I'm back with the second installment of my "what I did on summer vacation" wrap up that is quite a bit overdue. If you'll recall from last week, we landed in Spokane, Washington late one evening, took a walk along the river, grabbed a nice meal, and headed back to the hotel for some rest.
We woke up refreshed and ready for a little adventure. We headed down the road from Spokane towards Coeur d'Alene. Along the way, was a sign advertising Mt. Spokane. There was a brief..."What do you think?"...followed by three..."I'm up for anythings."...and boom-presto we were off towards Mt. Spokane.
Now, I'm usually an "it's all about the journey" kind of girl...but I have to say that I was glad for the journey to be done and to reach the top of the mountain (although...the entire time we were up there I did have that niggling reminder that what goes up, does have to come down). The drive up Mt. Spokane is twisty, a little narrow in places, and lacking guard rails in a few places. I got most disoriented when the car was at an angle that appeared as if we were launching into the sky rather than driving on a road (no horizon in sight = Kara
a little very dizzy). My friends Chuck and Cherry Kay did an excellent job of handling the driving and I just sat in the back of the car wishing I'd had an opportunity to take a Lamaze class at some point in my life so I could have learned the breathing technique. Instead, I just left nail marks in the door handle.
Once you do reach the top (or at least near the top...I do think the road continued a bit farther than what we actually went) the view was SPECTACULAR!!! I'm not a good enough photographer to do this view justice. I'm okay with that. I'm happy knowing I got to stand atop the mountain and look out over that beautiful view and breathe the mountain air. (You might recall the photo above from this post last week.)
There was a small wood and stone building at this little viewing area. The area also had a ski lift coming right up to it so there is probably a way to get to the view without doing the winding road. However, I think I'd take the lift both ways as all four trails clearly in view from that point were black diamond. In the winter though, I think the view would be equally as spectacular.
After making our way back down Mt. Spokane we continued on to Coeur d'Alene. Large metal animals (with even larger price tags) dot the streets of this artsy little town. The big draw in Coeur d'Alene is the beautiful, large lake in town (more on that in a couple of weeks as we wrap up the series on my summer vacation.) As with a lot of tourist towns though there were unique galleries, shops and eateries.
This adirondack style chair was located outside of one of the shops. The back and side supports are fashioned from old skis. I took the photo to give to my brother who is an outstanding wood worker (you can see a little of his handiwork in this post). I thought he might find some inspiration in it.
As we headed back to the car on our way to the hotel, we came across this little park, which held one of my favorite things to see from the trip. In the park was the gorgeous wall of portraits you see below. The sign pictured above talked about the project - Portrait of a Town. Each person's photo on the sign (shown above) had a QR code underneath it so you could scan and read more. It was a great display and a wonderful idea.
I was a little obsessed with metal animal photos on this trip. I realized a bit too late that all the different moose along the various sidewalks also had a mouse as a passenger. I did get a good capture of this one. They were part of a kids map series...note to self...be more observant next time as I thought all these guys were really cute after I realized they were all different and the position of the mouse was quite cute sometimes.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Coeur d'Alene. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend this hotel (and not just because my friend Diana's daughter, Heather, works for the company that owns the hotel - in fact I ran into her while we were there which was an awesome coincidence). When a hotel has, as its customer service manager, a dog named Dodger...you know it's going to be my kind of place. Dodger was available to hang out in guests' rooms as well...and he waited to be invited onto the bed, although once invited he seemed hard-pressed to sleep on the floor.
So that wraps up Day One in Coeur d'Alene. I'll be back next Wednesday with our (very) quick jaunt into Canada.
I'm wondering this week...do you share reviews of places you've stayed, eaten, or visited when you travel? I've been sharing at TripAdvisor for a while...just wondering if others like sharing trip reviews on sites like that or just on your blog?
Maybe I just don't do Wordless? Nonetheless, I'm hooking up with Better in Bulk's Wordless Wednesday this week.