May 2, 2017

May 2, 2017
Mary with collage and clutter

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Own Private Idaho

I was sceptical about Ann's idea that we go biking (well, her on a bike and me on my trike) in the Coeur d'Alene area of Idaho. When I think of Idaho, I think of potatoes and neo-nazi groups, but I was as wrong about Idaho as so many people are about the American South. It was beautiful, and the bike trails are fabulous.

We consulted Sheila (full name Georgietta Patricia Sheila), our GPS, about how to get to Harrison, Idaho, but the dealer told Sheila that we'd want to know the fuel efficient route instead of the fastest route. Sheila took us on a series of short cuts that my Granddaddy Matthews would have appreciated.

We started in Harrison, with our friends Susan and Rod, staying at the Lakeview Lodge and biking both ways on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. The trail is over 71 miles of paved railroad right of way, but we just did a little piece each day. One day we biked on a tressle over Lake Coeur d'Alene and the next day we went the other way, along a river and a series of chain lakes. The trail is almost entirely flat, and every inch is lovely.

We stayed at the beautiful, somewhat funky, Lakeview Lodge, and our rooms had decks overlooking the lake. I'd recommend them.

There was a little tension one morning. A woman with a one year-old German Sherpherd and a man who was angry because the dog bore his teeth at him when he was doing the laundry and also because the dog barked during the night (I found this irritating, too) got into an altercation. Dog Lady was calm, but somewhat patronizing as Mad Man yelled more and more aggressively at her. When he yelled, "This is Idaho, Lady, it's not Mexico" (I'm still mulling over exactly what he meant by that), and he moved towards her, the very nice owner (a guy who might have been an inn keeper on the t.v. show "Northern Exposure")...anyway, the very nice owner intervened and said, "This has got to stop."

We left on our bike ride, and when we returned Dog Lady and her puppy had checked out. I don't know about Mad Man, but we didn't hear him again. We were glad that our hotel was not taped off as a crime scene.

We all love dogs and had our own dog stories. I loved Rod's story about Smokey the Dog, a dog on his newspaper route one summer when he was an adolescent. The dog terrorized Rod all summer, and one morning at the end of the summer, the owner was in the yard and told Rod, "He won't hurt you." Rod turned around to face the owner, and the dog bit him in the butt. The owner seemed non-plussed and said, "Oh, well. He's never bitten anyone else."

(Everyone but me had been bitten at least once. If you own a dog, please respect others' nervousness. Thanks.)

We tried fifty percent (two) of the restaurants and were underwhelmed, but we had great Huckleberry Ice-Cream at the creamery where "one scoop" is really about five scoops.

Farkle friends (oh yeah, they're church friends, pub friends, auction friends, El Salvador friends, and just plain friend friends, too) John and Jerry joined us Thursday night. I won the first game of Farkle  (I have to tell you that), and then I went to bed while the others played a half game (to 5000 points instead of 10,000 points). Susan, I see in John's scoring notes, was the "half winner." I love it that Susan's a "half winner."

Friday morning, we drove to the other end of the trail and rode a piece of that trail and all of the Hiawatha Trail. We went downhil all day, not a good thing for hospital patients but an excellent thing for a tired triker.

The Hiawatha Trail travels on an old railroad bed high in the Bitterroot mountains. It winds through ten very dark tunnels and seven high tressles. The first tunnel is in the trail's first ten feet and runs 1.67 miles in utter darkness with water falling into gutters that bikers want to avoid along the sides. If you go, take a bike with mountain bike treads and several good lights. Jerry dubbed our lights, "Artificial Sun," and we were very popular through each tunnel.

On the drive  back to Seattle, Ann and I listened to the Indigo Girls song, "Bitterroot." Below are the lyrics so that you can sing along if you want to. You take the lead and I'll sing harmony:

Tonight I'll be sleeping on the mountain top,
I got a billion stars for my witness.
In the morning I'll go down and the sun comes up,
I'll take a drink from the Bitter Root River.

Have you been lonely?
Yes I've been lonely.
I've been lonely too.

Tonight I'll be sleeping on the mountain top,
I got a billion stars for my witness.
In the morning I'll go down and the sun comes up,
I'll take a drink from the Bitter Root River.

Have you been travelin?
Yes I've been travelin.
I've been travelin too.

Tonight I'll be sleeping on the mountain top,
I got a billion stars for my witness.
In the morning I'll go down and the sun comes up,
I'll take a drink from the Bitter Root River.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhh. That was such a great trip (except the dog fight). Even if I was only a half winner it doesn't really matter because I'm not very competitive. :) Next year we are going to bring a rubber raft to float down the river one day. We'll keep you safe, even if we splash you a little. (The water moves a couple of feet per hour from what we could see...a far cry from white water rafting!)

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