Day 12: Portand, Oregon to Wallace, Idaho

Trip Start Jul 29, 2007
Trip End Aug 18, 2007

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Day 12: Portand, Oregon to ???????

OK, starting right off the top with trivia: where are we? Don't look to the pin, for while we did stop in Coeur d'Alene (more below), we went further. Tomorrow we will update the pin.

Here are your hints: On a billboard, this location proclaimed itself "the center of the universe." When checking in at our hotel we asked what that meant. The reply? "Well honey, because it is."

OK, need another hint? It's also the self-proclaimed silver capital of the world.

More details to come on today, tomorrow. Until then, enjoy the pictures. Be sure to check back on this entry.

UPDATED entry:
Day 12: Portland, Oregon to Wallace, Idaho

Miles covered: 439
States covered: Oregon, Washington, Idaho
Highlight: Columbia River Gorge; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Weather: Overcast until mid-Gorge, then sunny and hot
Abby meltdown: probably 1, but writing this a day later, we can't remember for sure (which is probably a good thing)
Stay over: Wallace Inn, Wallace Idaho (The self-appointed center of the Universe)
Misc: stuck in Spokane traffic behind a pick-up w/ a bumpersticker that read: "Keep honking, I'm reloading"

Answers to Portland Trivia Questions: 1) If the flip had gone the other way, Portland would have been named Boston; 2) Portland claims to be home to the largest and smallest (it allegedly fits in wheel barrel) parks in the country (Sean tells us that Oregon is big on superlatives; 3) Portland's official ambassadors are the Royal Rosarians.

With our clothes washed and all of us rested (special thanks to Suzanne and Sean for their hospitality) we left Portland and our friends with some sadness, starting the long journey back East.

We left Portland and drove out along the beautiful Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area (which Paul notes while run by the US Forest Service, not the NPS, had some pretty cool stamps). We stopped at the picturesque Multnomah Falls (Oregon's tallest) for a walk around. It was overcast at this point, but then we escaped the clouds and had beautiful weather as we drove along the Gorge. Apparently the Gorge is a world-class kiteboarding/windsurfing location and we definitely saw the winds whipping up the river.

We made other quick stops in Hood River and The Dalles and then crossed over into Washington (State #12 of the trip, Abby's 16th) for a stop at "Stonehenge" in Maryhill, WA. The replica of a standing Stonehenge was built, oddly enough, as a memorial to Klickitat County Washington World War I veterans. From Stonehenge we had a great view up the Gorge and our only glimpse of a semi-clouded over Mt. Hood in the background. From there we headed into a strange desolate desert stretch of Eastern Washington -- there is literally nothing out there for miles. We did enjoy the strong smell of the Walla Walla onions growing in the area while dreaming of Burgerville onion rings. We were pretty surprised after driving through miles of nothing to run smack into a full stop traffic jam at 5:15 p.m. in Spokane, WA - who could have anticipated that one?

Passing back into Idaho - this time Northern Idaho -- for a short stretch, we stopped in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho for a walk around the lake and town. Ann had been there years ago and remembered it fondly as a beautiful lake town. We had a pleasant surprise when we stopped for a quick dinner at Ann's new favorite spot, the "Pita Pit" This is a chain with its "National Headquarters" in Coeur d' Alene. Imagine Chipotle, style fast casual dining but with Pitas and a wide assortment of offerings. We were the oldest ones in the Pit for some period of time, but that didn't put a damper on our enjoyment of the new find. Apparently they have 2 in Maryland so we will have to go when we get back - anyone interested on going in on a franchise with us can contact Ann.

We tried to stop for the night but we were told by one particularly crabby motel attendant that the "whole town was booked, you will have to go to Spokane." Since we had no desire to return West or to the traffic horrors of Spokane we forged on. We were going to cannon ball it 140 miles to Missoula, but when all calls indicated another Provo, UT full hotel situation on the horizon in Missoula we ended up staying at the last available room at the Wallace Inn in the self-proclaimed "Center of the Universe" and the Silver Capital of the World, Wallace, ID.
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allobr on

Re: Coeur d'Alene Tri
Yes, it is coming up next week. We saw a lot of Ironmen and Ironwomen trainees hanging out at Java on Sherman coffee shop when Ann stopped in (a spot we had to hit since it was recommended by the Road Food book Sean and Suzanne gave us). This is quite a coincidence since we were also on the Big Island last year just before the Ironman there. Andy - if you do an Ironman in Idaho or Hawaii, you can count on us to be there to cheer you on!

allobr on

Re: Wallace
Good guess on Glacier -- but it is just too big to try to get up there and do it justice and then get back on our way East in time. Same with Yosemite. It really pained Paul to get so close to both of these great parks and have to skip them, but we would need a month more at least to even come close to doing all the big parks -- so, we will have to come back to both. No border crossings for won't be disappointed with our weekend locations...

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