Sept 5-7, 2015
Written September 8+
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,
was running way behind on diaries when I learned that the next
three days in Glacier National Park will be without internet or cell
phones. Horrors! I quickly threw up pictures and
short captions from the trip.
September 5, Drive from Portland to Walla Walla.
|We left Portland early, before breakfast even. We were heading into
the Columbia Gorge and had decided to start on the
Washington State side because it gives a better view of the Oregon
that better view is mostly blocked by trees, at least until we came
to Cape Horn. From this height, the view up and down river really
was spectacular, even on a cloudy day.
was nice enough to stop and let us tour the northern (Washington) side
of Bonneville Dam. I enjoy these industrial tours and we will become
experts, sooner or later. (We did NOT try to tour the dozen or so other dams we would pass on the drive.)
The fish ladder was more interesting, as we watched fish,
from eel-like lamprey to large salmon, negotiate their way
upriver. The migration is hand-counted in order to set fishing
Bonneville, we crossed to the Oregon side over the Bridge of the Gods
to Hood River. We drove through town, but decided we could not
stop - too much to do.
East of Hood River, we went uphill to the viewpoint at
Mitchell Point. Nice view and the first of many panoramas on this
trip. The scenery just calls for long and horizontal shots.
Mitchell Point, we took a nine-mile scenic detour over the old Route 30
and made it up to Rowena Point. The view was spectacular and the
wind was enough to keep Marianne inside the car! Down from
Rowena Point, the road had twists and turns as good as any Alpine road.
Eventually, we watched the Columbia turn north as our road stayed easterly, along the Snake River.
finally made it to Walla Walla, just in time to take advantage of one
of the several dozen wine tasting rooms in the center of town. We
had never seen such a variety and selection of tasting rooms for sampling the products of the 130+ area wineries.
After the work of wine sampling, we stopped at a simple-but-good restaurant called
Olive Marketplace and Cafe . A recommendation.
September 6 Walla Walla to Coeur d'Alene.
|There are at least two routes between the towns, and we took the slower route. We do that often.
Walla was quiet when we left, as were the roads through the recently
harvested wheat fields. We were going along the route Lewis and
Clark had used in the supring of 1806 coming back from the Oregon
Coast. We have been following parts of their two-and-a-half
journey since leaving
the way, we stopped at Indian Timothy Memorial Bridge, named in honor
of a local Nez Pierce chief who led one of the most peaceful and
helpful of the tribes when Europeans first moved into the area.
few miles further along, we stopped at Lafe and Peggy Johnson Produce,
where we bought a few apples and learned about the local history from
Lafe Johnson, a descendant from those original European settlers.
He and his wife had taken over a State Park visitor's center when the
park was closed. They then noted that the history on display was
in fact their family history. Lafe identified the people in the
black and white pictures as parents, uncles, aunts, and
grandparents. Nice local touch.
the stop did not end well. Lafe had rigged a practical joke with
a fake jumping animal and when he released the fur ball, it startled
Marianne so much she stumbled backwards and landed on her bum and her
head. (Not good, and something we are still monitoring ten days
A nice couple came over to help console Marianne in a slightly-accented
English. Despite the pain, Marianne was curious enough to ask if
they might speak German. Barbara and her husband were indeed Germans,
from Wasserburg am Inn, Marianne's Bavarian birthplace! It is a
few miles more and we passed through Clarkston (WA) and Lewiston
(ID). On the far side we ascended the 2000 foot Lewiston Hill to
look out over the whole community. Another panorama of course.
Our goal for the day was Coeur d'Alene,
an Idaho panhandle tourist destination where my cousin Tom, his wife
Kathleen, and his mom Helen live. It has been a decade or two
since we had last seen each other and we looked forward to catching up
on family and other stories.
First, we went to the care home where Aunt Helen lives and found her as
sharp and lively as I had remembered, despite the impact of a stroke a
couple of years ago. At 93 years old, she still wants to see and
hear more from visitors. Charming little lady.
Tom and Kathleen were vary gracious hosts, both at dinner and in their
condo, right in the center of Coeur d'Alene. We chatted for a
couple of hours and I was reminded of some the the varied Trotter
family stories. We hope to hear more when we meet with family in
Seattle in a couple of weeks.
September 7, Leave early. Desination: "near Glacier National Park".
Today (Tuesday, the 8th), we will drive into Glacier Park, over the
Great Divide, and around the eastern side to the Many Glaciers Lodge. We look forward to it for sure.
|Our host and hostess fed us breakfast and saw us off on our way toward Glacier National Park. Thanks fr everything.
As before, we took a long route toward the park. North, almost to Canada, and then southeast.
path was along Highways 95 and 2, following original river routes of
the area. We drove past dozens of lakes, from small to the
very-large Lake Pend Orelle. Eventually, we made it over the
border into Montana and along the Kootnai River. Unfortunately,
the wild, glacier-fed, river remained mostly out of sight, since I was
not interested in the quarter-mile hike into a better viewpoint.
the way, we drove through Libby, Montana. Back in college, 50 years
ago, I had visited Libby a few times with friend Sandy Uithof.
The town seemed little changed, but I suppose my memory was not so
accurate. (I need to find out the story of the tire marks along
Main Street! It has been decades since Sandy's brother Rob was
tearing up these same streets.)
By now, we had decided that we would overnight in Kalispell, 20 miles or so from the West Glacier entrance. We chose the Kalispell Grand Hotel in downtown Kalispell for that old west feel. A recommended establishment.
We had skipped lunch, so by now we were hungry and the hotel clerk recommended Desoto Grille
at The Forge building, an historical landmark. The barbecue was
tasty and the atmosphere authentically western. Another
Our contact with the outside world will suffer, however. Reports
are that there is neither cell nor wi-fi coverage in the park or
lodge. That will be a change from our ever-connected travel
style, but we will keep track in any event and fill in the details as
we reconnect with the world.
John and Marianne