Okay, I have really been behind in my posts. I know there are some of you who are checking in almost daily. So I am going to try posting the most recent days and post previous days when I can.
We left Spokane around 9:00 in foggy weather. Before long we saw blue sky. Spokane is very close to the Idaho border, so we pulled off at a rest area as soon as we entered Idaho. The rest area was beautiful with cedars and other evergreens surrounding the building. We met Ron, the attendant who was kind enough to witness our crossing the border tradition.
One of the brochures that Ron gave us was Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park. We debated whether to take the time to stop since we were a bit concerned about the weather. When we saw it just off I-90, we knew that was a sign that we should check it out. It stands serenely on a hillside about 20 miles east of Coeur d’Alene. Catholic missionaries and the Coeur d’Alene Indian tribe jointly constructed it 1850-1853. The church is Idaho’s oldest standing building. The stone foundation was dug in the mountains half a mile away. Timbers and rafters were dragged by the Indians and put into place. It has been many things to many people over the years but now stands as a monument to the past.
Another brochure mentioned Wallace, ID. A Colonel Wallace, who purchased 80 acres of land that became the site of the present city, started the town. A fire in 1890 destroyed the entire business district of wood buildings. New brick buildings, most of which are still standing, were constructed. After 1900, it became the hub of one of the world’s richest mining districts. By 2011, the district had produced 1.3 billion ounces of silver. Silver, lead and zinc are still mined from the mountains. It was the kind of place in which we could have stayed for hours.
The climate and landscape changed dramatically as we crossed Lookout Pass and crossed the Montana border.
Then it was down the mountain to St. Regis where we had an unexpectedly good lunch of potato soup and salad. In fact, we had enough to pack up for dinner in the evening.
A couple in the restaurant suggested that we take the scenic route to Missoula instead of I-90. We learn so much from fellow travelers.
Tonight we are in the Best Western Grant Creek Inn. We have not been disappointed in the Best Western chain on this trip. Of course we had to celebrate the Montana state line crossing.
October 24, 2012