Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mo' Lolo

Marie kept us very busy when we were parked at the Lumberjack Saloon outside of Lolo, MT.

One day we went to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Visitor Center. They seem to have a dual purpose of conservation and hunting, which I didn't really get. But they are trying to increase elk habitat so there will be more elk.

When Lewis and Clark came through here 200 years ago, 10 million elk roamed through North America. The Expedition subsisted on elk for much of their journey, killing and eating at least 375 elk. By 1900, only 90,000 elk remained on the continent. Today, there are about one million elk.

Something Lewis and Clark would have liked. They got a little tired of elk meat by the end of their journey.

Another day we went to Lolo Hot Springs. Lewis and Clark stopped here on their way West, and again on their way home.

I don't think it looked exactly like this, though...

Another day, we went for a ride through the Bitterroots, on the Lolo Motorway, a historical road built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). It follows the old Indian trail that Lewis and Clark used.

Lightning requently ignites wildfires, and we went through lots of burned areas. I like them because you have a better view and more wildflowers.

But when Lewis and Clark passed through here, downed logs, dense shrubs, and a multitude of small trees made travel through the Bitterroot Mountains very difficult.

When we left the Lumberjack, we went west through Idaho on Highway 12. It's a spectacular drive.

I had heard a lot of praise for Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, so I couldn't wait to get there. It's about a mile hike through the woods to the spring.

There are several springs located in a small meadow. We got there just as a group of bikers was leaving. They are biking from Jackson, WY to Florence, OR.

The temperature was just right!

This pool was farther along the trail at an upper meadow.

And one of the springs was along the side of the river. What a fun experience!


  1. Diana,
    Part of proper range management is harvesting of enough animals to keep the animal population within the ability of the range to regenerate. Otherwise there are massive ugly die offs. Near Yakima Wa. they actually have to feed the elk herds since the area will not support the population of elk. The "hunters" fees help with the cost of the range management. By the way elk meat is my favorite warm blooded animal meat in the world.

  2. Looks like another good place to visit.

    I have had elk meat only a few times, but it is possibly the best meat I have ever eaten.

  3. The clothing optional trail gives new meaning to the phrase "Getting back to nature". I do hope it wasn't too stressful on your eyes.

  4. Thanks, Barney, you certainly explained it better than they did. And I think I am going to have to try elk meat. Doc, it was not stressful at all. :-) I have been to many clothing-optional hot springs, but this was the first clothing-optional trail!

  5. Beautiful pictures and I wish I could be right there, especially in that big ole swimming pool. Their was something on TV the other day about Lewis and Clark and I enjoyed watching it and of course thought about you :o) That is so funny about the nude hikers LOL I don't think I would do that just because of mosquitoes, did you see any nude hikers??? Were you a nude hiker??? lol Happy trails and stay safe!!

  6. What a great road to explore...I know that brought the Lewis n Clark feeling right home to you guys!! I love the open trails too, and the wild flowers...nude hiking, I bet there is a lot of chaffing going
    The hot springs look awesome!!! Room for one more?

  7. I'd love that hot spring! Clothing or no.

  8. Great post, Diana! I just love the look of those springs!

  9. Reminds me of the time I ran into the hiker who had on a backpack and shoes - nothing else. I bit distracting, but it's surprising how quickly you adjust.

  10. i had to come back and get the info on this hot spring and put it in my "I want to go here" book..and read Barbara's comment..had to chuckle at that. I wonder what was in the backpack?


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