ONE OF THE REASONS I WAS INTERESTED IN ADAPTING THIS BICYCLE TOUR ROUTE as a virtual path across the continent for runners and walkers (cyclists too) to follow was it’s segments in the state of Montana. I was very taken by the story and scenes in the movie, “A River Runs Through It”, filmed in Montana (see discussion below) when I first saw it. I bought the DVD (that’s what we did in the old days) and read his other book “Young Men And Fire”.
I was at a pediatric pathology conference about 20 years ago and happened to be seated next to a famous researcher, part of the team that first identified the existence of yellow-streaked plaques of atherosclerosis in the aortas of young adolescents. The sad fact was driven home to me that, as often quoted by pathologists, autopsies “help the dead help the living”. These young people had died traumatically and were without evidence of cardiovascular disease when they tragically passed away. The autopsy findings from the large study established the silent origin of this deadly disease much earlier in life than was thought possible, and helped start the discussion about prevention in childhood.
This elegant elderly gentleman pathologist who headed the research was from the University of Chicago and related details of the study to me. I was inspired to help in some way with research into pediatric origins of adult disease. We also talked about other famous scholars who came out of this renowned institution. It happened that his office mate at one time was NORMAN MACCLEAN!!! (do you recall that Norman in the book went off to join the faculty U of C? It was an autobiographical novella). I will always remember that conversation; the accomplished pathologist telling me all about his famous humble friend who had died in 1990. There are more segments of the tour in Montana; see the movie and you’ll have an impression of what would be seen in reality on the tour.
SEGMENT MAPS WEEKS 4-6 (click here); all maps will be on the RESOURCES page
Wissler RW. USA multicenter study of the pathobiology of atherosclerosis in youth. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1991;623:26 –39 (PDF download if you are interested)
SEGMENT 7: Kooskia ID to Lolo MT
Lolo Pass, on the border between the states of Idaho and Montana elevation 5,233 feet (1,595 meters) is a mountain pass through the Bitterroot Range of the northern Rocky Mountains, approximately 40 miles (64 km) west-southwest of Missoula, Montana.
It’s the highest point of the historic 200 mile long Lolo Trail a national Historical Landmark that is part of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. The Trail was used by the Lewis and Clark Expeditions of 1805 and 1806 and runs between Lolo, MT and Weippe Prarie in Idaho (a bit north of Kooskia ID). That expedition was westbound. The Across America route is headed eastbound.
The segment route follows historic US Highway 12, which crosses the pass and winds along the Lochsa River (pronounced “lock-saw”). This river is considered to have one of the worlds’ best and most dangerous stretches of continuous whitewater. It runs within the Clearwater National Forest. Lolo Hot Springs is 7 miles (11 km) east of the pass in Montana.
SEGMENT 8: Lolo MT to Missoula MT
This is a short downhill segment from Lolo Pass into the town of Missoula, Montana, home of the state’s first public university, the University of Montana. The city lies near the convergence of two rivers and five mountain ranges and so is sometimes referred to as the “hub of five valleys”. If you’d like to know what life was like there early in the 20th century, you can read the 1976 book authored by Norman McClean “A River Runs Through It”. The 1992 movie version was filmed in Bozeman, Livingston and parts of Yellowstone, not Missoula.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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