After three days of driving, I arrived back home in Redmond around 4:00 PM. The first couple of hours today, from Missoula to Coeur d’Alene, were the most spectacular of the trip. I passed through mountains and valleys with rushing streams. I could easily envision folks fly fishing in those streams catching big fish. After what seems like an eternal drop from the Idaho/Montana boarder, I came upon Lake Coeur d’Alene. While I didn’t stop, even from the interstate it was easy to see the size and natural beauty of the lake. After passing the lake, the approximately 30m drive to Spokane was like a torture. It is amazing how quickly one passes from the most scenic part of the trip into the most ugly. Between Coeur d’Alene and Spokane are a bunch of strip malls, burned out areas and nothing nice to see. The contrast is shocking.
I’ve driven the trek across Washington before. Heading west, the first few hours are pretty dull. As seen in the photos, the Columbia river valley is very nice. Crossing the pass into western Washington is always spectacular. I was fortunate; the weather was pretty nice. It was cloudy most of the day, so I didn’t have to use the AC, but it only sprinkled a couple of times. It wasn’t raining as I climbed the mountains toward the pass. It rained a bit on the downhill drive on the other side, but going down hill is much easier!
The car and I made the journey without incident. Most of the 2000+ miles traveled were without radio coverage, so I was very happy to be able to stream music from my phone to the car stereo to help pass the time. After over 30 hours of driving in the past three days, I pulled into the driveway of my empty house. I got out of the car and simply walked around for a while. It felt so nice to not be driving. After a bit Mari and Joanie got home. It was great to see them! Since Molly has plans tonight, I have to wait until tomorrow to see her.