Thursday, April 12, 2018

Day 5/6: McCall, ID

Par for this trip, we didn’t spend much time in McCall, but we really liked this little town!

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The kids loved their ice cream potato— vanilla ice cream rolled in cocoa, “split” with whipped cream. 

First, it was entirely charming in it’s architecture and tidiness, with the nicest RV park we’ve ever been to (McCall RV Park, for future reference). What they didn’t spend on creative nomenclature, they spent on the most beautiful natural stone-and-wood indoor pool and spa, and lodge. It’s nearly as good as Dwayne would have built with unlimited time and budget. The pool was made even more perfect by the blanket of snow we got overnight! Snowsuit to swimsuit to snowsuit and swimsuit, all in 24 hours.

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I was nervous about driving out through the snow in a rental RV, and secretly, I really wanted one more in this charming place, certainly our last chance for snow until next fall.  But we went on, for a night in Kennewick and then the last trek back home.  Sigh, I wish it had lasted a little longer with more downtime relaxing with the people that I do actually like, even after 7 days in a 32 food trailer. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Day 5: Search for Hot Springs

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“Mama, I love your squishy tummy!”  “Me,too,!” “Let’s find rocks to shove in her belly button.” “Here’s one!” “Squishy, squishy!” 20180411_162435

The one adventure that we promised the kids was to find hot springs in Idaho. A ghost town and snow and sun were on the “hope so” list, but hot springs were a must. Luckily, we stopped at the Visitors in Stanley at the end of Salmon River Scenic Drive.

 

The guy there knew of 5 within reasonable driving distance, but most recommended Pine Flats, so off we drove.20180411_152658

It was off season and no sign for hot springs, but we were armed with our secret knowledge and optimism.

Off we hike!

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By the time Dwayne caught up with us, the kids and I were already soaking in the first pool we came to, and Mama was not leaving her happy place.

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Pine Flats was recommended because the springs are on the top of a rocky hill, and basically turn into hot waterfalls, the water cooling to a manageable temperature further down the hill. 

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That poor bikini hadn’t seen the light of day since New Years.  It was happy to have found warmer water!

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Luckily, Dwayne wasn’t content with my happy place and he went off exploring the source.  Once he found it (it was too hot to touch!), he kept exploring until he found an even better spa—the only reason for me to leave my mud hole.  20180411_163430

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Intrepid spa-ers had used tarps and rocks to create the perfect pool—just barely below what a body can stand.

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I have no idea what eventually got me out of pool heaven.  Perhaps just being the mom and knowing we eventually had to find a place to camp and feed the children dinner. 

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Thanks, Pine Flats!  You were the highlight of my day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Day 4:

Hard to believe we drove over 300 miles today, after doing the math and realizing we need an extra day or more miles in a day. 

But it was not all work!  20180410_171725Crossing a particularly beautiful pass, we stopped for a family snowball….augh!!  To view mayhem, click here.20180410_171629

We ended up in Salmon, ID, that evening, about halfway through our destination goal of driving the Salmon River Scenic highway.

 

It’s truly beautiful, but remembering my own childhood, we only occasionally pointed that out to the kids and let them get back to their games.

We ended up in a trailer park (I’m not misnaming RV park) next to a cow field—which Piper loved—

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and several good climbing trees and neighbor kids equally feral as mine.

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Of all the places we went, this place was simultaneously the friendliest (we stayed up chatting and drinking with neighbors quite late) and most out of our comfort zone (uh, how often do I actually get to share life with people at completely different economic levels and life stories?).  It was both really cool and eye opening. 

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Day 3: Coeur d’Alene, ID

4-9 Couer d'Alene 6Dwayne and I always enjoy CDA, but this is the first time we’ve taken the kids.  Since we arrived late Sunday, we decided to stay a second night so that we could spend time in one of our favorite towns.

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First, we found RV parking near a great park, and we explored ourselves right onto a very popular trail. 

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Once we found an alcove for the kids to roll up their pants (after they fell in the water, of course, because that is Our Way) and play, Dwayne and I had nothing to do put find a sunny rock and play lizard.  Well, literate lizards, as I had a Mother Jones and he had a Father Phone.

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Mudgey the Moose and Millie the Mouse were new to Cd’A since we visited, and they staked out good spots all over town.

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Piper’s face speaks volumes about her relationship to sharing and siblings.

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Besides the galleries and excellent restaurants (we recommend Seasons and The Cedars Floating Restaurant), I really enjoyed the public art.  Best dandelion fluff ever.

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We didn’t get much time there, but we liked the RV park at Blackwell Island.  Just a handful of other campers, but the youngers enjoyed skeeter catching in the little pond, and I got a little Kyla time.

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Between the sun, beach time for the kids, great food, and lovely downtown, we were really glad to take extra time in this town and hope to come back!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Day 2pm: Dinner in Spokane

My niece is just a few weeks from graduating and we got to pick her up in the “limo” and spend a little time over dinner with Kara.

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It’s never a secret when Wesley’s had dessert….

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Thanks, Kara, for carving out time for us as you finish up your last term!  Love you!

Day 2 am

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Dwayne fixed the door easily so we had enough time to explore the river.

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One of Dwayne’s hidden talents is rock stacking, and I love that the kids are emulating him!

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Day 1: Cle Elum & Leavenworth

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The first day is always exciting, and we didn’t take advantage by booking across the state.  We 20180407_153742got to meet Papa Jim for brunch before traveling over to Leavenworth—a place the kids haven’t 20180407_154534seen without snow.  We got enough sun to get halfway through a long walk before the sky poured out.  Luckily, the  Gingerbread Factory is always open when we need it!  A little shopping, a little dinner, and then a little adventure. 

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The step was supposed to retract every time we closed the door; the manual said so.  The manual did NOT say what do when the step stopped retracting.  In a parking lot. At a rainy 9pm, a solid 3 hours after any useful stores closed.  Turns out you wrestle the pin out the mechanism and hold the steps in with a ratchet strap, for the rest of the trip.  So grateful I married a useful problem solver!

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