Wilbur WA to St Ignatius MT – 18th July 2021
Back on the road today and before I leave I knock next door to say a fond farewell to Peg, Tom and of course Lucy. I have thoroughly enjoyed spending some time with them and am eternally grateful for the use of their wifi. Peg tells me she is enjoying my blog and asks me who I want to play me in the film… hahaha. Tom says he told her to wait before following my blog so that she could be the 1,000th follower… I am a little puzzled by this, but he informs me that I have over 900 followers!!! Well I never knew that, I’d better take a look later; I wonder who they all are??? Well, thank you for your interest anyway all of you, I hope you are enjoying it.
Peg also asks if I managed to get a photo of the Billy Burger sign lit up, I say no I forgot again so she promises to take one for me and send it to me… and here it is
I travel along the WA2 towards Spokane as I am hoping to buy some camping equipment… I mean seriously.. I can’t believe I’m saying this given the mountains of camping kit I have at home. However, I have been looking into motels etc. in the coming days and the prices are still astronomical and most places are already fully booked. I have been really lucky to get the cabin and now I need to rely on Bunka again to help me out. Many of the Bunka pins have outside space for tents and there are also lots of camp sites everywhere in the States so I think it will be much easier to find accommodation if I can be more flexible around using camping equipment. I have found a second hand camping shop in Spokane so the plan is to drop in there and see what I can find.
On the way I pass through Davenport
My first water tower of the day too.
As I get nearer to Spokane I start seeing a series of red and white chequered water towers that I now believe are on Fairchild AFB (Air Force Base)
I find the camping shop in Spokane and am able to pick up an air mattress, electric pump, and a fleece blanket for $40 which I think is pretty good. Unfortunately they don’t have a tent so I have to go to another shop to get one, which I do and an extra ground sheet to protect the bottom of the tent. Well at least I have the basics now. I have also managed to find a Bunka in St Ignatius, Montana who has a place in a ‘bunkhouse’ for me.. not sure what that means, is it a dorm I wonder, but beggars etc.
As I ride along, I also see this in the distance, a very fine looking specimen… can you see the heat distortion on the photo, yep it’s hot today
Very shortly after I cross the State line into Idaho, so it’s Wahhhh Washington and I dunno Idaho. This section of the state is called the Idaho panhandle, just hope it isn’t as windy as the Texas one on my first USA tour. Then I spot Rathdrum,
which is very significant to me as my Aunt Sally and Uncle Tom lived near here, in Ireland of course, in County Wicklow and I used to visit them when I was a child. They, and all my Aunts and Uncles, are long gone now of course, but I remember them like yesterday; sending us down the lane to fetch the buttermilk in a wee pail, hot from the cow; paddling and looking for tiddlers in the river nearby, but most of all the converted pigsty toilet with the plank, a hole and a bucket… oh yes those were the days back in the early 1960’s when life in rural Ireland was very simple indeed. But I digress…
I soon realise I have taken a longer route heading north so make a right turn heading down towards Coeur d’Alene and then east on the I90. I pass through Cataldo where I spot this old Mission, unfortunately it isn’t open so am not able to go in.
around half an hour later and I begin to see smoke from wild fires spiralling up from the densely forested hillsides,
again the air is full of the smell of burning trees. The sky is extremely hazy, which I’m not sure if this is due to the heat i.e. a heat haze, or is indeed the result of the many thousands of wild fires still burning and smouldering in this region.
I turn off the I90 heading towards Montana and St Ignatius. I am riding along beside the Flathead river in the Flathead Indian Reservation
You can really see the hazy atmosphere and how the evening is drawing in even though it is only around 5.30 when I take these photos.
A little further on and I begin to see these signs
Oh yes, I definitely would like to see them… the sign posts started at 10 miles… no sheep, 9 miles… no sheep… 8 miles, well you get the picture, nope, no sheep whatsoever, I guess they have all rented RV’s and are soaking up the cool air on the Pacific Coast highway lol.
All at once
Woo hoo.. so of course it is I’ll be Seeing Ya Idaho, Movin’ on Montana. I’m really starting to get tired as it is coming up to 7.30 when at last I arrive at my stay for tonight. I am greeted by Greg who tells me I am in the bunkhouse, which is basically a shed with two double beds on top of which are sleeping bags. There are no facilities in the actual shed, other than a fan, a camping lamp and a ceiling light; around the back of a nearby metal building are a couple of porta loos, one of which is actually a porta-shower, which is fine of course after all, this is free! The only things I would say are firstly there are no curtains in the shed and there is another building which overlooks and is being occupied by a group of people that I presume are a family, the sleeping bags are polyester and there is a plastic bottom sheet so see how that goes and the shower is cold so a quick run around in there is all for me. Greg has told me that there is a greenhouse with coffee making facilities so I do avail myself of that.
Time to check out the sleeping bag/plastic sheet arrangement, but first I jerry rig a curtain by hanging a couple of pillow cases that happen to also be in the shed on some mini bungee cords I bought in the camping shop this morning, a premonition methinks. zzz??