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Riparian Life

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7-18-12, West of Lolo, MT - This was a short but very nice day.  The lads and I decided to take a half day off and hole up, 6 miles up Lolo Creek when offered a place on a nice piece of private property.

After hitching this morning, I faced a rather difficult one mile section of US-93 that had narrow shoulders and tight curves.  Not to worry, the Montana Transportation department was kind enough to use one of their truck with the lights on to throw a traffic block behind me - thank you.

On the way into the town of Lolo, I stopped at least 4 times to chat with people.  Once I reached town, I pulled into a gas station where many people came over to chat and meet the team.

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Cruising the streets of Lolo.  Doc was in his Ďhi-ho, hi-hoí mood again and was refusing to let B.O.B. do any pulling.

In the center of town, I turned right on US-12 and started going up Lolo Creek.  At the nationally acclaimed Lolo Creek Steakhouse I was flagged down my Mike the owner.  He offered his best wishes and a steak dinner if I ever came this way again.

On the six mile trip up the creek to my overnight spot, I stopped and chatted with people at least 15 times.

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Mike, the owner of the Lolo Creek Steakhouse who offered a free steak dinner or any help if I need it.

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Brad, from Nashville, TN accepted a ride for about a mile. Heís visiting his girl friendís parents here in Montana and having the time of his life.

By 12:30 PM, the boys and I drove across a bridge spanning Lolo Creek and settled into are evening camping location. While they chewed on some grass, I had the luxury of a two hour nap.

Then, I settled into a lawn chair and basked in the luxury of soaking my feet in a mountain stream while a drank a cold beer.

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Few things come closer to achieving Zen that being barefoot in a mountain stream while sipping a cold beer.

Always on the lookout for a way to achieve a more utopian existence, I decided to improve on the concept of the cold beer and the stream.  Dining on a grilled steak, asparagus, and a glass of wine is definitely achieving a higher order of decadence. In fact, looking back through time, I pondered if any civilization has achieved this magnitude of outright relaxation while dining. The courts of the Russian Czars or French Kings achieved debauchery, but never this level of relaxation.  I wonder if Meriwether Lewis or Willian Clark ever dined on an elk steak with their feet in Lolo Creek? They certainly had an opportunity during their two treks through this canyon in 1805 and 1806.

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The ultimate dining experience did require a water logged stick to keep my table from floating away!

In the next week, Iíll be traveling through 100 miles of the Lolo and Clearwater National Forests.  Following that, Iíll be on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation for 2 or 3 days. Since my internet signal is now weak, it may be nonexistent for quite some time. Iíll do my best to blog, but donít expect it to occur nightly.