have remembered that when you need to average 1,100 miles per day, it’s hard to “make up miles the next day”. I grabbed a room at the Best Western. Before going to my room, I asked the clerk in the hotel about how fast you can really go in Montana without getting a ticket, and she said “I go about 90, and my girlfriend, she always goes 100, and we never get pulled over”. At this point I was starting to really like Montana.
The tally for the day was 4 states and 860 miles.
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