Downhill through Idaho to Washington
A shot of the faithful bike overlooking the mighty Columbia River in Washington State. That's where we stopped for today, in a little place called Coulee City, just upriver from the Grand Coulee Dam.
Our day started back in Missoula, Montana, mentioned in Jimmy Buffet's song "Miss you so badly." Other than that, I'm not sure that Missoula has another claim to fame... except that their McDonald's is a casino.
Rode out and had nice, cool, 56 degree weather this morning. Took a short break at the riverside village of St. Regis, where they boast "Montana's Largest Trading Post and Gift Shop." They have a trout aquarium there, too...sort of like going to Bass Pro Shop.
They also boast that their huckleberry milkshake is the "Best. Shake. Ever."
That sounded sinfully braggadocious, so I stopped to see if it was true. It's not my style to back away from a challenge and this one seemed to have my name written all over it.
It doesn't beat the Chick-fil-A peach milkshake...but it's not bad...at all.
Then it was across the state line one into panhandle of Idaho.
I stopped midday there for a bite of lunch near the beautiful Cour d'Alene Lake.
Found a cool little spot called the Relic Smokehouse and pub.
Sounded perfect. While there I met fellow bikers, Jeff and Kim, from Wisconsin, and we shared a table.
The Smokehouse is conveniently situated right next to the Wicked Buffalo, a "five star dive."
Another challenge. It was a quiet afternoon so just a couple of the local guys were there hanging out and we had a nice conversation. I learned that the tradition in the Wicked Buffalo is to climb up on the bar and kiss the big, stuffed buffalo head. I passed. I've been gone from home, granted, but not THAT long.
Then it was across miles and miles of wheat fields to the Grand Coulee Dam.
The dam was constructed on the Columbia River back during the Roosevelt-Truman adminstration. It can light up the towns of Portland and Seattle with only one of its three plants.
A marvel of American engineering.
Then it was on to Coulee City for the night. They have three or four fifties-vintage lodge-campgrounds here. I chose the luxurious Banks Lake Lodge.
They have one restaurant in town called the Last Stand.
There I met with some of the sweetest people I've met yet on this trip. All of them are from around here, this tiny little dying town. None of them could have been any nicer to me. All of them support what I'm trying to do.
Tomorrow, Seattle...Lord willing.
Who have you shared my post with?