It’s time to see a new state! I just have that itch today. Today’s route runs right across the Idaho peninsula over into Montana then back into Idaho and staying in Spokane for the night. Total mileage is about average for the trip, right at 300. The weather looks great. We start out with plenty of sun and a cool 65 degrees. Summer here is definitely like fall back in San Francisco. Highs struggle to get to the mid 70’s.
Lake Coeur d’Alene has to be one of the prettiest lakes I’ve seen on this trip.
The 90 freeway runs right around the top of it about a thousand feet up. You can see the town and the marina from the freeway and it’s just really neat looking and the pics don’t do it justice at all. The next stop brings out the road geek in me. I-90 swings through a little town,Wallace, Idaho, just before heading into Montana. So what makes this town worth the stop for Dan? The traffic light in the pictures was the last light to be bypassed on the entire I-90 span from Logan Airport in Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington.
The chicken fingers were really good at the 1313 Club in town. One thing about small towns: everyone knows who does not belong… Fortunately this was a good thing here. The waitress rode herself, so we had a great conversation about the route ahead.
Heading into Montana was cool.
I was in big sky country! Actually the sky looked the same as it did over in Idaho, but we’ll say it’s bigger. There is a ton of space over here. I have the freeway to myself! The rumor is not true though, Montana does have speed limits. Actually, I’ve seen more police in Montana than in any other part of the trip: 7 cops in 150 miles! I’ve crossed into the Mountain Time Zone so it’s setting in that I am a long way from home. The first stop is the Silver Dollar Saloon in Ennis. They claim to have over $20,000 silver dollars on the walls of the place. By the looks of it, I’d believe them.
A short ways after that I leave the freeway and hit the two lane roads. The speed limit is 70 and all the roads have great sweepers and are well maintained.
The road winds along the Clark Fork River and through a couple of small towns. I stop in one of them and get a coke which would have been $1.50 in San Francisco, but it’s $0.99 here. Ain’t having a low cost of living great?
Upon arriving back in Idaho things slow down again… we’re back to 55. I make the trip around the east side of Lake Pend Oreille and on into Sandpoint. I stop in the Chevron to get gas and ask the clerk: "Where is the statue of Liberty?" He replies, "New York City." I then ask again, "No, the one here." He sends me off to the city beach and there she is, a miniature Lady Liberty in Sandpoint, Idaho.
At this point it was getting to be late in the day and it’s time to head back to Spokane. I can’t hit the freeway too early as the sun (I’m heading west) will kill my eyes. I catch the 90 heading west at 7:30 or so. With 50 miles to go my body is letting me know that it’s ready to get back. I’ve upgraded to the Hampton Inn over the Howard Johnson so I’m looking forward to a great night sleep. Besides the fact that the rent and SUV took half my parking space (if you’re going to drive a boat, drive it right), the Hampton did not disappoint!