Day 5Missoula, Butte, Coeur D'Alene, Spokane, Seattle, Vancouver
Saturday, September 8, 2012
On the road again at 8:13am. The blue sky heading westward was slightly tarnished by the smoke from multiple wildfires plaguing the dry countryside. The drought has been apparent throughout our journey.
Fifteen miles into the beautiful scenery, it dawned on me that I left my Kindle in the hotel room. We did an about face to collect the device. Ugh. What's an extra 45 miles in the scheme of 10,000?
At 2890 miles we crossed over the ID/WA state line. We were happy to see the beautiful land and waterscapes approaching Spokane, which we missed on our last go-around. The beautiful Coeur D'Alene Lake area was shrouded in darkness on our 2010 passage.
We stopped at another burger place for lunch. It held a special memory from our 2010 swing out west. It sits on the dramatic edge of the Columbia River gorge: Blustery Burger. Last time we were there it was so blustery it left us with an indelible memory.
Will took the wheel after lunch, with Seattle within two hours. Then Bill took us to the Canadian border, while I tediously worked on the iPhone for hotel reservations in Vancouver. It was not easy finding a dog-friendly hotel in the city, but I pressed on as we waited in the immigration line of vehicles for about 30 minutes.
We arrived at the Holiday Inn Express on East Hastings totally frazzled. To further complicate our mood, 70's music was blasting from a nearby speaker in the carport at check-in while we unloaded everything from the car top carrier because the garage height restriction prevented us from entering the parking lot.
With the empty Thule now inside the van, we parked the car and proceeded to our room, immediately finding ice and pouring double scotches before evaluating dinner options.
Le Petit Saigon was just up a couple of blocks so we walked for dinner. It was a brightly lit joint with decent food and lovely service. We couldn't really understand our hostess as she tried to describe various dishes on the menu, so we just told her to feed us. The was all good.
We finally felt relaxed as we tucked into our beds. It was nice knowing we could sleep in.