For the second part of our road trip, we crossed the border at Creston and entered Idaho for the first time. First on the agenda was Silverwood Theme Park, where we wasted a good hour standing in line for a three minute tube ride in the water park but made up for time by riding a few crazy roller coasters on the park side. I even went on the upside down rides, which I usually avoid at all costs. Our adrenaline needs satisfied, we hopped back into Pattypan (our car) and continued on to Spokane. We had dinner at Dick’s Hamburgers, a classic drive thru joint with skinny fries and thin burgers that we ate out of a paper bag at a picnic bench in the parking lot, watching the other customers with amusement.
We had brought the tent along to take advantage of cheap accommodation and just barely made it to Riverside State Park before night fell. The campground ended up being full but we were directed to the spillover site, which also happened to be the park’s equestrian camping. We pitched our tent by the car’s headlights, deer bounding away into the darkness, horses whickering softly nearby.
We were up early the next morning, packing up the tent and heading for a funny diner we had spotted on our way into town the previous evening. Frank’s Diner was set in an antique train car, and we sipped tea and coffee at the bar, listening to the line cooks bantering as they cracked eggs and flipped hash browns on the sizzling flat top. Incidentally, the food was delicious, partially in thanks to the perfect atmosphere.
The highway soon become a straight line cutting through a limitless expanse of yellow fields. This was the Idaho I imagined, agriculture and azure skies and golden horizons. Even though it was monotonous scenery, it was also strangely hypnotic, speeding past the perfect colours of a hot August day in our little car.
The biggest surprise of our trip was the Methow Valley. We had never even heard of it, but suddenly we started noticing things– a coffee roastery, serving excellent espresso, off the side of the highway. A small pub brewing local beer, with a shelf stacked with personalized mugs for the regulars. A co-op corner store, selling beautiful books and locally made goods, all with a hippy flair, where we picked up toasted breakfast sandwiches alongside outdoorsy men and women with happy, shaggy dogs at their heels. It was like a little paradise with everything I love, set in a magnificent wilderness.
As we drove through the valley, we passed a place advertising Rolling Huts, and Jordan suddenly recalled reading about it, so we turned around and went back to check it out. The Rolling Huts are beautiful, stylish little cabins, done in modern design with fireplaces and views of the woods and mountains beyond. We thought we might splurge on one but they were booked for the night, so we settled for one of the large canvas tents set in the back of the property. The spacious tent, with two cots, was much more comfortable than our little one, especially since my air mattress had blown out a coil and now featured a huge lump right under my shoulder. After a wade in the property’s icy creek, we ate dinner at yet another brewpub in nearby Winthrop, a western themed town that was surprisingly charming. We finished the evening on the porch of our tent, watching deer pick their way through the trees in the site, and enjoyed the fact we were the only ones back there.
My parents had recommended we take a route home through the North Cascades and it was definitely a highlight of the trip. The mountains were jaw dropping and we stopped often to take photos of the peaks jutting into the sky. Diablo Lake was an incredible turquoise, dotted with islands, and lined with a beautiful campground that I would love to visit in the future. We stopped there to check out the campsites and stared with envy at the lakeside sites, wishing we had a few more nights to stay.
Our final stop was in Bellingham to visit Jordan’s Uncle Greg. He had a charming little house filled with all things canoeing, one of his foremost passions. Him and Jordan have done canoe trips together in the past and it was really nice to see his canoes all lined up in the garage. Keeping with the theme of the trip, we had a lovely lunch at Boundary Bay Brewery and wandered the nearby farmer’s market.
We decided to make a Costco run before we hit the border and laughed at all of the Canadians filling their carts with jug after jug of milk, especially after a recent article in the news about how Bellingham residents were tiring of Canadians making the lines too long, with their tireless desire for cheap dairy and gasoline.
I loved our little road trip though British Columbia and a few states too. It was so nice to discover some new places and see our families as well. I will always have fond memories of watching the scenery roll by, my hand in Jordan’s, listening to good music and just enjoying each other’s company. What more could you want from life on the road?