Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Time to See What's Around the Next Corner

The Knead Bakery in
downtown Hood River
My last day in Hood River and it was yet another gorgeous day!  I walked into town on the lovely river trail and had lunch at the Knead Bakery, a spot I'd discovered a couple of days earlier and vowed to return for lunch before leaving town.  A cute little chocolate mouse came back to the hotel with me for a snack to go along with a cappuccino later that afternoon.
a chocolate mouse!

This has been a wonderful few days spent in Hood River, but it's now time to move on down the road toward Coeur d'Alene ID.   My bags were packed and are now stowed in the trunk of my rental car and there's just one more thing to do before leaving town:  Go through the Starbucks drive-through next door and get a cappuccino for the road.

I-84 continued to take my breath away with spectacular views as I drove toward The Dalles.  Steep and rugged hills, heavily wooded with giant evergreens to my right, beautiful views of the wide Columbia River to my left.   This continued to be a stretch of roadway seen for the first time through my eyes.  

As I got near to The Dalles, the landscape changed abruptly.  Suddenly the thick forests of evergreens blanketing rugged mountainous promontories, gave way to high, grass-covered hills and what little vegetation was there was low and desert-like.  I drove past The Dalles dam on the west side of the town of The Dalles, and then past the John Day dam on the east side as I headed toward Hermiston.

The Dalles dam

From I-84 to I-82 to US 395 all the way to I-90 in Washington, the landscape changed very little.  Not much to see but miles and miles of brown mounded hillocks sometimes green with crops and irrigation.  But mostly just brown landscape as far as the eye could see.

Once on I-90, I drove east toward Spokane and, when I was within a few dozen miles of that city, the landscape changed abruptly once again to heavy forestation.  At one point, looking off into the forest, I spotted a black bear moving slowly between trees just 75-100 yards off the interstate.  I thought about how I'd be returning to this area - Spokane and then Missoula - in just little more than a month from now.  This is a part of the country that I've been to before on my motorcycle.  I will look forward to returning, as the beauty of this area continues to amaze me.

I arrived at the lovely Coeur d'Alene resort and gladly turned my car over to valet parking then went inside to check in.  It's a gorgeous resort hotel sitting right on Lake Coeur d'Alene!   I got up to my room and was instantly charmed by the furnishings and the view!

Gorgeous room at Coeur d'Alene Resort

My living space for the next few days...Coeur d'Alene Resort

I'd brought a bottle of wine with me from Wy'East winery, and sat on the balcony enjoying the wine and the beautiful view of Coeur d'Alene lake.

view from my balcony

view from my balcony

view from my balcony

Enjoying a glass of Pinot Gris on my balcony at Coeur d'Alene Resort

Another Half Fanatic/50-Stater and I hooked up on the 50-States Facebook page and agreed to meet up at the packet pickup expo here in Coeur d'Alene.  So Saturday morning I got dressed, ate breakfast and then headed downstairs to one of the hotel ballrooms for packet pickup.  There I met my friend and she and I browsed the small expo then went to the coffee bar in the hotel lobby where we sat and chatted and enjoyed each others' company.
Packet pickup tables

She's not staying at this hotel and had a late breakfast so wasn't hungry for lunch, so we parted company with plans to meet each other at the start line of the half marathon the next morning for a photo op.

Friend from 50 States Half Marathon club.
She's from Florida and is also running the race

I put my race packet in my room and then wandered outside and walked a block up to the little downtown area.   There's a pita pocket cafe in town that I want to try for lunch.

cute moose with little mouse friend on its antler
in downtown Coeur d'alene ID

view of downtown Coeur d'Alene

Then it was time to go back to my room, sit out on my lovely balcony overlooking the lake and enjoy my lunch and the afternoon.

Tomorrow morning:  Coeur d'Alene Half Marathon!

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering what you would think of the changing landscape down the gorge. So dry and barren in some spots and the windmills are quite dominate in some areas.

    Looks like you found the perfect resort in Coeur d'Alene too. Beautiful view.