We pulled out at 10 am Monday morning, an hour earlier than normal! It was overcast & a bit drizzly earlier in the morning so we procrastinated just a bit hoping it would clear off. And so it did. Sure makes it a lot easier to break camp when it's not drizzling on your head. The forecast was for rain through most of today's travels but we got lucky & it was clear & even sunny most of the way. It was a lovely drive even though our route was not as originally planned!
You might remember that we got a new GPS awhile back. This is our third since we began fulltiming in 2006 and for some reason we've named all three of them 'Suzi'...Anyway, I seem to spend a good part of the time 'arguing' with Suzi. Especially if we've been in an area long enough for me to know that SHE is taking us on a stupid route!!! It drives Larry crazy, lol...Well, if we enter a 'new to us' area I have to sit back & dummy up & let 'Suzi' do her thing, at least initially.
Now, I had done quite a bit of research on today's route as we were concerned about going over Chief Joseph Pass with our rig. And no, it's not the same Chief Joseph Pass that's a part of Yellowstone. This pass is 7100+ feet with a 6% grade. We've been over a couple of other passes that were worse, like the Grand Tetons & Big Horn, but our truck & rig were several years newer then.
Our buddy Mitch thought it would work out just fine & so we ultimately decided to save the hour+ & take the shortcut instead of going all the way into Missoula before heading south. The map showed that we should jog down on I-15 for a few miles, catch MT 43 & then take US 93 north arriving in Darby about 5 hours later. I programmed Suzi & she agreed that we should take I-90 for the first portion of our drive but then she instructed us to take exit 208 further up I-90, near Anaconda, traveling 22 miles on 569 & then picking up MT 43 just above Wisdom. I told Larry, "no, we're not going that way". So, I re-entered a different destination (Big Hole Battlefield) and Suzi again wanted that same route. So, I finally decided that she 'knew what she was talking about!' NOT....We wound up on an unmarked narrow, although fairly smooth road, passing 2 motorists the entire way. One at the beginning and one near the end of the road. Oh my, it was a bit unnerving. It wasn't high or scary by the way. Just no place to turn around if we'd wanted to and we never are comfortable in that situation.
We later told Mitch how we'd come in & he just laughed!!!! Laughed mind you. He was quite familiar with 'our road' and said it was under construction repair for several months this past summer so I guess we were lucky they were done for the season. Anyway, I tell you all of this to let you know that if you decide to come visit Deb & Mitch & your Suzi is related to ours, don't listen to her!!! Take I-90 to I-15 to MT 43 to US 93 north. And make sure you factor in enough time to visit the Big Hole National Battlefield :)