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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default Palouse and Inland Northwest

    While not technically a road trip, I've got a trip coming up at the end of May to Moscow, Idaho. I'll be flying in to Spokane and will have a couple of days to poke around after I take care of some work related activities. The last time I was in the area, I made the mistake of driving through at night and I intend to rectify that this time. The area I'd like to explore is bounded roughly by Spokane and Coeur d'Alene on the north and Clarkston and Lewiston on the south. I'm mostly interested in geology, history and one-of-a-kind oddities along with, of course, a preference for the scenic byway over the interstate. Any pointers to such things in the area, or even your favorite cuisine would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    AZBuck

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Two days?

    Well, I started this post four times already and each time had to leave before I could finish. Two days, for one of my favorite spots in the NW --

    Historical -- I would stop by the Nez Perce National Historical Park near Spalding, Idaho. State Route 6 north up to Coeur d'Alene is pretty cool. Although both Wallace and Sandpoint are not on your list, fun places to wander and explore.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default Two GREAT days - and thanks

    Well, I'm just finishing up my two days here in the Inland Northwest. I just wanted to thank Mark for his recommendations and all the contributors to this forum for restoring my sense of serendipity on these adventures.

    I did as Mark suggested and went down to the Nez Perce Historical Park and, as it happened, walked in to a lecture by the park's archeologist on the changing concept of what's normal for this area. It opened my eyes a bit to preserving what we consider the 'normal' ecology, which is nothing like what the native Americans or initial European settlers first encountered. Also got to meet and talk to Kevin Peters, the park ranger whose picture is featured on the website. He had no idea he was 'famous'. Even without the lecture, the museum has a very nice collection of Nez Perce artifacts and cultural touchstones. Thanks for the recommendation.

    One thing you didn't mention, but anyone in the Lewiston area ought to do is take the drive on the "Old Spiral Highway" down the hill into town from the north. Great views and a trip in its own right. Also drove up into the Snake River Canyon north of town. You start out on ID-128 and WA-193 and then just follow your nose after the numbered highways give out. An absolutely gorgeous drive and a real treat for the geologist in me as I got my first good look at the layered Columbia flood basalts.

    The above occured on the day I headed south from my base in Pullman/Moscow. On the day I went north, I first went up to the top of Steptoe Butte for the incredible views: 70-80 miles in a 360 degree panorama. From there I took back roads up to Coeur d'Alene, one of the prettiest small cities I've been too. Great little downtown park on the lake, with a float plane landing offering scenic rides and a really nice park for, and full of, kids. Also had a great lunch at Mark's (no relation is my guess) Couer d'Alene Cafe - huge sandwhich, great fries, and they leant me their own paper when the one I had bought at a convenience store turned out to be a week old!

    Then, following Mark's suggestion, I headed down the Couer d'Alene and White Pine Scenic Byways. Now I realize that the summer vacation season hasn't started here yet, it's still fairly nippy in fact, but even so I was surprised that for the next 70 miles of truely spectacular 2 lane blacktop through lakes, woods, mountains and meadows I saw maybe a dozen cars coming the other way and shared my lane with ABSOLUTELY NO ONE!!!

    Finished off the trip with three small but telling little pleasures. Stopped at a convenience store on the main corner in St. Maries, ID for a large cup of coffee to go and had to scrape my jaw off the floor when I was charged $0.27! (BTW - didn't there use to be a cent symbol on a standard keyboard or am I just getting old and senile?) Then outside Princeton, ID (right next to Harvard, ID) there were a series of 50-75 birdhouses, each perched on a post of a long fence, and each painted a different color, with the red one proudly marked 'My Color'. And finally I had to stop in Santa, ID, just for the name and to sit beside the river and enjoy the sunshine and the water.

    Thanks again to all and especially to you, Mark. My next trip is the biggy - 6000 miles to NC and NH. It's great to have had my wanderlust renewed in preparation.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-23-2005 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Fix typo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Awesome Field Report & the "Old Spiral Highway"

