We left Bend and ventured north into Washington. We wanted to check out the Columbia River Gorge area and the whole of Hwy. 84 along the river, but places to stay were limited from what we could find, so we ended up in Benton City in the Tri-Cities area (Kennewick area). We found we had landed in a serious “wine country” area, vineyards and wineries EVERYWHERE. We visited Yakima while we were there, it did not make an impression on us. In West Richland we found a Mt. Badger trail to hike up the mountain and it gave us a good view of the Tri-Cities area. Overall, we blew town with no interest in going back.
Some of the Tri-Cities area from Mt. Badger
Coeur d’Alene area was next stop. We stayed just west of town in a town called Post Falls. It gave us the opportunity to hit both Coeur d’Alene and Spokane from one stop. But first stop was to check out the namesake for the town we were staying in. Post Falls was a strangely configured dam with water attacking from two sides. It looked angry as the churning water frothed rabidly (oh man, who let this author stay awake in Descriptive Literature class?!) Still, very picturesque…
Post Falls, Idaho
Just below the falls at Post Falls
Jeanne chasing the rainbow at Post Falls…
Spokane has a large park along the Spokane River, the Riverfront Park, on the site of the 1974 World’s Fair Expo. Trails through the park lead to the Spokane Falls, another spectacular waterfall. The park features a LARGE Radio Flyer red wagon that is a slide for the little ones, that was kind of a “throw back” to yesteryear. But again, like most big cities, a nice family park just has to have groups of unbathed, tattooed, multi-pierced oddities sitting and laying about, trying their best to ruin the family atmosphere for all.
The clock tower at Riverfront Park
A very LARGE Radio Flyer…
Another shot of the clock tower
This was the framework for a tent during the Expo
The Spokane River above the falls
Spokane River is an angry river
Another angle of Spokane Falls
The town of Coeur d’Alene sits right on Coeur d’Alene Lake. It’s not a large town, relatively speaking, but it was laid out nicely and pleasant to walk around. The weather was not exactly perfect while we were there, we got some rain. There were some pretty impressive boats parked in the marina, we may have to move on from a motorhome and toad to a houseboat/yacht on the lake…
Coeur d’Alene Lake
The marina at Coeur d’Alene Lake
We shot up north to Sandpoint, Idaho while in the neighborhood. It is a small town on Lake Pend Oreille, it had a “Back to the Future” feel about it. We ate lunch at Mick Duff’s brewpub, as did just about everybody else (it seemed that way, anyway.) This was a nice area as well, but I could not survive the snow/cold in the dead of winter to live here full time.
Time to keep moving, we moved over to Missoula, Montana for a couple of days to coordinate a service appointment for the bus to address some minor issues found during the “honeymoon phase” of motorhome ownership. It is a bit frustrating trying to find Tiffin service facilities, then getting in in a timely manner as full time RVers, then having to deal with paying for the repairs up front (it seems, at least in this neck of the woods that many service facilities do this as their policy) and getting reimbursed by Tiffin under the warranty. But we got arranged for an appointment later in June, then headed down south and back into Idaho, specifically North Fork, Idaho near Salmon Idaho.
We stayed for a week at a small place right on the Salmon River, the Rivers Fork Lodge and RV Park. It was nice to be parked right on the river, the views were great. We were at the intersection of the Salmon River and the North Fork Salmon River and the water was scootin’ right along. This area is big on Spring fishing, Summer whitewater rafting, and Fall fishing, as well as localized hunting. During our stay we got to see a lot of the local denizen, aka elk, deer, mountain goats, bald eagles, and golden eagles. We took a drive up Salmon River canyon to the dead end at Corn Creek. That took us through the megalopolis of Shoup, Idaho, population 1 family! That drive was very scenic and the river was raging high. The whole of the area was part of the Lewis & Clark expedition’s trail where they were seeking a navigable waterway to the Pacific Ocean. Apparently, the river rages ALL THE TIME, even back then (1805-ish), and they determined it was too rough. This part of the Salmon River is known as “the river of no return”. It got that name later as potential settlers, miners, etc. floated their possessions/provisions down the river on boats/rafts/barges to their desired locations, off-loaded everything, then dismantled the conveyance and used the wood for building materials because the boats could not return up river.
Home at River’s Fork Lodge
Salmon River Canyon
A fixer-upper along the Salmon River
Scene from the Salmon River
A whitewater rafting couple on the Salmon River
A waterfall along the Salmon River
Beautiful downtown Shoup, Idaho
On a Sunday we ran into Salmon, Idaho, population 3K +/-, but found much of it closed, including the main grocery store. Sundays are not good days to find yourself needing “stuff” in Salmon, Idaho…It was another scenic drive to get there, traveling along Hwy. 93, we followed along the river and saw some interesting mountain formations.
Red Rock between Salmon and North Fork
More of Red Rock…
Well, we have a couple more days here, then it will be time to inch closer to Yellowstone. We are still holding out to see a moose and/or a bear. Stay tuned, “same bat time, same bat channel”…