I couldn't help but laugh when I looked at today's schedule and saw that it was only a six-hour drive and thought to myself today's going to be an easy drive day. When did a six-hour drive become an "easy day" to me? Knowing this I was able to sleep in, finish up some work, and run a few errands before taking off. Aria was also enjoying the lazy morning and had curled back up on the king size bed and fell back to sleep a few seconds later.
After errands were run, I packed the car and headed out to Washington. As I drove away from Bozeman, which was always emotional for me, I slowly realized how much I had forgotten about this route from last year. In fact, I would say over half of it, I didn't remember.
I remembered it being kind of a long drive up to Washington but I didn't remember the many rollercoasters on a race track sections there were along the way, in fact, about half of the drive was through the mountains with this type of driving. Blind corners were all over these sections and one turn could have me behind a semi-truck, camper trailer or someone who wasn't used to mountain driving.
I didn't remember the many towns and communities that lined the route as well as the many exits that didn't have service at all. No road trip would be complete without a little bit of sweat from my forehead and today was no different. Because I had forgotten all of this, I let the gas gauge drop and it was gracing the "E" mark in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mountains, limited to no signal and no safe pull-offs. I had plans to stop in the small town of Superior but road construction had me more focused on that than the signs around me and I blew right by it.
When I passed the next sign showing how many miles to the next town Superior was gone and the next one was 10 miles away. If they didn't have a gas station the town after that was another 15 which would bring my gas tank down to an even redder area. I held my breathe as I came around the bend a blue sign showed the symbols of what the town had and one of them was a gas tank. Whew! I stopped at the Conoco and it was a mini-mall, that had clothes, gambling, the usual gas station snacks, a small diner and decent size bathrooms. Throw in a few showers and it would have been a mini-truck stop.
Temperatures were rising and the heat was starting to kick in. Down went the windows, and open went the sunroof and we were off again. I didn't forget the twists, turns, and hills that welcomed me into Idaho, I did forget how sharp those curves were. Yellow signs with suggested speeds were posted all over, and even though they were more for the trucks this was the biggest warning that everyone, including me, had to slow down in order to keep the vehicle on all four wheels.
I did forget that once in Idaho I was in the state for several miles but when dealing with rain, sleet, and snow with limited visibility it made the surroundings non-existence and focus on that prevented me from seeing anything else that was going on around me. Now that I had unlimited visibility, blue skies, shining sun and dry roads I was able to see it all and the route from Bozeman to Spokane Valley was beautiful and the mountains were majestic.
I didn't forget that Idaho drivers, in a pick-up or SUV, didn't like to be passed on their mountain passes, least of all by a sedan, certainly not by one from another state and definitely not by a woman who could handle the passes with one hand better than they could with two. Once the Idaho driver moved over and saw I was going to pass him we were instantly in a speed race to see who would give. I passed him and he disappeared into the dust and never saw him again. Sometimes a woman just has to show a man how it is done.
Lastly, I didn't forget about Coeur D' Alene, ID which was a beautiful town and scenery that also made me feel like I was in heaven. I slowed down for this town. Unfortunately, there weren't any good pull-overs to take pictures but it was still a piece of heaven. The bridges intertwined and below me was the lake that was a turquoise color that stretched and expanded as I drove past it. Not long afterward I entered Washington.
Here the mountains took a step back to make room for Spokane Valley and Spokane. There far in the distance but still remained close and added character to the busy cities that were between them. More errands were run before Aria and I headed in for the night. Tomorrow Oregon. Two days by the ocean, sightseeing and photographing. I was looking forward to it.
Driving across country can bring about some interesting situations. Broken down on a day by day basis enjoy my adventures and set backs along the way to some beautiful destinations.