I got out of the motel pretty early this morning, had a quick breakfast of hard boiled eggs and a banana. It was a nice morning, no rain and cool. BMW and I made good timing. I followed the bike trail for most of the day so that got me off the interstate and into the woods.
The trail (which is an old rail road track) follows much of use to be the old highway. There are tons of small creeks that flow into the Clark Fork river and lots of small signs up that say NOT to drink the water because of all the nasty stuff coming out of all the mines in the area. Which is a shame because the water looks crystal clear. I stopped to read about the Sunshine Mine disaster that happened in the 1970's where a fire broke out and killed 91 miners. As I was reading, I saw something very big moving in the clearing in front of me, and realized it was a moose! Finally! It was pretty far away so I wasn't too worried about it. I got a couple of pictures before it took off back into the woods.
Around 4 o'clock I saw a 'ROAD CLOSED' sign with a bar over the road not allowing cars to enter. It went up the hills and disappeared around a corner. I thought this might make the perfect place to camp, seeing how I was 3 miles from Mullan, where I was planning on staying at the firehouse, that I was pretty sure was empty, and an extra half mile out of my way. So I left BMW and walked up the dirt road a bit, trying to see if there was a flat, open space to set up camp.
The road had not been used in quite a while, so there was a lot of moss and made my foot steps very hard to hear. I went up about 100 feet from the bike path, and found my open area I was hoping for. As I was looking around, I tripped on a rock and stumbled forward a bit. I heard a huge crash in the woods to my left, and I stopped, hunched forward a little, and looked over; no more than 10 feet away, there was a very large, dark mass in the trees. My eyes followed it up, and I saw it's eyes, another moose! But way too close for comfort this time.
We both looked at each other for a minute, and I didn't move. Then it decided I was no threat, and turned around and headed off into the trees making the loudest crashing sound, I thought the entire forest was going to come down around me. "Perfect" I thought, this is where I am going camp.
I went back down to the road and got BMW and pushed her up the dirt road to the clearing and set up for the night. I tried to keep my tent up against as many trees as I could so only the front was exposed to the clearing. I took my food and moved it much further up the road because I didn't know what the bear situation was like in the area. Hopefully it was all there in the morning...
I stayed up and listened to some books I have on my computer and feel asleep listening to the birds sing their twilight songs.