Here are my thoughts on the first few days of the trip (Vancouver to Boise):
-Beer + sweet friends + Phnom Penh + bowling + Troll 2 = one happy Pia.
-UTI? More like BOO-TI. See what I did there?
-Fourth of July in America is something to behold. Stars and stripes and red and white and blue and fireworks as far as the eye can see. It was actually really fun being there, even if it was hotter than hell and we were afraid to be outside for more than a few minutes at a time lest we melt into brown and white puddles.
After Boise, we headed towards Stanley, a tiny town (population 100) nestled among the Sawtooth mountains. We made it as far as Lowman, an even tinier town about an hour away. We lucked out and found a National Forest campsite that was right by the Salmon River. For the first time on this trip, we were nice and secluded, and we sat outside for a few hours, reading and relaxing. It was the first time on this main trip that I’d really felt truly peaceful – I finally managed to let go of all of insanity and stress of packing up and leaving that I’d been holding on to. It always takes me a while to adjust to new situations, and this was no exception.
The next morning, we made the short trip to Stanley:
We had all these grand plans involving hiking, river rafting, and possibly horseback riding, and then when we got there, it was just TOO DAMN HOT. We found a kind of crappy RV park and lounged around in the van for a few hours, feeling so overheated and apathetic. Finally, around six pm, I made the executive decision to drive all night! I had about three consecutive cups of coffee, and we hit the road, feeling slightly guilty about not spending much time in Stanley, but also knowing that we were happier moving on. Mark predicted that my idea of “driving all night” would translate into three to four hours, and he was almost right on the money. We ended up pulling into a little town called McCall and crashing at a Super 8 motel for some delicious sleep. Despite my overambitiousness, it was fun to do a bit of driving at night, because we’re normally finished by three or four in the afternoon. We caught a beautiful sunset:
Coeur d’Alene was up next – the third time in as many months that we’ve been there. We went for a short walk by the water, had a delicious dinner at a floating restaurant, and then crashed at another Super 8. I think we’re still catching up on sleep, because I can’t quite seem to get enough of it.
The next day, after performing some car-related duties (oil change, gas fill, power washing the hundreds of massacred bugs off the front grill) we drove through Sandpoint, a town where my family went once or twice growing up. It has a pretty lake and a pie restaurant that I remember fondly, so we stopped and had lunch there.
Then we decided to hit up Silverwood Theme Park – any Calgarians reading this have undoubtedly seen ads for this place since the late ‘80s. Dreams really can come true, you guys! I hadn’t been on a roller coaster in well over a decade, and man, was it ever terrifying. Mark and I were both emitting noises vaguely reminiscent of cats in a blender. We made it on four (!!!) roller coasters before retreating to the less intense rides. Still, I think we only went on about six before calling it quits. We found a perfect little RV/camping park and pulled in late at night, then ate cheese, crackers and salad in the van before hitting the sack. Fine dining! We had also eaten corn dogs at the amusement park, so yeah, we have pretty refined palates.
Yesterday was a catch-up-on-work/laundry/reorganization day, and it was perfect. We went for a small hike up to Myrtle Falls, but other than that just took it really easy.
I’m starting to realize the importance of days like that as well – we had been moving pretty fast for the last few weeks and it was so nice to be able to stay in one spot and not feel the need to go out and see the sights (like we often feel in major cities). We made some spaghetti for dinner and after eating, walked over to our neighbours’ campsite where they were having a little fire. It was so nice to talk to some outside company (er…that sounds meaner than I intend it to be. We’re still totally in love!) and hear about other people’s lives. We got lots of great recommendations from a family who have been all over the US, and also advice on what to ignore (Delaware), and we were both so glad we went over. Sometimes it can be so tempting to hole up in the van and just rely on each other for company, and both of us really want to avoid falling into that routine. I mean, I’m obviously an amazingly witty conversationalist, but there’s a limit to how much Mark will listen to me blather on about pie.
Anyway, all in all, a much nicer few days than the beginning of the trip. Tonight we’re in Radium Hot Springs and going to go for a late-night dip, and then we head to Calgary. During Stampede. Will prairie oysters be consumed? Tune in next time to find out…(Answer: Yes, by Mark.)