Saturday, September 3, 2011

US 12/The Lewis and Clark Highway

I live near US Route 12 in suburban Chicago where it goes by the name of Rand Road, but it certainly doesn't look like Rand Road on this 125 mile stretch in western Montana and eastern Idaho!  WOW! This scenic wonder is called The Lewis and Clark Highway up here because it is the old Nez Perce Indian trail on which Lewis and Clark labored overland through the magnificent Bitterroot Mountains back in 1805 after they left the Missouri River and were heading over Lolo Pass for their final Clearwater River to Snake River to Columbia River paddle to the Pacific. They were guided by Old Toby of the Shoshone Tribe.





Oh, that our Rand Road had scenery such as this to dazzle our eyes and make sitting in traffic jams an opportunity to gawk instead of curse...



Lolo Pass Summit (on the border between Montana and Idaho) at 5233 feet altitude may not seem high compared to the lofty 14,000 foot peaks of the Rocky Mountains, but they were tough enough for Lewis and Clark's tired and ill-fed Corps of Discovery, given the early snow that hampered the progress of their packhorses over the steep terrain. (click to enlarge)




The Clearwater is but a small stream as it begins its descent to meet the mighty Snake River at their confluence at Clarkston and Lewiston...



We have deer back home, but not greeting you as you come around a sharp blind curve...



The 125 mile section of road passes through or alongside the Bitterroot, Lolo, Clearwater, and Nez Perce National Forests and skirts the northern border of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area.


1 comment:

vabna islam said...
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