Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kalispell, Montana's Grand Hotel, Downtown Kalispell, Dinner Al Fresco, and Northern Idaho!

We could hardly tear ourselves away from Kalispell, Montana.  I've told you how lovely the Historic Grand Hotel has been, but until I show you their breakfast, I am not done yet! Suffice it to say that we were delighted with this morning's menu.  It included fresh huckleberries and other delicious things.
 I started out the morning with my thirty minute walk, and once again found I was in a wonderful place. I walked south on Main Street and around the City Hall and then back to the hotel.  There were a few garage sale signs on corners, and it's a good thing they didn't show up on my route, or I might have stopped!

It was not only the hotel that we liked.  Randy met up with me when I got done walking, and we tried on hats and boots and cologne at the Western Outfitters store, which was two full floors. The lower level was consignment antique booths, and took awhile to browse.  Next we were off to the bookstore across the street from the hotel. It was well-organized and neat, and even though we didn't buy any books, we visited some of our book friends.
I discovered a fun clothing consignment shop named "The
Re-Finery," where I purchased, (what else?) a great big purse that I can actually see my stuff in.

A local artist store with a coffee shop took us awhile to look over, and the saleslady was originally from Ohio, so we had to talk to her about our state a bit.

Back to the Western Outfitters to check out the cologne again.........then a stop at the post office for some post card stamps and to mail off some bills.........

Once in the car, we found out that neither of us really knew where to go next, so we had to go to McDonald's, turn on the computer, and do some research about what lies beyond Kalispell!  This ended up involving lunch and coffee, and by the time we pulled out of Kalispell, Montana, it was 2:00 PM.

Nobody starts a day of travel at 2 PM!  Except for true roamers...............

I have to tell you that our route would not look wise to some, but to us it makes "sense."  So I won't even mention our route.  I will tell you that it went by mountains and lakes, gave us a thrill or two on some major hills, and was totally gorgeous. We skirted the Flathead Indian Reservation, and then had to watch carefully for "range cattle," meaning there were no fences to keep them off the road. Let's just say it was not dull.

At 5:00 we pulled over by the banks of the Clark Fork River, opened up our folding chairs and dined al fresco!  Traffic was sparse, and I kept looking for those bears I hear about to come down the mountain and ask to join us, but they didn't.  What a lovely place for dinner!

 We stopped off in the town of Hot Springs to investigate the water where you can "Limp in, and Jump Out!" but it didn't appeal to us.  There are many hot springs around there, and if we see a better place, we might plunge in.

We finally got onto an interstate highway, and shortly thereafter we arrived in Idaho!  It is Randy's first time to be in Idaho, and I have not been here since 1959, so it excited us! We've also crossed into another time zone, so are now 3 hours different from folks at home.

Remember, we only left Kalispell at 2 PM, so it wasn't much further down the road that we thought we'd better find a motel.  One town that looked interesting was Wallace,  which has a silver mine tour and also an historic hotel downtown! It calls itself the Silver Capital. 

 We went into town and thought it looked like a fun little place to spend the night.  Buildings there reminded us of cities we've seen in Alaskan gold mining towns. A short walk into their historic hotel discouraged that idea, as it smelled of aging smoke and did not appear to be very sanitary.
 We continued to the city of Coeur d 'Alene, Idaho, which is the second largest city in Idaho.  We passed the 25 mile long Coeur d' Alene Lake.  The city is named after a tribe of  Native Americans who lived here when the French fur traders arrived and "discovered" this area. (Which must mean that those Native Americans were blindly living here for hundreds of years and never knew where they were?)  The name Coeur d' Alene translates to "Heart of the Awl."  Tomorrow we will look over this city and hopefully it won't be 2 PM by the time we leave it!

This "hysterical marker" was not far over the Idaho state line.

Copyright:  KP Gillenwater 2013