Day 17: Wednesday, July 8, 1981
Missoula to Florence: 20 miles
This was supposed to be a rest day for us, but we ended up running all around town to catch up on things that needed to be done. We visited Braxton's cycle shop and stocked up on spare tubes and spokes and other parts, and I decided to buy a new tent, since the orange Eureka I had had for the past seven years was a little leaky. It had cost $70, but I ended up paying $250 for the new one, a Marmot. It's a good one, with a Gore-Tex top instead of a fly, and weighs only three pounds. Then a $50 visit to the doctor - a rash on my leg turned out to be a fungus which I probably caught from Cat (my cat).
It was almost six in the evening by the time we got everything together and headed out of Missoula. We backtracked down US 93 to Lolo, then continued south. After having covered only 20 miles, we set up camp for the night. Florence is just a wide spot in the road. We camped along the Bitterroot River, among mosquitoes so thick it was unbearable. Some fishermen gave us their catch - three trout - for supper. And on top of that, they even cleaned the fish for us! They were delicious.
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