T R I P   J O U R N A L

W E E K   # 3


ROAD TRIP TO SPOKANE, WA - Monday, July 19, 2004

It's back to the US of A today! I depart the wonderful city of Vancouver, British Columbia in the afternoon, having gotten a slow start due to my morning's efforts at travel writing. I head due south to the border and US Customs. I'm more apprehensive about entering the US compared to entering Canada due to all the post-9/11 fervor. All I have on me for identification is a drivers license, no birth certificate, no passport. This could be a problem.

I enter US Customs and, of course, I'm told to pull over for an inspection. Luckily, they finish looking for bombs, dope, and Jimmy Hoffa in short order, and I'm prompty sent on my way, much to my pleasure.

My destination today is Spokane, Washington, to visit my friend Gil. The drive proves to be quite long, but its saving grace is the grand scenery. The lion's share of the outdoor eye candy is supplied by North Cascades National Park. Oh my God! What a beautiful place it is! On the drive I manage to see a few odd things, odd enough to include in the day's writings.

Evening soon sets in but I still have a long way to go. The big 400+ mile push in earnest to Spokane is taking its toll on me. Luckily, I avoid falling asleep at the wheel, and finally reach Spokane around 1:30am in the morning. I park the van in Gil's driveway then hit the hay.

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DAY OF REST - Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Today is a day of rest for me, no traveling, no sightseeing. I spend part of the day kicking around with Gil, then spend the balance working on the website.

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CENTENNIAL TRAIL - Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The time is ripe to do some road biking. As luck would have it, there's a trail, called the Centennial Trail, that's calling my name. Running between Spokane, Washington and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, a round trip excursion on this pedestrian byway will take me 100 miles on relatively flat pavement.

At noon I departed on my century trek. With 10 hours of sunlight at my disposal, I complete the bike ride well before sundown. The ride itself is long, very long in fact. The Washington portion of the trail is quite scenic while the Idaho portion is rather disappointing and disjointed. I spend a little time touring in and around Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the midway point of my bike trip.

During the ride I have an unfortunate mishap, I meet a group of 4 guys biking long distance from Port Townsend, WA to Great Falls, MT, and I run into two oddities well worth mentioning.

Once back in Spokane, I spend the rest of day/evening visiting with my friend Gil.

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DAY OF REST - Thursday, July 22, 2004

Yowza! I'm totally wiped out from yesterday's 100 mile bike ride. I decide to lay low in Spokane, WA to rest and recuperate, no traveling or sightseeing today.


DAY OF REST - Friday, July 23, 2004

Relaxing in Spokane, WA with friends and playing some major catch-up with the website.


DAY OF REST - Saturday, July 24, 2004

Relaxing in Spokane, WA with friends. I wash and service the van in preparation for an early morning departure to Idaho tomorrow.


ROAD TRIP TO SANDPOINT, ID - Sunday, July 25, 2004

As they say, all good things must come to an end. The time has arrived for me to hit the road once again. After thoroughly enjoying my many day visit in Spokane, WA with my good friend Gil, I make my final preparations for departure.

The day ushers in a short drive to Sandpoint, located near the top of Idaho's panhandle and bordering Lake Pend Oreille, a huge lake that seems to go on forever. Not terribly far from the Canadian border, the area surrounding Sandpoint brims with outdoor fun-filled adventure. Upon arrival I tour Sandpoint, focusing primarily on the community's wonderful and expansive park, City Beach.

I settle into the park for a while, taking in dinner then jumping in the lake to cool off (today was a 100+ day). Afterwards I putter around looking for an internet connection (not easy in such a small, out of the way town) then settle in for the night street-camping style.

Yikes! I experience my first encounter with bugs, the biting kind. Without screening to keep out the little critters, my unwelcome, bloodsucking guests congregate and conspire without my knowledge, gathering above my head underneath the van's headliner. Fortunately, vigorous swatting with a newspaper quickly takes them all out in short order. After my murderous rampage, I plan tomorrow's mountain bike ride then turn in for the night.

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