Missoula, MT to Boise, ID

A warning. Curvy road. 45. Not 45mph. Next 45 miles.

We travel between walls of tightly packed pines. Gaps expose the wide shallow river to our left dotted with shoreline sand bars. The occasional rock jams block the flow creating tempting swimming holes.

Repetitive 300ft construction zones manned by the happiest workers on earth. Every orange jacketed individual turns to wave at every single passing vehicle. Even the guy actively pushing the rumbling road de-surfacer as it crawls down the road. The manic sign holding road marshal vibrates her hand upon her wrist as she grins from ear to ear.

The feelings of borderline car sickness increase as you move from the front bucket seats to the back bench seat which rests above the rear wheels and shocks. The van cycles between acceleration and coast and over aggressive turns. On the less common straight patches of pavement, it swims down the lane like a migrating salmon. A huge bloated salmon, slowly flicking to the left and right rather than taking the direct path. People need a break, some need a bathroom. We spy a sandy beach on the bank of the river. It is part of a small state park with installed facilities. It appeared too quickly to turn off as we go by so we burn off some speed and pull a u-turn. Time for a dip.

We disembark. Pull bags out of the back in search of swimsuits. Some opt for underwear. I choose the obvious choice of body coverings. Flattering and hydrodynamic. Tight and black. My trusty Speedo. Its only flaw: non-alignment with my bib tan line investment. A price I will just have to pay. There isn’t a chance in hell I am not going to jump into this river after having been stuck in this stuffy van for most of the day.


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