Washington, Idaho, and Montana

After dropping my dad off at the airport I drove north a little ways to see my bestfriend and godson. They had flown up some days before to spend time with her dad’s family. I got to the Anderson house during Rachel’s birthday party, so I got to help celebrate a little. Thank you Anderson family for housing and feeding me 🙂

The following morning, we were to drive across the state of Washington.

The east side of Washington is very flat, which is extremely different than the west/coastal side.

Megan found that our favorite restaurant had a location in Spokane so we stopped at the Melting Pot for dinner and stayed at a Best Western on our way towards the Washington-Idaho border.

The following morning was the 4th of July and we were going to Silverwood Theme Park and Boulder Beach Water Park in Idaho!

We were told it would be busy, being a holiday and that they were having a firework show that night, so we planned to arrive at 11, when they opened. We quickly realized that busy is relative. We were expecting Disneyland busy, but got Idaho busy, which was a pleasant surprise. We also found out Wyatt LOVES huckleberries and could care less about funnel cake, like he would not eat any of the cake.

The park was a lot of fun and Wyatt did great with his swimming! Once we realized that fireworks wouldn’t start until after 10 (because it’s still light out until then) we decided to drive to our next hotel in the north part of Idaho because we knew we wanted to get to Glacier NP early because we weren’t able to reserve a camping spot. (see the Glacier NP post here).

After leaving Glacier NP I had to say goodbye to Megan and Wyatt. I dropped them off at the Kalispell airport and headed towards Missoula, MT. Along the way I stopped at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas. According to their website, the Garden’s mission is to “provide visitors of all faiths with an opportunity to generate profound merit, to reduce global negativities, and to bring about lasting peace.” They have used ancient Buddhism symbols to help invoke qualities such as joy, wisdom and compassion.

Throughout the garden they have quotes from Buddha. It was extremely quiet there (minus the lawnmower for a little of my time there). It was also a bit surprising to me to find this in the middle of Montana, but it was very beautiful and peaceful.

I finally got to Missoula to stay at another Best Western where I would get a nice shower and a bed. Thank you for the recommendations (Leah, Jordan and Alex). I had Cracker Barrel for dinner and for lunch I had a burnt ends sandwich from Notorious Pig BBQ and I got a white chocolate mint ice cream cone from Big Dipper Ice Cream. All three were delicious and I would definitely recommend them to others visiting the Missoula area.

From Missoula I went back into Idaho. My first stop would be at the Dog Bark Park, but on my way there I saw some whitewater rafters and Tried to get a picture! (little did I know I would be rafting at least once this trip!) As I was driving through Montana I truly understood the “Big Sky Country”

Finally I had arrive at the Dog Bark Park Inn. Dennis & Frances, the owners, live in Cottonwood, ID and had a vision to live an artistic and soulful life. In 1996 Dennis built Toby, the first “big” dog, now the puppy. One year later Dog Bark Park was founded. A fall evening the following year Dennis and Frances started to discuss building a bigger dog to act as a billboard. By the end of the evening they had decided to build a giant beagle that would be a Bed-and-Breakfast and were already starting the sketches.

I stayed and talked with Dennis for a while about what I was doing and some of the places I was stopping. He gave me some great information on Crazy Horse and the artist, as it was one of his idols. He also suggested a place for me to stay that night and drew me a very handy map.

I did stay at the Stillwater RV Park he recommended and from there headed to Boise. I didn’t do much in Boise, but I did have the pleasure of meeting Dwight Murphy. Dwight has been having a rough time since his wife got diagnosed with cancer and hasn’t been getting good news. He goes out on his motorcycle once a week to enjoy a nice cold beer. I can’t imagine what he has been going through and how he has been doing it all with a smile on his face, but I’m glad I got to see that you can have a positive look on things to help get you through the day. Dwight, you and your wife are in my thoughts, I hope all is well!

From Boise I was headed southeast towards Twin Falls, where I’d be at a KOA the next two nights. While I was setting up camp, a fellow Californian saw my license plate and the frame and came over to see if I was from Long Beach (as the frame said). We chatted a little but I wanted to go to the Shoshone Falls before it got too late.

Shoshone Falls (FACTS)

  • aka “Niagara of the West”
  • 212 feet high (45 higher than Niagara)
  • flows over 1,000 feet wide

Unfortunately, when I went to see the falls, I was a little disappointed, but it was still a very pretty sight and the view of the Snake was picturesque. I realized that going in July, the water level wasn’t very high, especially since it was in the 80’s and 90’s. They also divert water from the Snake River in summer and fall.

When I got back from Shoshone Falls I spoke a little more with Rian. Rian and Nancy had recently retired and were traveling a bit. Rian showed me what Shoshone Falls looks like during the spring when the water level is higher and it is really flowing. I would like to come back in spring to see it really flowing.

Rian liked adventurous things like ziplining, so when he found Zip-the-Snake he went on it three times in two days then got offered a job to work there. Which he accepted and had been doing for about 10 weeks and was currently finishing up his last week before heading to their next stop.

Rian asked if I would be interested in ziplining. He gave me a coupon for a free zipline ride and helped by making me reservations for first thing the following morning! There were 4 lines total. And Rian showed me that I could go upside down! It was really exhilarating and a really freeing feeling with little control! Here is one of the landings we went off of.

From there I went to Craters of the Moon National Monument (see that post here). That evening I headed back to the KOA and got to talk a bit more with Rian and Nancy. The next morning, I was headed south towards Utah!

Click here to see all my pictures in Part 2 so far!

2 Replies to “Washington, Idaho, and Montana”

  1. Excellent: HUCKLEBERRIES!!!!

  2. I’m so excited to see that you got your camera back and most of the photos!! I’m proud of you kiddo! You are one smart and independent women that will look back on these adventures and cherish them forever! You Go Girl!!

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