Think of the possibilities! The economy boost. The jobs. The shopping! Many societal problems (and a lot of boredom) could be solved, if more towns would pick a theme and raise the charm bar. (Just my two cents.)
But I digress.....
Before Leavenworth, we spent a day on Mt. Rainier which, in my opinion, is a well kept secret. I say that because I grew up in the Pacific NW and I discovered it only a couple of years ago. I've been to Banff and Jasper in Alberta ... Yellowstone and Glacier in Wyoming and Montana, but little did I know that we had this breathtaking beauty practically in our backyard. It truly stacks right up there with its more famous counterparts. (Sorry, fellow Oregonians, it beats Hood.) That and the canyons surrounding it are .... WOW.
|It was startling each time I looked up from my phone-camera. It was just so big and right THERE.|
After Leavenworth, we went east to the always-lovely Coeur d'Alene, ID, which I am thoroughly sick of spelling. Every internet search or map inquiry creates mental stress trying to arrange the vowels and apostrophes. But it does roll off the tongue nicely, as most French words do. Google says it means "heart of the awl" ..... (?)
Husband had read of an area in eastern Washington called The Palouse. It's miles of rolling farmland, and it attracts photographers like cats to tuna. So we went down to check it out. It turned out to be a highlight. (Hint -- If you go, take off your sun glasses. The greens and yellows will pop even more.)
Have a look .... (Fresh out of Husband's camera.)
|(He got up reeeeealy early to get these shots.)|
|(Oh well. Gotta take the bad with the good.)|
Believe it or not, there were several shops selling quilts and fabric, antiques and gifts, and/or other knickknacks. Plus a few funky (in a good way) cafes, and a decent little grocery store. But, sadly, most of them are only open Thursday - Saturday, when we weren't there. Palouse (the town) didn't need a theme. It pulled it off with genuine character.
And then there was this treasure .... parked a short distance away. What do you think .... should we upgrade?
At the other end, he politely apologized for not informing us of that one rule (there were NO signs) and then made me erase my pictures. Oh well. Now I guess I won't be plotting any terrorist attacks on a federal dam. (Pictures taken from from outside the gates are okay. Honest.)
We crossed from left (in the photo) to right. Nice Official Man locked the gate behind us and, unsure where to go, we turned left heading upstream(?) along the river where the road soon dead-ended. Uh-oh. The dam gate was now closed and Nice Official Man was probably headed home. I had brief thoughts of spending a long night on the banks of the Snake River waiting for someone to escort us back across the dam the next morning. I even wondered if I could sleep with my helmet and gear on and whether it would protect me in case the river was named for reasons other than its curving shape. Probably not. And why would Nice Official Man NOT tell us the road didn't go through?? But fortunately the road going down river took us out of the ravine and back into more remote farmland where cell coverage continued to be non-existant, rendering us completely lost.
We finally came to a spot where we found enough signal to feed our phone maps and we eventually rolled into Lewiston, Idaho. By the time we got back to our motorhome, daylight was gone and it was cold. But it was a good day, even though we never found the waterfall. (Note to self -- Get a GPS device. Cell phones can get lost too.)
Next -- Glacier National Park, huckleberry pie, and beyond.