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Well, I'm just finishing up my two days here in the Inland Northwest. I just wanted to thank ... all the contributors to this forum for restoring my sense of serendipity on these adventures.
    I did as Mark suggested and went down to the Nez Perce Historical Park and, ... talked to Kevin Peters, the park ranger whose picture is featured on the website.
    Very, very cool. Thanks for saying hello for us!
    Even without the lecture, the museum has a very nice collection of Nez Perce artifacts and cultural touchstones. Thanks for the recommendation.
    Did you, by any chance, take some photos that we can use to update that article?
    One thing you didn't mention, but anyone in the Lewiston area ought to do is take the drive on the "Old Spiral Highway" down the hill into town from the north. Great views and a trip in its own right. Also drove up into the Snake River Canyon north of town. You start out on ID-128 and WA-193 and then just follow your nose after the numbered highways give out. An absolutely gorgeous drive and a real treat for the geologist in me as I got my first good look at the layered Columbia flood basalts.
    I am driving to Walla Walla the 2nd week in July and will certainly try to insert some of these suggestions into our route!
    From there I took back roads up to Coeur d'Alene, one of the prettiest small cities I've been too.
    I agree, the next time, you need to drive to Sandpoint -- also very cool and pleasant in the summer months.
    Also had a great lunch at Mark's (no relation is my guess) Couer d'Alene Cafe - huge sandwhich, great fries, and they leant me their own paper when the one I had bought at a convenience store turned out to be a week old!
    Maybe I should stop in and see if my name is worth a free drink!
    Then, following Mark's suggestion, I headed down the Couer d'Alene and White Pine Scenic Byways. Now I realize that the summer vacation season hasn't started here yet, it's still fairly nippy in fact, but even so I was surprised that for the next 70 miles of truely spectacular 2 lane blacktop through lakes, woods, mountains and meadows I saw maybe a dozen cars coming the other way and shared my lane with ABSOLUTELY NO ONE!!!
    Awesome. I have always loved that road. So great to hear that you had it to yourself!
    Finished off the trip with three small but telling little pleasures. Stopped at a convenience store on the main corner in St. Maries, ID for a large cup of coffee to go and had to scrape my jaw off the floor when I was charged $0.27! (BTW - didn't there use to be a cent symbol on a standard keyboard or am I just getting old and senile?)
    Now, you are dating yourself -- I don't remember seeing a cent symbol on anything other than a standard typewriter and that was a decade or two ago...
    Then outside Princeton, ID (right next to Harvard, ID) there were a series of 50-75 birdhouses, each perched on a post of a long fence, and each painted a different color, with the red one proudly marked 'My Color'. And finally I had to stop in Santa, ID, just for the name and to sit beside the river and enjoy the sunshine and the water.
    Again, any photos????
    My next trip is the biggy - 6000 miles to NC and NH. It's great to have had my wanderlust renewed in preparation.
    Hmmm. We are seriously thinking about mounting the next RoadTrip Rendezvous somewhere in the Carolinas in the fall -- so keep your eyes peeled for the unique and unusual. Again, a truly wonderful field report. Thanks for sharing!

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
    Posts
    110

    Default Great post, AZBuck

    Thanks for posting such a great description of your Inland Northwest trip. Made me want to head right out there, and not only because of the 27-cent coffee! (By my reckoning, by the way, that coffee is considerably cheaper per gallon than gas!)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default No Pix

    Sorry, but this was a 'business' trip. Normally when I travel by air for pleasure I take my camera equipment as carry on. As with my preference for maps over GPS, I'm still in the paper age of photography, and so it's all a bit bulky. On this trip, however, I had to use my own mulepower to tote the laptop and a short ton of paperwork. I'll try to do better on the trip east which will be portal to portal by car, so no load restrictions.

    On the subject of the ¢ sign, I did a little research and Mark is right. It got lost in the first transition to computer terminals. See:

    ASCII Link

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A Geologist without a camera? Horrors!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Sorry, but this was a 'business' trip.
    I have never heard of geologist that wasn't carrying just in case he/she found a previously undocumented bit of strata someplace and needed to provide photographic evidence...
    On the subject of the ¢ sign, I did a little research and Mark is right. It got lost in the first transition to computer terminals.
    How sad, but thanks for that link, it was pretty interesting.

    Mark

  8. Default

    As always, reading someone else's road trip report makes ME want to go! It's been awhile since I've been up to the northern Rockies and inland NW. Thanks for posting your trip report, and I'll look forward to your next installment! Bob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Spiral Road

    The Spiral Road to Lewiston is awesome. As is the Nez Perce reservation.

    Did you check out Silverwood while in Coeur d'Alene? One of the neat things about this park are the large wooden roller coasters? Of course, I'm an adrenaline junkie and love the rides so I'm easily impressed with anyplace offering me thrills like this.

    Glad you had a great time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Steptoe Butte!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    ...Also drove up into the Snake River Canyon north of town. You start out on ID-128 and WA-193 and then just follow your nose after the numbered highways give out. An absolutely gorgeous drive and a real treat for the geologist in me as I got my first good look at the layered Columbia flood basalts.
    Those layered basalts are awesome to see. I just drove that route a couple of days ago and I had my Geologist brother with me, who pointed out that the only other place that such flood basalts exist in the world is Hawaii. Truly a cool spot. I am still on the road and so will add some photos later.
    . I first went up to the top of Steptoe Butte for the incredible views: 70-80 miles in a 360 degree panorama.
    Again, thanks for sharing -- one of the most amazing "sand dune" formations one will ever see -- the only difference from here and the Sahara is that local farmers are growing wheat on it....

    Mark

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