On the last post, I accidentally left out these pictures of Sawyer trying out the river and of me proving I am on
this trip too.
Morning broke and after breakfast and a trip to Walmart for more Cheerios, we headed to Gold’s Gym for a possible workout and a definite shower. We were disappointed (perhaps a stronger word would be better?) to learn that our Gold’s Gym passes may not travel as well as we were led to believe they would. We are checking into that. We all got cleaned up and got on the road heading west towards Coeur d’Alene. Tyson didn’t want to slow down for me to get a picture of the Welcome to Idaho sign, because we had already been welcomed to Idaho earlier in the trip. As Tyson drove, I made sandwiches for lunch for the two of us as Sawyer slept. When Sawyer woke up, we stopped at a pretty rest area and gave him his lunch.
It’s so nice, and a completely different travel experience, to have time to stop and see or do everything we want (well, as long as it’s free!). We keep the speedometer at 65 mph (better for fuel economy) and just enjoy the fact that we don’t have to reach any certain destinations by any certain points in time. I hope days the rest of the trip is as nice as days one, two, and three!
The stretch of road between Missoula and Coeur d’Alene was some of the most beautiful of our trip so far. Thick forests of evergreens embraced the road on both sides, and we crossed sparkling creeks and rivers with great regularity. A road sign advertised historic Wallace, Idaho, so we pulled off the freeway to take a look. Wallace, which bills itself the “Silver Capitol of the World” (haven’t I seen that assertion a time or two before?), is listed in its entirety on the National Historic Places register. As we drove down Main Street, a banner overhead proclaimed “World-Famous Last Stoplight, 2 Blocks Ahead!” Looking two blocks ahead, all we could see was a yellow flashing light – no stoplights anywhere in sight.
We missed our turn to get back on the freeway and ended up in front of a gift shop, so I ran inside to see if I could find out anything about this famous stoplight. No such luck, but I did find a postcard advertising the Oasis Bordello Museum. That sounded too unique to miss, so we headed back to the center of town to take a look. The Oasis Rooms brothel was in operation from 1895 until 1988, when it was raided by the FBI. I was pretty grossed out by the idea that this thing was still open a mere 20 years ago. The main floor of the red-brick building once housed a saloon. Now it is full of “artifacts” left behind in the bordello after the raid, and kitschy “soiled dove” related merchandise, like old west prostitute cookbooks. There’s something I thought I would never type! It cost $5 per person to take a guided tour of the upstairs and downstairs, which is where the intact bedrooms were located. No thanks!!!
From there we moved on to the railroad station museum, which was located in a fancy house at the edge of town. This museum only cost $2 per person, but that was still too rich for our blood – not to mention Sawyer was due for another nap. Getting on the road again, Sawyer went down for a nap and we wended our way through the mountains toward Lake Coeur d’Alene. Shout-out to my old friend Andrew Shaw (who I don’t think reads this blog) – I saw the turnoff for your hometown of St. Maries!
I don’t know if any of you have seen the movie Smoke Signals, but it is set in this area. Quirky show about Coeur d’Alene Indians. I recommend it. We didn’t stop in the Coeur d’Alene proper, but we enjoyed the view of the lake as we drove by. The state of Washington was calling our name(s), so we kept going.
Despite calling our name, the state of Washington neglected to welcome us with a cute sign. We only knew we had crossed the border when I saw a small sign that said “Entering Spokane County.” No picture, sorry!
We told our trusty Garmin GPS that we wanted to take a look at Gonzaga University, so it directed us to the campus. A couple other college campuses adjoined the area. We got out of our truck to explore campus. Gonzaga University was founded by Jesuit priests, and the campus includes a beautiful cathedral. Gonzaga is quite small, and the campus seemed about the size of Snow College in Ephraim. I think there was quite a bit we didn’t see, though. For me, Gonzaga’s claim to fame is as John Stockton’s alma mater.
As we left Gonzaga, I saw a place I wanted to return the next day if possible. Looks intriguing, doesn’t it?