West 2021:
Day 9 - Steamboat Rock State Park, WA


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West 2021: [Day 1 - OakdaleI] [Day 2 - Fargo] [Day 3 - Beaver Lake] [Day 4 - Bismarck] [Day 5 - Little Missouri] [Day 6 - Miles City] [Day 7 - Billings] [Day 8 - Missoula] [Day 9 - Steamboat Rock] [Day 10 - Bay View] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Seattle] [Day 13 - Seattle] [Day 14 - Millersvania] [Day 15 - Yakima River Canyon] [Day 16 - Farewell Bend] [Day 17 - Bruneau Dunes] [Day 18 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 19 - Grand Tetons] [Day 20 - Buffalo Bill] [Day 21 - Buffalo] [Day 22 - Badlands] [Day 23 - Jordan] [Day 24 - Trempealeau] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

Tuesday, May 11, 2021: Our bunny friends were back the next morning, along with a third one not shown here.
After having leftover Carbone's pizza for breakfast, we were on the road before 7:00 AM, heading to the unincorporated town of Schilling, Montana.
We never actually found it. We just saw this unidentified large factory/utility thingie where Schilling was supposed to be. Disappointing.
But coming this way instead of getting on the freeway right away meant that we got to see fields of ice and water. On the left in this picture is the ice and icicles caused by the sprinkler system which has since been moved to the right. Cool.
We followed the Clark Fork for a while.
In this valley, clouds hung low over where the Clark Fork was.
Pretty scenery.
We said goodbye to the Clark Fork River as it headed north at St. Regis.
A transport driver was towing this brand new trailer from Elkhart, Indiana. We spent quite a bit of time trying to calculate how many hundreds of drivers were on the nation's highways this very minute driving RVs to RV dealers.
Welcome to Idaho, The Ocho! This was its 26th state.
In the skinny part of Idaho, it's almost all mountains. We stopped at an overlook that welcomed us to the Silver Valley.
We learned that we were on the Purple Heart Trail, once again.
We drove through historic Wallace, Idaho, known for its nice architecture.
Check out that sign next to this building that says "Center of the Universe."
Ride 'em cowboy!
The Stardust Motel sign comes with its own UFO.
Even though the downtown is the star of the show, we were impressed by the neighborhoods as well, where every single home and garden seemed to be kept in impeccable condition.
Another cool building, ...
... and the coolest one of all.
Being welcomed to the Silver Valley reminded Debbie to look up Sunshine Mining, the company that produced the silver bars we have. (Don't rob us. We don't have that many and they're impossible to find in our house. Thanks.) We learned that not only were we very close to Sunshine Mining (which is back in this valley), ...
... there was a monument right next to the highway.
It commemorates the Sunshine Mining disaster of 1972 when a fire swept through the mine, killing 91 miners.
We were now following the Coeur d'Alene River.
We passed the Cataldo Mission National Historic Landmark. We were too early in the day to visit it but we got a picture of it from a distance as we flew by on the highway.
Pretty scenery.
Oh, no, not another pretty Adopt-a-Highway sign to be photographed. This has got to stop.
Debbie already objected to generic Wildlife Crossing signs, but we aren't sure that Game Crossing is any better.
We got our first glimpse of Lake Coeur d'Alene.
We had missed getting a sign of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest sign, so this one will have to do.
We drove along the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene to this historical marker, ...
... so we could get a closer photo of Lake Coeur d'Alene.
All of the flowering trees were in full bloom.
Welcome to Washington! It's The Ocho's 27th state.
We had lots of touring planned for Spokane, starting with one of the locations of Mary Lou's Milk Bottle.
On our quest to find parking on an island surrounded by construction, we passed these naked runner statues. A few had been partially covered up with t-shirts.
We crossed over Monroe Street Bridge which gave us the briefest view of the Lower Falls of the Spokane River. We'd be getting a much better view of it later.
After a bit of searching, we finally found parking on a surface lot near Riverfront Park. Our first stop was to see Spokane's Garbage Goat sculpture.
We crossed a pedestrian bridge to get further into the park. A pair of Canadian geese watched us warily.
This is the Great Northern Clocktower.
This park was originally developed for Expo '74 as the Plaza of Nations. Clockwise from the top, the nations listed are: Republic of China, Japan, Iran, Federal Republic of Germany, Canada, Australia, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Korea. Quite a bit has changed politically since 1974.
Here's a cool fish sculpture.
Nope, not collecting pictures of interesting bike racks. Definitely not doing that.
Here's a partial view of the Upper Falls of the Spokane River.
We went onto this foot bridge ...
... to get this view of the Upper Falls.
Here's the view looking downstream toward the top of the Lower Falls.
The historic Washington Water Power building oversees it all.
This sign told us about the Great Fire of 1889, which destroyed three quarters of the Spokane business district.
Up the river a bit is the United States Pavilion from Expo '74. It is a wonder to behold, with walkways leading up to the center of the pavilion.
From the highest point of the walkway, you can look up at the magnificent wire net above, which lights up at night.
Here's the view from the walkway toward the river ...
... and toward downtown.
Here's the view of the whole thing from the back of the structure.
