BootsnAll Travel Network

Roadtrippin’ North: Days 1-3

Internet time is at a premium, so I apologize in advance for typos and run on words and sentences that don’t make much sense.  Lisa and I are now one week into our road trip up to Alaska, and this blog will serve more as a forum as a photo journal versus the written word, but I’ll put as much as I can for those who like to read more than just look at pictures.  On we go….


Day 1

Starting mileage:  160167

Transport means:  1996 Pontiac Grand Am.  White exterior.  Pretty clean interior.  No bumps, bruises, scratches or broken windshields.  Not much to complain about for under a $1000, purchased a few months ago specifically for this trip.  Automatic.  With cruise control.  That was a requirement.  V6 engine.  Air conditioning, but it doesn’t work.  Tilt wheel.  AM/FM Stereo cassette.  The cassette doesn’t work–actually, put a tape inside and it will jam up.  4 door sedan.  Power door locks and windows.  Rear defrost.  Spacious trunk, but the back seats do not fold down.  It’s a pretty good value for what I paid.  Much more reliable than my Honda Accord (see one of my very first entries for this blog for more info).  Here’s the bad:  #1.  When it rains, the water seeps through the chasis and creates a very wet puddle on the driver’s side floor.  So much that when I go over small bumps, I hear the car squeaking as it rocks on its suspension.  I have a suspiscion that the entire bottom of the car is rusted.  But as long as it makes it to Alaska, that is fine by me.  #2.  The check engine light is on.  I took it to the tune up place, they replaced a sparkplug and cleared out the code for the check engine light.  A week later, it turns back on.  And thus we drive with the bright hue of the orange “Check Engine” glowing at me.  This little issue will mean that it will be harder to sell the car once we reach our final destination.  I mean, come on, who would buy a used car with the Check Engine light constantly on?  Oh, I guess I would.  I failed to mention that the previous owner told me about that problem.  It’s still a great car, IMHO.  One more thing:  the high mileage for this car is primarly due to its first life.  My friend ran a carfax report and found that the Pontiac started its life as a rental car in Los Angeles…


After a quick stop to my parents home in Vancouver for lunch, we set off at about noon.  It was a straight drive to Spokane, save for an ice cream stop at Dairy Queen (gotta have my ice cream bars!) in the Tri-Cities area.

Total miles:  202



The Grand Car, just before leaving Vancouver.


Day 2

4th of July.  We got up early for an 8K fun run put on by the local runners’ club.  Later on in the day, we spent some time at the Riverfront Park ‘Good Neighbor Day’ and had our obligatory 4th of July hot dog and ice cream.  In the evening, we joined Lisa’s dad and his wife for a BBQ potluck with their friends at a home way up in the hills that provided a great vantage point for watching 2 fireworks displays.



The run probably attracted less than 125 participants, but the scenery along this quiet rural road made for a beautiful course.



A shot of the big picture window inside the home on the hill, just before the start of the city’s fireworks display off yonder.  The outdoor deck afforded the best viewing.


Day 3

Mileage:  Spokane -> Missoula, 348

Left Spokane at 7am and had a great All American breakfast at the local IHOP!  Stopped at the Costco for cheaper gas ($2.92 per gallon), and 25 miles later when we crossed into Coeur d’Alene, ID, we found gas to be as low as $2.84.  We strolled the downtown area and walked the World’s Longest Floating Boardwalk!  For real.  Then it was on to Wallace, ID the ‘Silver Capital of the World!’  For real.  It’s also the Center of the Universe!  For real.  I don’t make these things up.



Lake Coeur d’Alene, the marina with the world’s longest floating boardwalk and their fancy shmancy hotel.



See, the Center of the Universe, right here in the heart of Wallace, ID.



It’s the great tourist attraction that is called “10,000 Silver Dollar”, somewhere along I-90 in Montana.  Now the kitsche junk mega giftstore houses a collection that is more like 40,000!



Costume playing at the Fort Missoula Park and Museum (not my regular look).


We made it into Missoula, MT for lunch and a tour of Ft. Missoula Historical Park and Musuem.  Then, because the region was experiencing one of the hottest days on record (105F), we ducked into an air-conditioned mall.  We also scrapped camping in favor of an air-conditioned motel room.  Our evening ended with a stroll through downtown Missoula and catching some tunes at a free concert.



Fort Missoula was also used as an internment camp during World War II, and the Barracks building housed an exhibit which showed how some people felt about the Japanese during this time.



Missoula’s downtown waterfront has a cool jogging/biking path, and below this overlook is a popular swimming hole.  Just across the river is the campus for the University of Montana.


That’s all I have time for now, check back in 2 more days for my next update!


0 responses to “Roadtrippin’ North: Days 1-3”

  1. Jonas says:

    Somehow I did not expect that at some point during their Alaska trip, Edwin was going to be wearing a dress.

  2. Monica says:

    Fight Fight Fight for Washington State, win the…..did you sing the sweet WSU fight song while you were in my neck of the woods? You should have, its the only thing to do when you are in Cougar country. Did you happen to drive through D-town aka Dayton? Looks like the two of you are having an awesome time, im jealous. But you should be jealous of me since im the one sitting here in a sweet cube 40hrs/week:) Be safe, watch out for those cougars!

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