Miles: 188
Total Elevation Gain (ft): 5146.
Weather: Sunny, Warm
Hillbilly Insults: 2
Roadkill: 4 (3 Birds, 1 Ground Squirrel) Bugs Swallowed: 1
Mean Dogs Chasing: 0

Highway 12 through the Clearwater National forest offers up exquisite views of the Bitteroot Mountains with the rapid whitewater of the Clearwater River winding through for seemingly endless miles. Hey look! Over there. I can see Brad Pitt flyfishing!
The Fargo was mothballed for another day while I took some ground with the nimble, racy Felt. I marvel that this 17.5 lb. machine can support my pantload of a body. As it rattled during some 40 mph drops, I reassured myself that we have good insurance for Katy and the kids. (Theresa, if your reading this, remember that you're in charge as the legal guardian. Be sure Camille gets deprogrammed after being in parochial school for two years.)

The Nez Perce called this home until they were forced to live on a sardine can sized reservation near Kooskia, ID. Lewis and Clark named a lot of the places around here. Most of them sound like condescending phonetic versions of the indigenous tongue. If you run them together it sounds like a Frank Sinatra scat at the Sands: "Koo Koo Kamiah Kooski, that lady's a tramp!"
The Corps of Discovery were nearly starved to death when the Nez Perce nursed them back to health here in 1806. In exchange for a couple of daggers and trinkets, the native folks watched after Lewis and Clark's horses until they returned from their trek Westward.

Of course, the Indians should have staved off their inevitable holocaust by eating the entire expedition like their brethren had been doing elsewhere, but it was a happier, friendlier time. It wasn't until 1866 when the Nez Perce and the Feds were in a full blown war as far East as middle Montana. Uncle Cracker and Christian missionaries emerged victorious. That's why I get to pedal through this scenery on pavement. PTL and God Bless America. I hear a Brad Paisley song coming in in my head.
Most of the Nez Perce high-tailed it to be with Tory sympathizers in Canada, where they are now called "First Nations" and treated slightly less crappily.

We made camp in Clearwater National Park, lit a fire and chummed one of my freeze dried dinners. Beef stew with instant Idaho brand mashed potatoes. We shoveled down our bounty out of the same gruel cup. It was delicious.

We had just one sleeping bag, a polyester blanket and pad between the both of us. After playing "Gift of the Magi" and splitting the supplies, Katy and I were freezing and damp. So, we set up a nice arrangement for her and I roughed it with the car heater, a Camelbak for a blanket and my Kraft "portable toilet" invention. Slept fine.