Thursday, the 16th of July, 2009. Up at 7am, gone by 8:30. It’s Road Trip Time. The odometer reads 6929 and it’s 65F in West Seattle. The excitement of the past week can finally be released as we travel over the West Seattle Bridge and chat up a storm. After about an hour the adrenaline is out of the system and the reality of being on the road sets in. Ahhhh…..we’re really heading to Chicago.
Stop #1; Ginkgo Petrified Forest. It’s hot in Central Washington just off the Columbia River. And the forest is a bit disappointing to me. I’ve never visited before and was dismayed to find all the stumps are under large metal grates. Bummer. There was some excitement as we saw two trucks with large windmill blades pass by on the road below. It’s now that I find I share at least one thing in common with my new roadtripmates; that quirky penchant for alternative means of doing things. Good, I won’t be the only freak on the trip. 🙂
Winding our way East and slightly North on I-90 across Eastern Washington proves to be all we expected: hot, dry, uneventful. A short stop in Moses Lake to grab some lunch items and an interesting meeting with a gentleman off the exit for Sandpoint, Idaho (he had free poetry, we had an apple) before we are winding our way North to cooler country.
Our first of technology was just before Sable, ID. That’s where we thought our cabins were. But we had failed to print out any directions. So we set the Magellan GPS (lent to us from Magellan for the trip) to Sable, only to find nothing in town resembled the cabins. On to Kelly’s fancy internet connected Google Android powered phone! This thing is cool as it can tell us right where we are and that we are in fact, not at our cabins. We had failed to load street level maps on the Magellan before we left so it’s not as helpful as Google Maps.
Stepping out of the minivan at Sleeps Cabins along Pend O’Reille Lake we are met by one of the owners, Tawni, who exclaims “I’ve been following you!” You see, Kelly’s boyfriend Austin has created a rather cool map for this trip. And thanks to a satellite tracking device called SPOT, anyone on the Internet can e-stalk us! Scary to some, cool to us because it uses technology to communicate. We’re weird like that. Either way, the map can be found here if you’d like to follow along.
The cabins Tawni set us up in were adorable! Just the right amount of knickknacks and function to make them comfy. And they are right on the lake, with use of kayaks offered to us as well the possibility of a campfire on the lake later. Tawni and her husband Brent do a great job of keeping this family run business going with ample doses of charm and comfort.
After settling in and chatting with Brent on the dock about heading into Sandpoint (“My Daddy always told me, ‘Town is trouble'”) we explored around town until we nearly melted. Did I mention it got hot again? Sandpoint fed Pam and Kelly’s need for caffeine and if that keeps them happy, I’m happy.
Our main contact in town, and the one responsible for talking us into visiting Sandpoint, is Lisa Gerber. She’s done a great job of arranging the cabins and, around 6pm, she shows up to take us out on the lake. We met her, her husband Patrick and friends Steve and Julie on the Sleeps Cabins dock under cloudless skies and a slight breeze from the North. This group was a lot of fun to hang out with on the water. We puttered around the lake for a bit, noting the train bridge with steel dating back to 1888, watching sailboats struggle against a lack of wind and enjoying wine from Steve and Julie’s winery, Pend d’Oreille Winrey.
The remainder of the night was spent at 41N , a great restaurant on the lake with slow, but extremely helpful service. Really, slow didn’t matter, the chatter was jovial and the food was grand. Lisa, also known as Idaho PR Chick, treated us very well to the best first night on the road we could possibly imagine. Really. It was so wonderful to finally meet up with Lisa and her husband after a month of emailing/twittering and find we could converse on a range of topics as if we were age old friends. In this case, the internet really helped bring us all closer before we even met.