This plaque is all that remains of the Pavilion of the USSR from Expo '74.
The large white building on the left is the First Interstate Center for the Arts.
This is a sculpture of Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson, who died in the Columbia space shuttle explosion in 2003.
This beautiful sculpture is based on a Japanese lantern and lights up at night.
This cool 1976 sculpture is titled "Moon Crater."
This large honeysuckle bush reminded Debbie of the one in her front garden when she was a child in Seattle.
Speaking of children, who can resist a red Radio Flyer? Especially when it is large enough that the handle is a slide?
These two sculptures were nearby.
We headed to the Numerica SkyRide since it had finally opened at 11:00 AM.
It was a not-quite-20 minute ride off the edge of the park.
The ride stopped every couple of minutes to give each car a few extra minutes of time to see the sights.
We started to get a nice view of the lower falls ...
... as we descended to the level of the river below the falls.
Pretty rainbow!
We got a chance to see just how huge the Monroe Street Bridge was as we neared its base.
Time to turn around!
And we're turned around, ready to go back up.
There's the highlight of the ride - a closeup view of the Lower Falls of the Spokane River from a viewpoint you can't get any other way.
So pretty.
We were sad to see the ride end.
We passed this cool sculpture on our way back to ...
... our beautiful but tiny RV.
We drove past Gonzaga University, which we had only recently learned was located in Spokane.
Next, we headed north to see the second location of Mary Lou's Milk Bottle.
Lunch was at Zip's Drive-In. As always, we look for local fast food chains to spend our Hoosier dollars.
Their fry sauce was the best we had tried so far. Their fish was amazing and that rectangular burger Tom tried (The Wrangler) was the most interestingly-shaped burger we've seen. When we finished lunch, we headed out of town.
Oh, my, yet another pretty Adopt-A-Highway sign. This is starting to look like a collection.
We were driving through eastern Washington. After driving through mountains, it was very soothing to see gently rolling fields of beige, ...
... lighter beige, and green.
We discovered that what looked like a fire in the distance was actually a huge, impressive dust devil. The orange at the base of it looks like fire but it wasn't.
Here's another one forming.
We stopped at a rest area to through out some trash when we spotted another funnel. It was invisible except for the swirling pattern it made on the grass and the tumbleweeds it was lifting off the ground.
Debbie got out to photograph it and got to feel the wind as it passed by her. Here's one of the tumbleweeds caught in the wind funnel.
This one went flying high into the sky.
Here are a pair of dust devils in the distance.
Some of the landscape showed signs of ancient lava flows.
While getting ready to photograph bright golden fields, Debbie spotted a bald eagle soaring.
These bright plants are rapeseed/canola crops.
We entered the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, but only got a picture of the sign from a distance looking back.
Here is Lake Roosevelt and dam that created it: Grand Coulee Dam. We'll get a closer look soon.
But first, time for gas and clean windows!
We went to an overlook to see Grand Coulee Dam. There it is, ...
... and there's the view to the right of the lake behind it.
What's this? A geodetic benchmark survey marker? Cool!
Next to the overlook is a monument to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who helped turn the vision of the Grand Coulee Dam into a reality.
We didn't have far to go to get to our next campsite. We followed Banks Lake and sometimes drove right across it.
A coyote crossed the road in front of us and we got a blurry picture of him up the hill as we passed him.
We were heading to Steamboat Rock State Park, which was right across the water from us. That's Steamboat Rock and Devil's Punchbowl is the indentation in the center.
We arrived at the state park, ...
... and passed one developed campground and this campground under construction before arriving at ours.
We had a great campsite with a distant view of the water from our screen door, ...
... and a better view of the water from the screen door in the back of our rig.
After a delicious dinner of freeze-dried spaghetti and meat sauce, one of our favorites, ...
... we closed up The Ocho and went for a short walk.
We passed pretty bluebonnets.
Debbie remembers seeing this plant on past camping trips. She and her brother called them tinkertoy plants because the stems came apart and could be put back together again.
Here's the pretty view across the water to the south ...
... and toward the east.
We were there.
We walked back to our campground where Tom read and Debbie worked on her laptop, then we went to bed early.
However, our neighbors did not and were still going after midnight. Ah, the joys of camping.

Day 10 >


West 2021: [Day 1 - OakdaleI] [Day 2 - Fargo] [Day 3 - Beaver Lake] [Day 4 - Bismarck] [Day 5 - Little Missouri] [Day 6 - Miles City] [Day 7 - Billings] [Day 8 - Missoula] [Day 9 - Steamboat Rock] [Day 10 - Bay View] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Seattle] [Day 13 - Seattle] [Day 14 - Millersvania] [Day 15 - Yakima River Canyon] [Day 16 - Farewell Bend] [Day 17 - Bruneau Dunes] [Day 18 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 19 - Grand Tetons] [Day 20 - Buffalo Bill] [Day 21 - Buffalo] [Day 22 - Badlands] [Day 23 - Jordan] [Day 24 - Trempealeau] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

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