This is taking me a lot longer to write than I thought it would, and I’m ready to move on. But there’s three more days in this crazy adventure.
I wish I had more to say about Spokane, but we didn’t really see much of the city. My uncle lives on the edge of town close to the Spokane River and when we got up the next morning, we didn’t spend any time there. Instead we went to Coeur d’Alene.
Coeur d’Alene is a nice little resort town on the very large Lake Coeur d’Alene. It’s smaller than I thought, and is sort of like Carmel, CA or Jacksole Hole. Or what I hear Aspen is like. We had lunch in Hayden, ID, which is probably most famous for kicking out the Aryan Nations group that tried to set up an HQ there.
After lunch we said our goodbyes and headed south. My uncle told us “You’ll enjoy driving through the Palouse, people come from all over the world to take photos there.”
I couldn’t imagine anything in Eastern Washington that anyone would go much out of their way to take photos of, but I was excited to drive down the 395. The 395 travels along the Eastern Sierra through California and is one of my favorite routes, so for whatever reason I assumed it would be cool here too.
But I’d never even heard of the Palouse (and I couldn’t even pronounce it when I saw it on the map- the answer is Pal-OOO-Say). Which made it an real treat when I got there.
I wish the photos we took could better convey what traveling through there was like, but they don’t. My wife said it best- it was like driving through an impressionist painting. Miles and miles of rolling hills of green and beige grasslands. At one point the road reached the top of a hill and I could see 360 degrees of horizon. The experience was pretty magical.
We drove a long way that day, eventually camping in John Day, Oregon. As always, the facilities were great. It seemed like every small town we drove through in Oregon there was a vibrant downtown. One even had a brew festival going on. It seemed like everyone we met in Oregon was very nice, especially the lady at Starbucks who filled up our tumbler with free coffee.
(I like big buttes and I cannot lie)
While we’re at it I like this prairie church photo that my wife took: