Road Trip 2011 – Part 2 – Eastbound & Down

Monday, the 5 of us hit the road bright and early. 5? Yes, Cora, Wednesday, her two African dwarf frogs, Kermit and Trevor, and me. We are driving Cora's Corolla back to sell. We'd kept it out there and drove it when we were there, but with insurance and all, it's going to be just a cheap to rent cars on our visits.

Hopping (frog humor) on I-90, we cut thru the Cascade Mountains via Snoqualmie Pass and into Eastern Washington. Wow, what a difference a set of mountains makes!

From pine covered mountains, to rolling prairie. As we wound across the Columbia River, we paused at the Wild Horses Monument. On a ridge overlooking the valley, there is a sculpture of a herd of wild horses thundering along.


RT-02-Wild-Horse-02A view of the gorge. RT-02-Wild-Horse-03A view of the gorgeous.

Right after the Wild Horses, we zoomed by, I cannot tell a lie, George, Washington.

Lunch found us desperate for a bathroom, but not so desperate as to not explore the scenic downtown of Ritzville, WA.

RT-02-Ritzville-01 RT-02-Ritzville-02
RT-02-Ritzville-04 RT-02-Ritzville-03


Refueling both our bodies and the car, we blasted through Spokane, WA, and Coeur RT-02-Clark-Fork-01d'Alene, ID, and into Montana. I think the most common sign in Montana is "Clark Fork". We lost track when I-90 crossed it for about the 8th time. I think we crossed it about 15 times total. It became the running joke.

But no joke was this forest fire burning in a little valley off the side of the interstate.

RT-02-Fire-01 RT-02-Fire-02

I sure the chopper pilot was glad to have a handy source of water from the Clark Fork River right there.

As the afternoon started to fade to evening, we set our sights on wrapping up the day in Bozeman, MT. And it wasn't going to be too late. And then it hit us.

Frak! We're now on Mountain Time, so we've lost an hour! (Not the last time a time zone change would bite us in the butte.) So, it's late and we got to Bozeman. Should rename it "Booze-man" because I could have used a drink! We pull in to the Comfort Inn, only to get the "Jesus Treatment" (no room @ the Inn.) It appears classes were starting at MSU-Bozeman, so it was full up with parents. Okay, fine, we crossed the street to The Bozeman Inn.
How bad could it be?


Pretty nasty. There was exposed cinder block. That overhang in back? I could barely stand under it. And the bathroom was on the frightening side. At least there wasn't some nasty mystery stain on the box spring.

Oh wait…

Next stop: Yellowstone.

(See, we were eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin'. Passenger named "Frog". Jerry Reed. Just go with it.)


Cora said...

Like I said before, the Bozeman Inn made Ritzville look REALLY ritzy. Blah.

Anonymous said...

That fireside mountain is crazy.

SkylersDad said...

Colorado resembles Washington in the way the mountains just kind of stop and it turns into prairie.

Shana said...

Nice photos!!

The 160 km that we rode is 100 miles!!!!
I must say that half way through the third day, the 'come get me' was nagging me. But with the money I spent on the trip I wasn't going to abandon it. Plus, with 3 bikes, we wouldn't have needed three cars to cart us home!!!! I am glad we did the whole thing!!!

Ellie Mae said...

OK, that Bozeman mattress thing makes me want to throw up!!

The wild horse sculptures and Ritzville look like something I'd like to stop and see if I was there and had extra time, to stop and see something semi-interesting... :)

So. Cal. Gal said...

What Montana needs is a Super Scooper instead of those little water buckets. And read Cora's post if you want to know what I think that stain is. ; )

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Oh Christ, I wouldn't have lasted five minutes in a stained box spring hotel room....
Seriously, the car would have been looking pretty comfy at that point.