Now that I have mostly all my gear at hand I guess I need to start packing it all in and see how it fits. I have front and backs, so maybe I'm ok with space??? Maybe!
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It's a long walk from CA to TN and back to save a few $ on gas. I'm not sure it's an appropriate comparison to the OP's situation.The comparison was apt. When you need the item and don't have the time to shop around or access to a lower price you pay the going price. The OP was away from his home LBS and needed the lock right then like I needed gas in CA. The fact it was available at as lower price elsewhere (like my TN gas) meant nothing at the time since it wasn't practical to get it at that price.
You pay the going rate if you don't have the time or ability to shop competitively. Last October we paid $4.00/gallon for regular gas in California while it was only $1.78/gallon in Tennessee. However, since I needed to fill the car right then, I couldn't wait to take advantage of the potentially lower cost.
I've tried in with luck in the SW part of the state (Wisdom, Anaconda, Ennis, Twin Bridges, Dillon). I keep coming up with loops on paved roads that are in the 110 to 120 range. Hopefully someone with more intimate knowledge will chime in.
BTW...Are you planning to fish Rock Creek at all? I did Rock Creek Rd. (mostly unpaved) as part of Missoula loop tour in 2011 and really loved it. Later that fall I discovered that a local guy I sometimes ride and hike with has fished it. Have plans to ride the road again this June.