Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day Sixteen: Three States in One Day

... And only a few blurry photos were taken. So, I apologise, today's entry will be somewhat dull.

Tim's leg is mostly better today. It had me worried for a while there - if he was unable to drive then we would be effectively stranded - I would have to learn to drive automatic and get used to the wrong side (or right side, as the case actually is) of the road awfully fast. One of the advantages of today is that we get back that hour that we lost down in Utah, so we can sleep in a little. We've a six hour drive ahead of us, leaving Montana, crossing Idaho and finishing up in Washington state.

Big (Grey) Sky (sorry about the dirty windshield)

After Bozeman, Montana is flattish with rolling hills and straight roads. Unlike Wyoming, the grass is a lush green, the mountains indigo blue and the sky grey-white. There are a lot of gulls, and a great grey heron takes flight from the centre strip of the freeway. I spot my first, and only white, pelican in a pond by the roadside. After a time, it stops being quite so flat.

Missoula is an attractive city set amongst the cloud-enshrouded mountains. We lunch at Liquid Planet where I have a delicious spiced chocolate drink and a yummy vege burrito. We finish up by splitting a piece of pumpkin cake. I shall have to find the recipe.

Entering the Idaho "spoon handle" the roads get abruptly steeper and shabbier. Idaho is full of pine trees, the road cutting through them on a raised viaduct that makes it feel rather like being on a race track.

Couer d'Alene is the only place we stop in Idaho, grabbing milkshakes from an on-street diner. It is a picturesque city on the shores of a large lake. Raised flowerpots adorn the street setttings and there are a number of statures - moose are prevalent, but also several giant and very detailed feathers. Alas, their positioning in the middle of the road makes it impossible to photograph them.

Not far away and just across the Washington border, is Spokane, a creeping city that we mostly drive past before taking one of the last exits. The drive to Suncrest is relatively pleasant, taking us along the river and into the suburban countryside. Having been alerted to our imminent arrival (from Coeur d'Alene), Pam and her husband, Gene are waiting on the front porch with their adorable dog, Bandit. They also have an enormous cat, a maine coon, called Max. They are both lovely people, and we spend a pleasant evening with them. Steak and chips for dinner, delicious ice cream for dessert, Pam gives me a tour of her art studio (all these artistic people with their basement or garage studios - I am jealous) and Tim shows off his ipad. I manage to stay up until 11pm, and alas allow myself to be tempted into a glass of red wine. Tim fades out around 10pm. It must be rough for him - getting up earlier than usual and driving such long distances that require so much concentration.

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